Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement Teams



Past Presentations and Publications

  • The Precision, Accuracy, and Utility of Numerical Evaluations in Best-Value Procurements.  Part 1 published on LinkedIn Pulse, January 2018.  Chapter 6 of Seeing Excellence, Use Meaningful Measures of Merit, covers measurement as an essential team discipline.  Part 1 of the article dives deeper into the issue of errors and subjectivity in proposal evaluations.  Part 2 of the article discusses modeling of best-value tradeoff decisions with spreadsheets and the key to effective evaluations: collaboration.  "Spreadsheets don't decide, people do."

  • Confessions of a Contracting "Bottleneck", in the February 2008 issue of NCMA's Contract Management magazineThis article looked back on a process of reviewing of 3,000 contracts per year, and how current Lean principles and queue theory could have improved the process.  The confessions included not knowing what a "bottleneck" is, focusing too narrowly on the legal resource capacity, ineffective management of the queue (inbox), the absence of an economic framework for managing the queue, and not realizing that these issues were the on front line of the centralization/decentralization debate.

  • Kaizen and the Sound Transit IT Investment Playbook, Government Procurement, December/January 2018.  Kaizen, the Japanese culture of continuous improvement, was introduced to the West largely through research and writing about the Toyota Production System. Read how Sound Transit, Washington, used a Kaizen event to improve its IT procurement.

  • Wisconsin Association of Public Procurement/VALUE procurement cooperative 2018 Spring Conference, March 15, 2018.  Morning workshop, Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement Teams, and an afternoon session on Procurement Law Tales from the Dark Side.

  • A Learning Journey to Seeing Excellence, Chemeketa Community College, Oregon, November 30, 2017.  This was the last class in the Principles of Public Procurement Course, where Seeing Excellence was used as a companion text to NASPO's State and Local Government Procurement: A Practical Guide. This session explains the evolution of Seeing Excellence out of the Colorado Division of Finance and Procurement.  The journey includes hands-on practice of team disciplines, key stories from the book, and stories later discovered that showcase the richness of the procurement profession.

  • The Two Faces of Negotiation, in the November issue of Contract Management magazine. This article illustrates how requests for proposals fit the classical model of negotiations.

  • The Art of the Question keynote at the Wisconsin State Bureau of Procurement Conference and educational session at the Virginia Procurement Forum, November 13-16, 2017.

  • Hillsborough County Aviation Authority's Transformation to Excellence, Government Procurement, October/November 2017.  The story of Tampa International Airport's achievement of NIGP's Pareto Award, the highest organizational award in state and local government procurement.

  • Cooperative 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.

  • Lateral 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 team disciplines.

  • Procurement Tales from the Dark Side, Rocky Mountain Governmental Purchasing Association, September 8, 2017. This one-hour discussion used my private attorney experience to highlight practices that public procurement professionals can use to mitigate the chances of successful bid protests and contract claims.

  • Knowledge to Practice: Learning from Great Procurement Teams at the NIGP Forum in Salt Lake City, August 28-30, 2017.

    Teams are the life blood of organizations.  Procurement professionals can learn and practice the disciplines of effective teams to help their own teams succeed. Learning is one of those team disciplines.  Richard Pennington spent almost three years story-spotting, looking at excellent procurement teams and the team disciplines they displayed.  His book, Seeing Excellence: Learning from Great Procurement Teams! Identified 10 essential team disciplines and five principles of effective team leadership. This interactive session explored one of the disciplines: team learning.  This interactive session went beyond team learning tools like after-action reviews.  It explored a practical learning model that can be used for self-managed learning, training development and delivery, and for assessing others’ training approaches.

  • Legal Aspects in Public Procurement: Revisited, NIGP Forum, August 28, 2017. 

    One of NIGP’s foundation courses is Legal Aspects in Public Procurement. This interactive session provided a space for attendees to learn about recent legal developments in a supplement to the textbook, Legal Aspects in Public Purchasing, used as a framework.  The session covered legal issues in requests for proposals and cooperative procurement.  The interactive session gave attendees a chance to clarify legal concepts in the textbook and learn learned in the course and learn about key legal aspects of procurement and contracting.

  • Co-author with Jason Soza, Alaska State Procurement Officer, of Five Pillars of Procurement Excellence, Contract Management, July 2017. This article describes awards in the major procurement/contracting associationsNASPO, NIGP, NPI, NAEP, and NCMAthat frame excellence in procurement and contracting teams.

  • Procurement Teaming in NIGP's Virtual Classroom, LinkedIn Pulse, July 19, 2017.

  • Mentoring & Creativity, Government Procurement magazine, June/July 2017. Story about the Rocky Mountain Governmental Purchasing Association.

  • Procurement Tales from the Dark Side, Alaska-Hawaii Governmental Procurement Association, July 14, 2017. 

  • Two Faces of Negotiation in Public Procurement, Public Spend Forum, June 20, 2017.

  • (Scrum OR Kanban OR Agile OR Waterfall) AND (Procurement OR Breach), LinkeIn Pulse, May 31, 2017.  Description of new Agile iterative delivery methods and implications for procurement professionals.

  • Luncheon keynote speaker, Seeing Excellence in Procurement Teams: Laboratories of Leadership at the Georgia Procurement Conference on Jekyll Island GA, April 28, 2017. 

    Teams are laboratories for developing leaders. From a procurement process improvement team creating tools for better project management, to school procurement professionals' use of mentoring for professional development, the study of teams is a path to developing leadership potential.  This presentation showed showed how outstanding teams portray essential team disciplines and principles of effective team leadership.  Read about my observations about the conference here.

  • Blended Learning and Mentoring in Cobb County School District, Government Procurement magazine, April/May 2017.

  • Presented April 4th on cooperative procurement and federal grants at the Arizona State University inaugural course on public procurement and supply management.  This is a collaboration with NASPO Procurement U aimed at increasing the courses offered in our field by higher education institutions. 

  • Focus on Change: San Diego County's Customer-Focused Realignment,  Government Procurement magazine, February/March 2017.  

  • Manage Risk and Change: Learn from the Stars! at the California Association of Public Procurement Officials conference in Napa CA, January 25, 2017. Risk and change management are close cousins.  This presentation illustrated the models with public procurement examples, including the San Diego County customer-focused organizational realignment. 

  • Helping Sourcing Teams Plan Backwards and Plan Ahead, Government Procurement magazine, January/February 2017.  The first article of a series featuring state and local governments achieving excellence in teams.


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