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The Secret

Recently the book "The Secret" was released.  Now in full disclosure I have not read it.  My understanding is that it purports to give you the secret to being happier and wiser.  I can’t speak to the accuracy of the book, but I can tell you there is a secret to being successful in providing service to the Public Sector.  If you follow this simple rule you will experience success beyond your wildest expectations.

Do what you say you are going to do, for the price you said you would do it.

Of course, everyone says, "we all do that".  Yet, time and time again companies don’t.  Usually, it’s not intentional.  They start by not truly understanding what the public sector client is asking for, after all bureaucratese is a different language, then, they under quote the job in order to win the bid.  Things really go down from there as they can’t figure out why the client is demanding so many changes and expecting them to eat the cost.  It’s not long before we are reading about another failed government project and possibly another bankrupt government vendor.  I am continually amazed at the number of large Fortune 500 companies that fail to grasp this simple concept.  Of course there are some companies that have based their entire growth strategy on this technique.  Tell them whatever they want to hear and quote them an unbelievable price.  Then jack your revenue with change orders.

Before you can successfully do what you are going to do, you need to understand what they really need.  It won’t be in the bid documents, they won’t be able to explain it to you, but they will know it when they see it.  You have to understand their business.  You need to literally "feel their pain".  Then and only then can you give them a winning and deliverable solution.  Once you have that you can wrap an accurate price around it.  The days of winning a government bid and then change ordering it into profitability are gone.  Governments have become much more astute when it comes to project management, but their own rules often complicate the process of procuring the right solution.

If you are the one who deciphers the code, then you can be the one who gets to do what you say you will, for the price you quoted.  But remember, shhhh, it’s a secret!