Develop the statement of needs
The first step is to consult with key stakeholders and develop a high level statement of needs. This statement can later be developed into a detailed requirements specification.
- develop an articulate, clear and comprehensive statement of needs
- ask key stakeholders to endorse the statement of needs – remember customers, clients or NGO providers could all be key stakeholders.
The consultation should aim to ensure that:
- stakeholders constructively engage and have ‘buy-in’
- stakeholders are able to self-identify their current, predicted and emerging needs
- the consultation elicits information about individual and collective needs.
During the consultation, consider:
- what is the purpose of the procurement?
- who will be impacted by the procurement?
- who are the key stakeholders and what are their expectations?
- who are the major internal clients and what are their highest needs?
- who are major external users or recipients of the goods/services and what are their highest needs?
- what similarities and differences become apparent between the needs of the two groups?
From the consultation it will be important to:
- distinguish ‘needs’ from ‘wants’ and ‘desires’
- remove ambiguity, achieve clarity and obtain consensus
- bundle needs into related groups
- prioritise groups and ranked
- develop an articulate, clear, comprehensive high-level statement of needs
- obtain stakeholder verification and endorsement of the statement of needs.
The statement of needs will later inform:
- the type and extent of further provider community research and analysis
- sustainability opportunities, issues and risks – sustainability links social, economic and environmental goals together
- how we identify the potential approaches to meet the client needs. For example, if we are the experts in designing and delivering the service to meet client needs, then our approach will be more prescriptive about the service. If we are not the service design experts then we may ask potential providers and/or service users to identify how client outcomes might be achieved
- how we identify the capability and sustainability of potential providers
- how we appraise options, to select the preferred approach
- developing a specification of requirements detailing the nature and scope of the services that will be required to satisfy the needs
- developing evaluation criteria and weightings.