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The traditional approach to IT service acquisitions is to put a solicitation on the street and evaluate written proposals of how a contractor would design, build, and implement a new IT system. Does anyone have experience or can point me to IT service acquisitions where rather than direct potential contractors to "Tell" us how they'll do something, we direct them to "Show & Tell" us how they do it? In other words, a group I'm working with is exploring the notion of providing a concept paper and 4 databases (web, access, excel, sharepoint, etc...) along with fake data from each and providing potential contractors the time (60-90 days) to provide a live system for us to actually test. In theory, this will minimize the failure rate (typically high) of contractors to deliver on time and within budget, not to mention a viable product. This approach would enable us to see which company can actually do the work and do it the best, and supposing it works, we could provide them with the contract to finalize the system, maintain it, and perform ad hoc upgrades. What I'm looking for are examples across contracting where this has happened or something similar so we can mitigate failure and achieve success. Thanks, Mark