A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
Would you consider building your requirements in an open forum with the help of whoever wanted to participate?
May 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm #100275
We (at GSA) recently posted our 3rd Request for Information (RFI) on the BetterBuy acquisition wiki. So far, we have used the wiki to solict input and ideas from anyone who wanted to participate in our market research, requirements definition, acquisition documentation and acquisition strategy. I’ve encouraged other agencies to take a look at the BetterBuy Project idea platform and test some of the ideas as well. I’ve talked to people in other agencies and when I’ve asked them if they are moving toward using collaborative technology, such as a wiki, as a way to solicit participation and input, they tell me they are having trouble getting tools approved for use in this way.
So for you govies (federal, state, local) – have you used collaborative technology in your acquisition process, either internally and/or with external audiences? If so, what’s working? What have you learned? If not, why not?
May 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm #100283
Mary, I’m not aware of any organization that’s used the BetterBuy wiki, but more govies SHOULD be conducting requirements generation this way. I first heard of BetterBuy at the KM Conference and Open Government Initiative Conference last week. Crowdsourcing isn’t the cure-all for all challenges in open government, but the BetterBuy idea is a great one that should have wider adoption.
May 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm #100281
We are going to talk more about this during our Gov2.0 Expo acquisition panel scheduled for Thursday May 27 at 9:35am. One of our industry participants made the comment today that this effort may be more about the “spirit of a wiki” rather than actually using a wiki to get input. Meaning – we what we really want is more dialogue, participation and transparency in the process – but perhaps the wiki isn’t the only way or best way to do this. Would love to hear others’ ideas on this.
May 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm #100279
Agreed. I love the wiki but wikis can be hard to get traction some times.
-Literally videotape the contracting officer and project manager talking about the concept of the procurement and what’s in it. I think a lot of times people are reading between lines. You can Live-stream and have people anonymously or with attribution ask questions. That would be great. Like a more low-key and tech-savvy version of industry day
May 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm #100277
Collaboration doesn’t necessarily require use of devices like wikis. For example, I work for a state/local agency involved in a large number of capital construction contracts less than $1 million. Our bid build invitation for bids (ifb) include drawings and technical specifications. Invariably bidders both prime and sub) spot problem areas in the bid documents or make suggestions about how the job could be performed at a lower price.
If you allow more than the standard thrity days from publication of the ifb till bid opening, the ifb question – answer period often result in the issuance of ifb amendments which modify the technical requirement. The other necessary ingredients for informal collaboration to work is an attitude on the part of the buyer that questions or suggestions are not something to be tollerated and may be beneficial. This process is a whole lot better than finding problems after the contract is awarded and then have to resolve change orders or claims.
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