Procurement and Information Technology: Common Problems, Common Solutions

Addressing the Complex Software Procurement-Implementation Disconnect Problem

This workshop deals with the acquisition and implementation of complex software as a single process. Developed for procurement managers and their staff to help them mitigate potential project budget overruns due to avoidable issues related to acquiring complex software.

Issue #1: Procurement – Too often RFPs are not structured tightly enough, their evaluation process not handled with enough vigilance, and their statements of work (SOWs) inadequate to prevent the costly and all too familiar ‘slow bleed and eventual death by change order’.

Issue #2: Implementation – Projects often end up on an unhealthy track because of a poorly framed contract, inadequate contract management and poor monitoring of vendor compliance.  

No doubt your agency knows about ‘project disasters’ all too well.  Learn how to intervene on your next complex software acquisition before it’s too late! Equip procurement staff, IT and users with the tools for connecting and streamlining the procurement and implementation phases.

Join industry experts Michael Asner (Procurement) and Bernadette Lantz (Contract Management & Implementation) who will provide insight, knowledge of best practices and intense discussion of the Best Practices for acquiring and implementing complex software.

Procurement and IT have a lot to deal with when acquiring a complex software package.   The RFP/evaluation process can be slow and complicated and the implementation process can be an exercise in depression and futility as you try in vain to nail down what you already thought had been nailed down by the contract. It goes without saying that getting it right from start to finish is a challenge.

Because of this selecting and installing complex software in a public agency can be risky. Many agencies continue to acquire scars from failed projects because they don’t take the time to learn from others who have made mistakes and others who have done it successfully.

This workshop contains the collected experiences of people who have already traveled this road – made mistakes, discovered truths and completed the work successfully. This workshop is based on real-life experience. You will learn from the experience of other organizations:

  • Best RFP practices for acquiring complex systems and services
  • Best project and contracting practices
  • Best contract management and implementation techniques

What are the benefits when Procurement and Contract Management are treated as a single process?

For the Procurement Effort

  • Improved, more effective, more comprehensive design of the RFP;
  • Better information for making the ‘best value’ decision;
  • Reduced procurement time.


For the Contract Management Effort

  • Reduced risks of contractual non-compliance;
  • Improved vendor relationships
  • Improved contracting practices;
  • Improved use of metrics to ensure contract compliance;
  • Reduced change orders; fewer delays; improved quality of the deliverables;
  • Improved efficiency, reduced cycle time, by a more effective use of the contract.


Now, two experts are coming together to help you understand and navigate this process successfully.

Michael Asner, an RFP expert and author of The Request for Proposal Handbook, will show you how to deal with the acquisition process from initiation, through the RFP development, through proof of concept and contract negotiations, until you have a signed contract.

Then Bernadette Lantz, an expert in contract management and software implementation, will show you how to manage the vendor and monitor contractual compliance for complex software projects.

In this intense two-day workshop, you will learn about procurement best practices, contract management as well as implementation techniques and strategies.

Day 1: Bullet-Proofing Your RFP Process


During Day 1, Michael will take you through the entire RFP process. You will learn best practices and techniques that work, that avoid major problems, and that lead to a solid contract. Michael will first describe the entire RFP process. Then lead you through the construction of an Evaluation Procedure. Finally, Michael will describe an actual COTS acquisition, on a step-by-step basis.

Topic 1 – The RFP Process
The Rules of Engagement: When a public agency must use an RFP. What the Courts have said. Policy issues; Design Issues; The RFP Document; Selecting the bidders; Issuing the RFP; Evaluating Proposals; Suppliers and contracts.

Topic 2 – Inside the Evaluation Process
What is an evaluation? Sample evaluations; Evaluations don't always work; Statements of Work – Getting it Right! Eight building blocks for constructing an evaluation; Establish compliance; Score the proposals; Develop a short-list; Interviews/demonstrations/tests; Evaluate the cost/value; Imposing upset levels; Best and Final Offers/Negotiations; Reference Checking; Standardizing the process.

Topic 3 – A Case Study
A step-by-step description of the RFP process for a project, software selection, from developing the Statement of Work, through the evaluation process, and the recommendation memo.

Day 2: How To Control Your Vendor And Get What You Paid For


During Day 2, Bernadette will take you through proven strategies and techniques so you can continuously evaluate contract performance and realize the intended benefits. You will learn how to build the right kind of vendor relationship, measure contractual performance, and drive the project instead of the vendor driving you. Throughout this day, Bernadette will use actual projects to illustrate concepts and share templates to help you achieve your business goals.

Topic 1 – Achieve Intended Benefits
The Rules of Engagement: It’s your project, drive it; Build a Strong Strategy; Vendor Plan – Is it being driven by Vendor Payments or Meeting your Organizational Goals? Track Deliverables against Contract; Change is Inevitable – Embrace it the Right Way; Stabilize your Requirements.

Topic 2 – Measure Contractual Performance
Identify Key Performance Indicators; Measure and Communicate Project Health – Written Status Reports versus Visual Tools such as Heat Maps; Objective and (not so objective) Ranking of Risks and Issues.

Topic 3 – Vendor Relationships and Management
Establish Governance Structure and Processes; Enhance Relationship with Vendor; Reduce Risk of Vendor Non-Performance; Quality Assurance.

An Additional Bonus

In addition to copies of the PowerPoint slides, each attendee will receive a copy of Michael Asner’s publication, a $145 value included in your workshop fee:

An RFP Guide for Procuring Complex Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software for Public Agencies: A Drama in Three Acts.


About Our Speakers

Michael Asner




MICHAEL ASNER is recognized as one of North America’s leading speakers, consultants, and authors dealing with public sector procurement and the Request for Proposal process. He helps government entities improve their RFP practices and documents. He acts as an RFP Advisor or Fairness Officer on high-risk, high-value procurements. He frequently assists lawyers in procurement cases. His clients include cities, counties and public agencies in Canada and the U.S.

He offers RFP training and workshops throughout North America dealing with both RFP issues (for governments) and proposal writing (for private sector firms).

Michael has published extensively about the RFP Process. His textbook, The Request For Proposal Handbook, now in its fifth edition, is in use in more than 5000 governments and public agencies.


BERNADETTE LANTZ is recognized as a leading consultant and speaker on the implementation of technology solutions as a result of a RFP procurement for public sector clients. She helps government organizations realize the intended benefits from awarded contracts. She frequently works as a consultant on highly complex projects, with aggressive timelines and legislative mandates, to significantly decrease the risk of project failure.

Most recently, Bernadette was instrumental in the success of two implementations of the Affordable Health Act. She has led many highly complex software implementation projects for Human Services and Public Safety departments from Contract Award to Acceptance. She has also lead RFP and proposal writing for large projects that have exceeded $100M.

She offers specialized contract management training and workshops throughout North America on vendor management, contractual compliance and performance measurement.


For More Information contact Michel Asner