I got married a few months ago, and I noticed how getting married is like working on a procurement.
- They take a long time to plan. Unless you get married overnight in Reno, weddings can take months, sometimes years, to plan. The amount of time put into an acquisition before an RFP is released often takes a similar amount of time.
- Hiccups happen. Even with wedding rehearsals, mistakes happen. During my wedding, I made a few minor mistakes during the ceremony (in addition to knocking over a wall lamp during the reception dinner). The minor mistakes weren’t noticed even though most people were watching, but if you make a big noise like knocking over a wall lamp like I did, people will notice. Fortunately, the DJ made an “unexpected” announcement and drew attention away. The dinner went on and everything was okay. The same happens during acquisitions. Most mistakes are minor, easily and legally corrected, and won’t get noticed. However, if big noise is made, team work is necessary to correct the issue and things usually move on.
- Both involve legal documents (marriage license). There are lots of legal documents involved in procurements, including the contract itself. The state of Virginia required that I had a marriage license.
- Compromise. Concessions have to be made on both sides to reach optimum efficiency and outcome. Remember, you’re in this together. Speaking on being in this together…
- They’re relationships. Procurements, like marriages, are relationships. Getting married isn’t all there is, just like getting a contract signed isn’t all that matters; it’s what happens afterwards. You have to live with each other afterwards. Work at it and make it happen.
- There’s a lot of excitement at the beginning. When you get engaged, everyone is happy. Champange flows and congratulations fly. When a new procurement starts, people are excited to work on something new and they get to know each other.
- There’s a lot of stress in the middle. Tough decisions have to be made. People may not always get along. Feelings sometimes get hurt. This applies to both procurement, whether it’s cutting hours or labor rates, and wedding plans like not getting all the guests you want on the list.
- There’s a lot of relief at the end. Take a deep breath. It’s all over with. You’re married/have a contract signed.