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Specifications – Wide Angle View Presented by Laurie Sparkes, PE, VCO Warren Mitchell, CPPO, VCO Betsy Bratton, CPPB, VCO.

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Presentation on theme: "Specifications – Wide Angle View Presented by Laurie Sparkes, PE, VCO Warren Mitchell, CPPO, VCO Betsy Bratton, CPPB, VCO."— Presentation transcript:

1 Specifications – Wide Angle View Presented by Laurie Sparkes, PE, VCO Warren Mitchell, CPPO, VCO Betsy Bratton, CPPB, VCO

2 Specifications – Wide Angle View There are common problems with specifications that influence other elements of the solicitation Take a wider angle of view to avoid potential sources of problems: Tunnel Vision Writer’s Blindness

3 SPECIFICATIONS SOURCINGSCOPEAWARD SCHEDULEBUDGET PRICINGTs & Cs YOUR SPECIFICATIONS WILL INFLUENCE MANY ISSUES IN YOUR SOLICITATION OUTSIDE OF THE DESCRIPTION OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE - WIDEN YOUR VISION TO CONSIDER THEM! ADMINISTRATION

4 Some typical examples of common items that create problems in specifications are: Information left out Mistakes in the use of language Technical errors Unintended contradictions

5 Answer these questions to yourself to open the scope and avoid “Tunnel Vision” issues: Have I contacted the end user to be sure of the application, what is needed, and when it is needed? – This is #1 to do first!

6 Have I done adequate research in knowing the details of item(s) required? What is the availability of the right item(s) and potential suppliers? Is the item requested still manufactured? Will estimated cost exceed available funding? Have I researched all available sources of information? Do I know enough about the item to write a viable specification?

7 Have I given the right amount of attention to detail? Too much detail can favor a particular vendor and limit competition. Too little detail can leave loopholes that can cause problems when the item is received.

8 Have I used the correct language in the right places? “Shall” and “Must” for needs only! Use “Will” correctly. Be very careful of restrictive phrases such as “No Substitutions”! Have I used simple language to be sure I am conveying the right message?

9 Have I written in any contradictions? Are there contradictions within the specifications text? Are there any items within the specifications that contradict contract language outside the specifications?

10 Avoid problems from “Writer’s Blindness”! When you write a document, you can become blind to potential problems! – You worked hard writing it, you checked it yourself! – You may still not see what could go wrong. Proof read your specification for spelling and appropriate word use. Use MS Word spell, grammar, and style checking features. Have another qualified person read your specifications and comment to you. – Send a draft to the end user for review and comments! – Have a peer in your office read the specification Do this as the last step before releasing the specs!

11 SPECIFICATIONS SOURCINGSCOPEAWARD SCHEDULEBUDGET PRICINGTs & Cs YOUR SPECIFICATIONS WILL INFLUENCE MANY ISSUES IN YOUR SOLICITATION OUTSIDE OF THE DESCRIPTION OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE - WIDEN YOUR VISION TO CONSIDER THEM! ADMINISTRATION


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