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Matthew Fleharty

Contractor Selection & Making Better Predictions

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On my way into work this morning, NPR aired a segment on making better predictions (http://www.npr.org/2016/09/01/492203116/want-to-make-better-predictions-researchers-explore-where-we-go-wrong).  The research (http://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/1074/) was focused on predicting sporting events and in cases where more details were given or required to be assessed, individuals made (some) worse predictions.  Disclaimer: I haven't completely read the dissertation (it's an EOFY work day and the dissertation is 200+ pgs...), but I couldn't help sharing due to its applicability to the contractor selection process, which is ultimately a predictive process itself.  Assuming these issues/difficulties are also present in the contractor selection process, the large amounts information/data requested from contractors could not only be wasteful (in that it doesn't help the acquisition team make a better decision team) it might actually be harmful (in that it results in a worse prediction).  Thoughts?

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Every source selection decision is a prediction. There are two keys to making better source selection decisions: (1) choose the right evaluation factors and (2) request the right information in proposals. Ninety-nine percent of agencies haven't figured that out. If they had, the "narrative" "technical proposal," the essay contest, would have all but disappeared long ago.

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