2019: Interesting Stuff

10th October 2019: APMPUK Conference

Enjoyed a great couple of days at the APMPUK conference 2019. Also enjoyed revisiting an old favourite topic of lessons learnt, which involved some thinking and research into the broader subject of receiving and giving feedback. 

Check out my earlier article on Lessons Learnt for more.  

July 31st 2019: Getting to Grips with Social Value 

Not quite hot on the heels of the Government consultation on Social Value in March, I got down and dirty with social value in a recent construction proposal. 

This led me to the Social Value Portal and a deep dive into the National TOMs Framework which comprehensively covers:

  • 5 Themes: key principles on which any organisation should be basing its  social value work: promoting skills and employment; supporting the growth of responsible regional businesses; creating healthier, safer and more resilient communities; protecting and improving our environment; promoting social innovation
  • 18 Outcomes: The objectives or goals that an organisation is looking to achieve that will contribute to the Theme.
  • 35 Measures: The measures that can be used to assess whether these Outcomes have been achieved. For the National TOMs Framework, these are action-based and represent activities that a supplier could complete to support a particular desired outcome.

The TOMs approach allows you to calculate real financial social value - far more impressive than vague statements about being a great place to work.


Fascinating stuff - and even more fascinating trying to get the boards of SMEs to take a serious look at it. But essential as social value starts to creep up the weightings in public sector tender documentation.


21st May 2019: Bid Libraries - a Blessing or a Curse

Imagine the scenario. You are responding to a Request for Proposal (RfP). You wearily put pen to paper knowing that you’re about to repeat yourself - you had a similar request not long ago. At best, you remember where it is and use it as a ‘starter for 10’. At worst, you begin from scratch. We’ve all been there.


Now imagine being able to go straight to a central resource – a library of some sort – where you can pick and choose, slice and dice, mix and match well-written, approved text and diagrams to your heart’s content.


Unfortunately, nothing is ever quite that black and white. Everything has a price. So, is a bid library worth the investment? Read my latest article to find out more.

April 20th 2019: Winning with DOS

No, that's not DOS the ancient Operating System, rather the UK Government Crown Commercial Service Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) Framework. 

Designed to make buying and selling software development services easier, DOS is easy to qualify for, but with over 2,000 suppliers assessing each published opportunity and up to 70 applying in some cases, competition is fierce. 

Success relies on a thorough understanding of the framework, intelligent application within a marketing and sales strategy and smart responses to the two stages of the process. 

i4 has teamed up with government procurement specialists, Advice Cloud, to develop this Winning with DOS course. Delivered at techUK, delegates can come for the morning (focused on stage 1 applications) or the full day (with the afteroon focusing on bid best practice). For more details see the techUK web-site or visit Advice Cloud

11th March 2019: Social Value Consultation

i4 has contributed thoughts to the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's consultation on how government should take account social value in the award of central government contracts. The Civil Society Strategy commits the government to use its buying power to deliver social change. Currently public sector procurers are required to award contracts to the most economically advantageous tender, while in the new proposal it is proposed to as well consider social value throughout procurement process considering the wellbeing of the individuals and communities, social capital and environment.

The Public Contracts Regulation 2015 require the award criteria to be linked to the subject matter of the contract and treat bidders equally and without discrimination. Public bodies already often go beyond the best price, considering wider social benefits. However, there currently isn’t a common standard tool and consistent approach across departments.

The new evaluation model defines government’s commercial objectives for social value articulating in strategic policy priorities. In the new model departments will be able to select policy outcomes out of a list of options that include themes such as diverse supply chains, skills and employment and inclusion and mental health and well- being. Each outcome will have a set of criteria and suggested evaluation questions. This is intended to have an effect of levelling the playing field to companies of all sizes and encouraging new employment opportunities.

10th January 2019: Bid and Proposal Jargon Buster

Happy New Year to everyone. For your delectation and delight, I have produced a Bid and Proposal Jargon Buster with almost a hundred terms to unravel the world of winning business.


Bid and Proposal Jargon Buster 2019.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [219.5 KB]

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The Government Commitment to SMEs

The UK government aspires to procure 33% of its goods and services from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Sounds good, but it can be daunting for those new to public sector bidding, who do not understand procurement rules and fear the red tape. 

If you need help, contact sarah@i4salesperformance.co.uk

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