Last month, an on-line version of the Ottawa Business Journal contained a provocative headline that caught my eye, "Consulting industry warns city against new policy." The issue, dated May 19, 2006, had to do with the evaluation criteria used by the Ottawa City Council to select consultants.
The article stated, "Representatives from the city's engineering and construction associations were reacting to a suggestion by the city's auditor general that the council give more weight to price when it hands out consulting contracts. Alain Lalonde suggested price should count for 30 per cent of the score in assessing consulting and engineering contracts, rather than the existing 15 per cent."
The consultants reportedly told the city the change could backfire as senior consultants would be assigned to other projects.
How does your organization handle this issue?
How much weight do you give to the price when evaluating a consultant's proposal? Do you modify your standardized evaluation criteria matrix for each project that will involve external consultants? Or, do you have to construct new evaluation criteria for each project?
Just as there is no consistently right answer as to what percentage weight that price should be given, there is no consistently right answer as to how to best customize evaluation criteria for each project.
What's important is that you've thought about the issue and have a policy in place that guides your actions -- so you're not reinventing the wheel for each new project that involves consultants.