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12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - Mapping Internal Polic... · 1 reply · +1 points

I really like this. Very insightful. The example that jumps to mind immediately is social media, but it's one of many potential applications.

Just a thought - the Peak of Inflated Expectations can just as easily turn into the Trough of Disillusionment through lack of policy. If early adopters find that their use of a technology is not explicitly supported by policy, they likely won't use the technology to its full extent due to natural risk aversion. That can quickly turn expectation into disillusionment, and unless the risk aversion is overcome by policy, enlightenment may never arrive.

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12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - Monday Book Review: Tr... · 0 replies · +1 points

Like my math professor always used to say... "Do it once, it's a trick. Do it twice, it's a method."

12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - That fundamental chang... · 2 replies · +1 points

Another way to take advantage of public sector buying power to encourage disruptive innovation
would be to consciously frame RFPs in terms of problems rather than solutions. In my experience, RFPs are typically written to find the vendor who can best provide a particular solution. That means the people writing the RFPs have looked at a problem and decided on the solution.

I think in many cases the public servants are well placed to decide on the best solution. But they can't consider solutions that they don't know exist. If RFPs were written as problems that required a solution, you might get creative solutions that had never occurred to the public servants. Public servants are usually experts in their area, which means they know probably know all of the obvious solutions to a problem. But disruptive innovation almost always comes from somewhere completely different.

12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - That fundamental chang... · 1 reply · +1 points

Imagine next time this contract comes up for renewal, it is split into two contracts. One vendor would be assigned the IT work from 80 percent of the departments within the ministry, the other vendor would be assigned to the remaining 20 percent. The contract award for 20 percent of the work would be based more on creativity and innovation than on experience.

I think this would decrease the advantages of incumbency on the entire bidding process, since there would be effectively two incumbents who could compete on relatively equal terms. Vendors who have a innovative approach could use the smaller contract basically as a proof of concept . But if the POC fails, the impact could be mitigated by the larger vendor. Obviously this wouldn't make sense for all contracts. It would require a small sacrifice of 'sustained innovation' (i.e. efficiency) in the hopes of making space for disruptive innovation.

I should note that I am relatively new to government and not involved in procurement, although I do have a fair bit of experience writing proposals from the vendor side.

12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - That fundamental chang... · 1 reply · +1 points

I'm thinking of two vendors providing separate solutions to the same problem.

For example, my Ministry (provincial government) has a single contracted vendor for a huge range of our IT requirements. If we want to develop an application, we must use this one vendor. This adds some efficiency in that there is only one contract to manage and the vendor is able to take advantage of economies of scale which theoretically should keep the cost down.

The problem is that they don't provide very good or innovative service because they aren't particularly concerned that they will lose their contract when it comes up for renewal. They understand that it would be a massive undertaking to transfer all of the work to a new vendor starting from scratch, which makes their position as incumbent pretty safe. There is a very high entry barrier for a different vendor who would like to compete.

12 years ago @ CPSRenewal.ca - That fundamental chang... · 5 replies · +1 points

I think there are ways governments can use their purchasing power to encourage/support disruptive innovation without straying into partisan politics with some adjustments to the RFP process.

RPFs larger than a certain size should always award contracts to multiple vendors. For example, an RFP could specify that two contracts will be awarded, one for 80 percent of the work and one for 20 percent of the work. Bidders would have to declare which contract they were bidding on, and the evaluation criteria (or just the weighting of evaluation criteria) could be different for each contract. The smaller contract would place greater emphasis on creativity, the larger one would place more emphasis on experience.

This would make room for new creative vendors, keep larger established vendors on their toes, and make sure that the requirement is at least partially met if one of the vendors crashes and burns.

13 years ago @ Macleans.ca - Yesterday's tomorrow · 19 replies · +21 points

Most of that paragraph is prescient. But this...

"In this post-Harper Canada ... there is an organizationally strong, united Conservative Party."

... is far from certain. It makes me wonder - what will the Conservative party look like when Harper eventually leaves (or is forced out at leader)? Will someone else be able to hold it together?

13 years ago @ Macleans.ca - Advising the Governor ... · 3 replies · +5 points

Huh? How many justifications does an election need?

A government in contempt in Parliament is more than enough justification for an election. That's not really preposterous. Pretty straightforward, I would think.

13 years ago @ Macleans.ca - Advising the Governor ... · 5 replies · +7 points

It wasn't:

The justification for this current election is the fact that the government was found in contempt of Parliament.

You didn't:

From your post on another thread: "why was the vote on the 'contempt' charges moved to the day before the vote on the budget? Precisely because it was used as an excuse to force this fourth $300 million election in seven years."

You're welcome.

13 years ago @ Macleans.ca - Advising the Governor ... · 7 replies · +10 points

It wasn't, and you didn't.