Skip to main content

Requests for Proposals and the Iron Triangle

One of the unchanging truths of project management is the tradeoff between time, features, and cost.  This relationship is called the project management triangle, iron triangle, or triple constraint.

Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management_triangle

The project management triangle has implications for organizations which issue requests for proposals (RFPs).  Typically, the goal of the RFP is to solve for price and to hire a vendor to provide services or a solution.

The more information that an RFP provides on the schedule and scope, the more accurate the cost can be.  Without sufficient details on the scope of a project, the vendor is forced to guess.  One guessing approach is called time boxing.  In this method, the vendor established a schedule and then determines the cost for a typical team to provide services for a comparable project.   Time boxing means that some features must be discarded in order to meet the schedule and cost.

The absence of requirements details, or the inclusion of vague and open-end requirements drives up the cost of bids to cover risk.  Unspecified deliverables have unspecified costs. The result is often that no acceptable proposals are received.

Typically, the budgeted cost is not revealed to the bidders.  Conventional wisdom is that sharing the budget would stop bidders from offering a price lower than the budget and hence make a bargain impossible. 

The reality is that a budget can help vendors come up with realistic and accurate pricing, as well as offering a viable project approach. 

If an RFP contains only one of cost, scope and schedule, it is unlikely to result in a successful procurement.  The best approach is to include all three and ask vendors to show how they can solve the problem best within these constraints.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act enacted in May 2014 calls for making spending data available in open, standardized formats to be published online.  It is a continuation of transparency initiatives and lessons learned with experiences such as grants.gov, the 2009 economic stimulus under the Recovery Act and the spending site USASpending.gov.

Government grantees will have significant new administrative responsibilities.  Many organizations that were tracking grants in spreadsheets or documents will have to adopt more sophisticated automated grant management systems such as Microsoft Grants Manager to keep up with reporting rules.

For profit companies will lose some privacy as a result of this law.  Grant recipients will be required to disclose information including officer salaries.

Continued improvements to publishing grant opportunities such as grants.gov may make it easier to find grants. These reforms together are designed to improve the effectiveness of grant prog…

Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

One of InfoStrat's most popular solutions is Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon).



Here are some answers to frequently asked question on this solution:
Can I add new fields to the solution?  -- Yes, the solution is fully customizable and you can add your own new fields to any form, view or report.Does Dynamics 365 for GovCon work on mobile devices?  -- Yes, Microsoft offers mobile apps for all the most popular platforms including iPhone, iPad, and Android phone and tablets.Does Dynamics 365 connect with bid data systems such as Deltek and Onvia?  -- Some information services, such as Onvia, offer integration with Dynamics 365.  Others require third party solutions such as the InfoStrat integration with Deltek GovWin IQ.What do customers typically customize for their unique requirements? -- Not all contractors follow the same steps in the capture process.  Most clients will tailor the business process to add or remove steps in order to match their sales methodology.  Of…

InfoStrat Joins Microsoft CityNext

This month my company InfoStrat announced its participation in Microsoft CityNext, a global initiative empowering cities, businesses and citizens to re-imagine their futures and cultivate vibrant communities. Through the Microsoft CityNext initiative, Microsoft and InfoStrat will help leaders to do “new with less,” by combining the power of technology with innovative ideas to connect  governments, businesses and citizens with city services that increase efficiencies, reduce costs, foster a more sustainable environment and cultivate communities where people thrive.
In a recent study, IDC named Microsoft the most trusted smart-city vendor. "Whether it's traffic congestion, citizen services, energy efficiency or operating costs, our Microsoft CityNext partners are equipped to tackle whatever problem or priority local governments want to address. Microsoft’s IDC smart-city scores are really a credit to our partners, which leverage our trusted cloud platform, powerful data analytic…