The successful procurement of complex systems presents a wide spectrum of challenges, from cultural to technical. Ensuring that each of these factors is appropriately considered in the context of individual programmes, and the wider environment in which those programmes must operate requires a systematic approach rooted in common sense and linked to clear objectives.


The Essentials of Procurement 

Stripped down to essentials, to minimise the chances of failure a logical approach to all procurement is required that achieves the following outcomes:


  • Identifies what the user really needs

  • Enables proper understanding of the available options to meet the user need

  • Describes the preferred option so that both supplier and user can understand what is wanted.

  • Selects the supplier with the best chance of delivering what is needed at a reasonable price

  • Manages the programme effectively

  • Makes sure that what is delivered is what was ordered


To achieve these outcomes we have developed a 6 step approach has been proven to be effective and practical:


Identifying what the User Really Needs

In the first instance, relevant use cases linked to a programme gap analysis will enable a robust user requirement to be produced. The user requirement must be supported by a clear statement of the assumptions and constraints that will support the programme.

Enabling Proper Understanding of the Options to Meet the User Need

The next step is to examine the options that will meet the requirement in a logical manner. It is important to establish the criteria that the options will be judged on such as technical maturity, security and timescale. It will then be possible to arrive at a preferred choice. 

Describe the preferred option so that a supplier understands what is wanted

After achieving agreement on the preferred option, it will then be necessary to describe that option in terms that a potential supplier can understand and provide a properly costed proposal against. 

Select the supplier that can deliver what is needed at a reasonable price

Sufficient technical data will now be available to support the issue of a request for proposal (RFP) and the selection of a preferred supplier. However, before the issue of an RFP it will be necessary to decide on the procurement strategy for the programme. This latter activity would include such considerations as bid response times, any need for a competitive demonstration and confidentiality aspects of the programme.

Manage the Programme Effectively

After the contract has been let it must be rigorously managed and deliveries audited to ensure that what was contracted for is being delivered to the required standard. In addition to monitoring the main contract, it is essential that all non-supplier activities linked to the contract are taking place at the right time and to the necessary standard. 

Makes Sure that what is Delivered is what was Ordered

The final step in this procurement process focuses on the fully documented and audited acceptance of the capability that has been contracted for.

Our Services

We offer support to all aspects of the procurement process from initial requirements gathering to the supervision of the acceptance process.