E-Learning project tenders – do they discourage innovation?

In Smaller RFPs, more agility and smartass kids, Mike O’Donnell claims that overly prescriptive and complex tender documents in the IT sector discourage those best able to compete the work and actively encourage large companies to take on the work at grossly inflated prices.

I’ve seen similar problems in some large e-learning projects. Often the RFP documents are overly prescriptive in the process and governance requirements. That is, they include detailed criteria on how the successful tenderer must be organised and managed. Of course, those commissioning such projects need some security as to the viability of the contractor. But some RFPs are so prescriptive the effect is to discourage or even prevent smaller, more agile contractors from taking part.

In an environment where we need all the innovation we can encourage, I believe those looking to commission e-learning projects need to rethink their approach.

What do you think?

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