Stage 3: Implementation
Step 3.2 - Procurement
It is likely that this procurement step will be carried out in parallel with the data collection.
The procurement of the innovation defined by the requirements detailed in Stage 2 will be initiated in accordance with the overall strategy considered and developed through this previous stage.
If this involves departures from existing standards appropriate measures and approvals must be sought. The innovation supplier would need to be selected on the basis of the combination of the quality and price which for a given service or project will achieve the delivery of best value.
For a large pilot there are likely to be many different procurement strands and it is essential that the requirements from each strand dovetails with each other and the overall delivery programme aligns.
A good contract should set out the obligations of the parties in a way that is:
The procurement contract will also form the foundation for a productive relationship between the HA as customer and the supplier. This must be built on good communication and trust to be truly effective. The formal contract forms the framework around which a good relationship can grow. If the contract was poorly constructed, it will be much more difficult to make the relationship a success. The contract should include as appropriate:
- A precise definition of what is to be provided and requirements to be met as clarified through Stage 2
- An agreed level of service and mechanism for payment reduction if it is not met
- Means to measure performance (KPI)
- Pricing mechanisms including where appropriate milestone payments, incentivisation/rewards, retentions, and if the contract is for more than 2 years, price variation mechanisms
- Plan to cover implementation/transition/rollout
- Acceptance strategy/test plan
- Ownership of assets and intellectual property
- Escalation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures
- Change control procedures
- Invoicing arrangements
Communication routes, typically at three levels
- Operational (end users/technical support staff)
- Business (contract manager and relationship manager on both sides)
- Strategic (senior management/board of directors)
- Contract management arrangements
- Collection and sharing of management information
- Agreed exit strategy and agreed break options
- Premises (where the goods/services will be delivered)
- Any sub-contractor details
- Authorities and responsibilities.
The above considerations are generic contract requirements providing an indication of areas for consideration in the preparation of the contract. Additional consideration may be necessary in the preparation of the contract with respect to the specific operational environment of the HA network. The continuity of operation of the HA network would be imperative but limited disruption may be necessary in order to implement the pilot. The limits of this disruption must be clearly defined. Similarly the extent of permitted access to control and equipment rooms must be clarified.