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Best Practice

Best practice is a constantly moving target, never static.

In procurement best practice can depend on the context in which is to be used. What is best practice in one situation may be far from desirable in another situation.

There are some attributes which can usually be found in best practice procurement:
  • High accountability - the process is open and visible to everyone;
  • There is a focus on business outcomes for the purchaser;
  • The requirements for supplier performance are clear, simple and measurable; and
  • The whole process has been visualised and planned before it starts.

Fixation on a standard or generic process is, therefore, unlikely to yield a best-practice result for your purchase. Each part of a process needs to be critically examined so as to understand how it should work for that particular purchase.

Never say never.

Here are some discussions about parts of the procurement process that can sometimes be taken for granted:

  1. References. Are they a waste of time, or an essential for an informed decision?
  2. Budgets. Should the budget never be published, or are there times when it would be simply negligent not to publish a budget?
  3. Meetings with Tenderers. Can you afford to rely only on the papers when evaluating tenders?
  4. Evaluating Tenders. Eliminating bias and making choices.
  5. Complex Procurements. Issues for Managing Large and Complex Procurement.


There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply.

Josh Billings