In May 2020, Shared Services Canada (SSC) and TECHNATION agreed to collaborate on an Agile procurement pilot involving SSC’s Agile Procurement Process 3.0 (APP3.0) and Canada’s Digital Marketplace with the collective goal of increasing the participation of Canadian technology companies in SSC procurements, especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The objective of the collaboration between SSC and TECHNATION was to see if the combination of the digital marketplace and the simplified submission process under SSC’s APP3.0 could improve Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) awareness, education and opportunity to access SSC’s procurements.
Expected benefits of the collaboration included:
Progress to Date
By April 2021 we had completed five (5) solicitations, one of which includes three joint ventures between big businesses and SMEs who had progressed to the prototype stage. All contracts awarded to date have involved a SME.
Through our digital marketplace, TECHNATION was able to mobilize vendors to participate in the SSC agile procurement pilots in a timely manner. We also engaged our digital marketplace members to obtain their feedback so SSC could adjust the procurement process as needed.
Together, a new and trusted approach to government engaging vendors emerged, called the True Collaboration Process. This vendor engagement process has been instrumental to the success of Agile procurement process 3.0.
Referring back to the anticipated benefits of the collaboration, it is clear that it has improved outreach through the digital marketplace, there is increased access for SMEs, and it has provided greater visibility for the Government of Canada into innovative tech solutions. Access to the digital marketplace and the support of TECHNATION has been instrumental to bringing the right industry providers to the table at the outset of the SSC procurement process.
Why Agile Procurement Matters
So why is this agile procurement pilot so important to TECHNATION, its members, and the technology industry at large? Here are just a few reasons:
It provides open-source procurement from a larger pool of candidate companies, enabling a wider range of companies by size, region and area of specialization.
“The importance of having allyship and sponsorship to help amplify the voice of diverse business owners in a domain as large as the federal government is essential to even get in the room with potential buyers that don’t need to use a procurement platform.”
— Founder and Senior PM, smartgig IT
We are working with SSC on additional APP3.0 pilot solicitations in to Fall 2021. In the upcoming months, SSC will be piloting the Challenge Based Standing Offer model. To enable the agile procurement to become the “new normal”, SSC needs to create variations of the model that could be leveraged for requirements of all sizes and level of complexity. SSC will also begin training contracting officers in agile procurement.
TECHNATION will also host roundtable discussions together with SSC and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on Agile procurement starting in fall 2021. The goal is to ensure we have a government approach to ‘agile procurement’, not an agency / department approach. Members will be invited to participate. More details to follow.
Finally, through TECHNATION’s introduction of APP3.0 to the City of Toronto, the city is now in discussion with Shared Services Canada to deploy APP3.0 as a best practise in their procurement process.
For more information contact Michele Lajeunesse, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org)