You should review all activities undertaken for the contract. This will help you understand which areas performed well and areas for development. The areas identified should be acted upon to make improvements for the future.
Lessons learned can be undertaken at any time during the procurement process, for example:
After a contract has been awarded
To understand the areas that need to be amended for the future
During the lifetime of the contract
In order to incorporate any best practice/problem solving identified or implemented as soon as possible to reap any benefits
After the contract has ended
To aid future decisions and new contracts
All staff and suppliers involved with the bid can be asked for feedback. These people may be in your organisation or external to your organisation e.g. bidders.
Feedback can be provided in a number of ways e.g. face to face meetings, online feedback, etc. and given by a variety of roles e.g. bidder contract managers, procurement officers, logistics, estate managers, etc. However you should ensure that these people understand the process and are trained/experienced in providing this kind of feedback.
Lessons Learned - Example Questions
Questions which could be asked are:
- what worked well?
- what didn’t work well?
- what would you do differently in the future?
- were there any unresolved problems?
- were any innovations, workarounds or solutions used? If so, what improvements resulted?
- do you have ideas for improvements for future contracts?
- what contract areas were most important to you/your department?
- what issues occurred which were not anticipated?
- what extra costs occurred?
- were there processes used that could be improved upon?
- were there processes that are not needed?
- can ICT (Information and Communications Technology) systems be used to improve performance?
Changes identified may not be in procurement areas e.g. you may suggest improving communications and/or processes between internal departments.
It must be recognised that any lessons learned data could be subject to a freedom of information request. As a result any information held should be objective.
You have now completed Route 1.
Please remember that procurement is a continual process: continue to use lessons learned in all procurement exercises.