Art in a Procurement Manual story from Chapter 10 that has
captured imaginations internationally. Are you this creative?
Seeing Excellence has
been adopted by Procurement U as a companion text to NASPO's
State and Local Government Procurement: A
Leadership, High Flying Teams, and You at the
National Procurement Institute annual conference in New
Orleans, October 18-20, 2017. Teams are the life blood
of organizations. This session used procurement
stories that illustrate 5 principles of effective
lateral leadership in teams.
Procurement Law Tales from the Dark Side at the
National Procurement Institute annual conference in New
Orleans, October 18-20, 2017. This 90-minute session drew on private law practice experience
to describe practices that public procurement
professionals can use to mitigate the chances of
successful bid protests and contract claims.
The Evolution of Wisconsin's IT Procurement Best
Practices Playbook, American City & County,
September 12, 2017.
Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement Teams,
Fall conference of the Rocky Mountain Governmental
Purchasing Association, September 8, 2017. This session
used procurement stories that illustrate 10 essential
Co-author with Jason Soza,
Alaska State Procurement Officer, of
Five Pillars of Procurement Excellence,
July 2017. This article describes awards in the
major procurement/contracting associations—NASPO, NIGP, NPI, NAEP, and NCMA—that frame excellence in
procurement and contracting teams.
Two Faces of Negotiation in Public Procurement,
Public Spend Forum, June 20, 2017.
Coming . . .
Procurement: Law, Trends, and States Working Together,
part of a panel presentation at the
2017 ABA Public Contract Law Fall Meeting, November
2-4, 2017 in Louisville KY.
Practicing the Art of
the Question, at the
Virginia Procurement Forum 2017, November
Two Faces of Negotiation,
in the upcoming November issue of Contract
Guest lecturer at
Chemeketa Community College, Oregon in the Principles of
Public Procurement Course, November 30, 2017: presenting
on Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement
Legal Aspects of
Public Procurement Online, April 4, 2008. This
is an eight-week online course offered by NIGP about the
legal issues in public procurement and contracting.
The course description and registration are at
Class size is limited to 24.
Procurement Teaming in NIGP's Virtual Classroom
describes why I like the course.
Seeing Excellence was written using SCOPEVision®
scopes to identify stories showcasing exceptional teams. SCOPE
(Systematic Controls, Oversight, and Policy Evaluation) was first created in
2002 by the Division of Finance and Procurement, Colorado Department of
Personnel & Administration, as a way to improve policies related to statewide
procurement, contracting, and financial controls. The SCOPE
process emphasized customer involvement and cross-functional problem solving.
SCOPE was aimed at streamlining policies to make sure the division was
not sub-optimizing controls unnecessarily at the expense of system-wide
performance. SCOPEVision evolved into its current emphasis
on execution and improving knowledge and awareness about problem-solving and
quality in general—developing team knowledge,
skills, and abilities so organizations can sustain improvement efforts.
A "scope" is defined as an "instrument for viewing."
built on that image from 2002-2005, using the scopes as visual metaphors for the essential
of any continuous improvement effort or change initiative in a business or organization.
added three additional scopes in 2006: stethoscope, horoscope, and
Cinemascope for disciplines needed to sustain the team’s efforts—risk and
change management, learning, and lateral leadership. The book, Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement Teams, used the scope metaphors to find stories
that illustrate effective teams, their use of 10 team disciplines, and the
five principles that their lateral leaders displayed
is arranged in a way that
its chapters align with the SCOPEs that represent the essential steps in
continuous improvement, project management, risk and change management,
organizational learning, and lateral leadership.
- Focus the Team's Purpose. Keep purpose gyroscopically in
mind. How will you know you succeeded? Continually clarify
the team's purpose. Purpose informs the essential elements of
decision making. Chapter 1 of Seeing Excellence
identifies key questions regarding team purpose.
- Find opportunities: Practice the Art of the Question.
Use questions effectively to identify the needs of your customers and
stakeholders. Frame problems as opportunities whenever you
can. Chapter 2 of Seeing Excellence gives teams tools
for defining opportunities.
- Learn from the stars. Find and learn
from best practices. Keep an eye on system performance and the
Chapter 3 of Seeing Excellence has ideas on what to ask
the "stars" when you begin a continuous improvement journey.
- Step to their side often: Help mold and promote the
Team. Use facilitative leadership. Find the right
kaleidoscopic composition, pay attention to early stages of team
formation, nudge toward development of team norms, and support
the team during performance. Chapter 4 of Seeing
Excellence has a checklist to help you diagnose one of the
most central team activities: meetings.
Use just enough structure: Plan, communicate, and follow-up.
Identify the needs of stakeholders. Plan by working
backward. Then think ahead during project execution.
Chapter 5 of Seeing Excellence has tools to help
Use meaningful measures of merit. Find and use
meaningful measures that reduce uncertainty in decision-making using
balanced financial, process, and outcome measures. Get
stakeholder buy-in to measures. Chapter 6 of Seeing Excellence
describes one of the most useful Microsoft Excel tools to
help a team measure preferences.
First ask, how? Then
why? Then decide.
Uses analytical tools to
map processes, find root causes at the heart of problems,
experiment with pilots to test solutions, and effectively
recommend or make decisions.
Use decision retrospects. Chapter 7 of Seeing Excellence includes examples of how process maps, Ishikawa diagrams, and decision-making tools are
Manage risk and change. Chapter 8 of Seeing Excellence has
tools like premortems to help assess the likelihood and impact of risk to a project.
It uses examples to apply one of the most well known models for
change management, the cousin of risk management. Resistance
to change is often the most significant risk.
- Keep learning and make it stick. HoroSCOPE
is the visual metaphor for organizational learning. Use team
after-action reviews. Build structures
for informal learning to create tacit knowledge. Simplify, surprise, make it concrete and
emotional, and use stories — the Chip
Heath and Dan Heath Made to Stick! model
— to promote networked learning and
sustain improvement. Answer the Why, What, How, Who, Where,
and When’s of learning opportunities. Reflect on experiences to
learn. Chapter 9 of Seeing Excellence has
a useful model for managing the team's and your own learning.
- Lead laterally: Choose to Help. We chose Cinemascope®,
a 1950s widescreen technology widely credited with
bringing audiences back into theaters, as our visual metaphor.
It is SCOPEVision’s visual metaphor for leadership.
Well-respected directors lead from the side to bring the best
out of their actors and production teams. Help the team keep
purpose in mind, use questions effectively to help the team
learn, use just enough structure to help organize thinking and
action, help promote collaboration and feedback by stepping to
their side often, and help the team engage by committing your
time and attention. Chapter 10 of Seeing
Excellence has useful descriptions of negotiations, the
elements of persuasion, and tips on embracing conflict.