Innovation in government procurement: is it really possible?

Sue Leslie discusses the complexities of capturing innovation into procurement, and has come up with a solution.

‘Innovation’ seems to be the new buzzword being spruiked around many government agencies these days. For example, have a look at the ACT Government’s Innovation; Northern Territory’s The Northern Territory Government welcomes innovation; NSW Government’s ProcurePoint; Queensland Government’s Procurement Transformation; South Australian Government’s Innovative Government; Tasmanian Government’s Government Open for Innovative Business Ideas; Victorian Government’s Procurement reform guidelines; and Western Australian Government’s Sustainable Procurement Practice Guidelines.

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Why doesn’t the Project Management industry know what success looks like?

Clients certainly know what failure looks like at the finish of a project – there is typically some issue that could have been better managed during the delivery. And in hindsight, most of those issues were in fact known to the client at the start of the project. The problem is, the Project just didn’t articulate all of the issues, and so wasn’t able to ensure they were all appropriately addressed.

This isn’t just our opinion. A Project Management Institute research project looked at over 2500 international projects over the last five years, and considered whether or not they were “successful”. The research found that, on average, 44% didn’t meet all their strategic goals! And 25% exceeded their budgets!

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