Contract Mobilisation Is Where Assumptions Are Laid To Rest
The reality for large tenders is that neither the customer nor bidding organisations are in possession of all the facts that will influence how the service should be provided. Assumptions help the process move forward.
Ideally, any assumptions will be a statement of common understanding about where there are knowledge gaps. They shouldn’t be a safety net in case the service turns out to be harder to deliver than expected.
How you handle assumptions during the tendering process and how efficiently and openly they are resolved during contract mobilisation are pretty good indicators of the strength of partnership working.
Looking at two significant aspects of property services delivery underlines why addressing assumptions during mobilisation is so important. These are stock condition data and the expectations of residents and stakeholders.
Stock condition data is a bit of a grey area for many social landlords. It’s becoming even more significant in the face of evolving compliance regimes and net zero carbon goals. The lack of reliable data can even be one of the main factors that led the social housing provider to review its property services arrangements in the first place.
The condition and compliance status of the existing housing stock has a massive influence on priorities and programming. There’s no easy way around this other than to make validating compliance and condition data a high priority during mobilisation – and to have open channels of communication and trust on both sides.
If it’s not possible to survey the entire stock during mobilisation, suitable archetypes should be selected to indicate the level of accuracy in existing data. This isn’t a simple exercise but it’s essential if you want to lay the foundations for a successful partnership.
Similarly, contract mobilisation is an opportunity to understand stakeholder and resident expectations and preferences. Working assumptions can be made based on demographics and experiences with similar partnerships but there are always unique elements that affect service delivery.
You can’t know what the exceptions and unique needs will be until you’ve conducted engagement workshops and detailed consultation.
Contract mobilisation is a critical phase where the issues of data management, KPIs, roles and responsibilities and supply chain engagement are resolved. Just as importantly, it’s the stage where assumptions are challenged and replaced with facts.
For more information about Osborne’s approach to contract mobilisation contact Jo Fletcher (firstname.lastname@example.org).