It’s cliche to say that government procurement needs to be fixed, but much of the conversation around this topic happens randomly on social media, in a vacuum through exclusive or elusive groups, or through traditional organizations that operate in a closed, dated mindset with respect to broader inclusion or true innovation.
There are so many smart, passionate people sincerely dedicated to changing government procurement. What’s missing in this effort is a truly open, collaborative, specialized community focused on supporting one another, facilitating ideas for improvement and delivering a knowledge base of best practices.
What’s needed is stronger leadership within the disparate government procurement community to lead on these fronts. For government officials, it can’t be about how much you know about the nuances of procurement and the endless blockers that create the innovation stopgap. For vendors, it can’t be about how your product will solve all the problems. It must be about all aspects of the ecosystem coming together to have the conversation, cultivate the community and holistically transform government procurement at scale.
To help facilitate this, here’s my idea: Procurementeers, a volunteer-based, open community of civic innovators working to modernize government procurement. I’ve set up a simple website, Slack community, handbook, Twitter account, GitHub organization and starter ideas, such as a Procurement Camp and working group, for moving this project forward.
I’m not a government procurement enthusiast, but I do see a critical need for something like Procurementeers to move this much-needed transformation forward. I do not need or want to own or manage this community. I simply want to propose a way to facilitate this, so we can change procurement at scale.
My fear is that if the government procurement community — especially those who champion themselves as leaders — don’t address this topic in an open, inclusive, collaborative way, we’ll continue to experience the fixed, reductionist and incremental mindset and momentum we’ve seen to date.
Procurementeers is my attempt to inspire those who are passionate about changing government procurement with the hopes that this helps jump start your efforts.