The successful call for tenders

The procurement of governmental software takes too long (already requiring further maintenance before becoming operational), it is too expensive (also for many suppliers) and it often fails. Is it possible to have successful software procurement despite WTO constraints? Walter Duss, Senior Project Manager & Consultant at Netcetera, gets to the root of this topic in the "swiss made software" book.

The success factors are known

...are the sucess factor for software procurementWhat makes a successful call for tenders? It is comparable with an idea in the sense that its brilliance can only be seen in its implementation. But what distinguishes a successful implementation? In practice, the triple assets of cost, time and quality are combined and mutually dependent on each other. They determine the success of an implementation. The project result therefore is delivered on time, in the agreed quality and price.

What cannot be, should not be

The most important prerequisite is that the tender is correctly advertised. In the public sector, the search of standard software for non-standard requirements is common. In-depth market studies and honest evaluations of findings are prerequisites for not falling into this trap. Often and after a sobering and painful round of self-awareness, “simple” software implementation projects turn into software development projects in the end. Too often there is wishful thinking and not honest analysis. This is ultimately a hopeless attempt to minimize the purchase risk.

Intangibility increases the customer’s perceived purchase risk

Software procurement is de facto service procurement. A service is intangible. In the case of a service, such as developing or purchasing a software solution, the customer will only get the promise of the service provider, that the solution meets his or her expectations. The perceived purchase risk for intangible services is therefore higher than with the purchase of tangible products. Intangible services need to be bought based on trust and experience, whereas tangible property benefits right away from its proven quality.

Where does the private sector stand?

The private sector tenders “preferred supplierships”. Thus, this creates the basis to be able to measure service quality and good service over long periods creates trust. The key is the individual conceptual ability to choose the “right” software. Good software solutions have a sustainable architecture and can be implemented in the organization’s software and systems landscape. Expertise and experience in professional project management to implement software solutions remain a key factor.


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