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« Dark meat | Main | Your tax dollars at work »

Jan 27, 2011


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The rules gsogeek lists are basic for any work you would do as a consultant for work on that scale. Purchase orders should not be issued for anything of that size. I've worked with counties before that maintained "small works" rosters that had caps on them. These are pre-qualified consultants or providers. I'm not sure if Guilford has one or not, but they ought to have one for a variety of services so that when a task/job is needed, it can put that job out to everyone on the roster. A small works roster expedites the contracting process and allows for the execution of small jobs quickly. This was NOT a small job.

If the County doesn't revisit its vending/contracting processes from this episode, it is missing out on its own "teaching moment."


A fine mess you all have over there in the lovely Triad. I have a couple of questions.

Why does Guilford County need a custom-built CMS?What do they want to do that none of the off-the-shelf tools work for them? I didn't see anything on the XMG demo that couldn't be done with Wordpress or Movable Type, MySQL or Microsoft or Oracle, and a competent developer.

Was there something I, and others, would call Requirements Documents? I.e., something that spells out, in excruciating detail, exactly what the site is supposed to do. There would be one doc for the user side and one doc for the county's side. I.e., one from the perspective of people who visit the site and one from the perspective of county staffers who post content and interct with the users.

I'd guess they'd be about 50 pages in length.

Never, never, ever, spend money on a software development project without that kind of requirements document and a contractual obligation that the developer's success in meeting each requirement must be established before momey changes hands. If you depend only on the few pages in a purchase order and what is said in meetings attended by the client and managers from the development side, you are asking for trouble. I learned this after burning through several million of taxpayer cash for the fed and getting an exactly analagous result..

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