You can capture lessons learned at any stage of the process
Lessons learned can be undertaken at any time during the procurement process, in fact capturing lessons early on can lead to better procurement outcomes.
It’s not just about procurement teams
All staff and suppliers involved with the bid can be asked for feedback. The better insight you have, the better your procurement will be.
Take every opportunity to get feedback and learn
Feedback can be provided in many ways and doesn’t have to be formal. Make the most of face to face meetings and online communities to get better feedback.
Asking the right questions leads to better feedback
Important questions to ask are: "What worked well?", "What didn’t work well?" and "What would you do differently in the future?".
Make sure you use the feedback you receive
You should amend areas of the procurement for next time; incorporate changes during the contract to gain benefits immediately and use to inform future decisions and new contracts.
5 things to know
What to think about first
Lessons learned can be undertaken at any time during the procurement process, for example:
- After a contract has been awarded
- During the lifetime of the contract
- After the contract has ended
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 used at different times for different purposes. These include:
After a contract has been awarded
To understand the areas that need to be amended for the future
During the lifetime of the contract
To incorporate any best practice/problem solving identified or implemented as soon as possible to reap any benefits
After the contract has ended
To help inform future decisions and new contracts
Feedback can be provided in many 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.
You should use this feedback to help inform the processes and procedures you and other procurement and commercial specialists manage.
Use the example questions to ask to capture lessons learned, which is available in ‘Downloads’.
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?
- Where are there processes that are not needed?
- Can ICT (Information and Communications Technology) systems be used to improve performance?
As you work through the life of the contract, capture “stories of change” (incremental steps towards achieving your goals and impact, and lessons learned) rather than only waiting until the end of the contract to write a case study (you should do that too).
Depending on the nature of the contract and the purchased goods or services, stories of change and case studies could include how you’re working / you worked with your supplier to:
- reduce CO2e emissions in their supply chains
- keep resources and materials in use for as long as possible, and avoiding all waste
- support good employment, local job retention and training, and contributing to community wealth-building.