How Selecting Your Date for Prom Highlights the Flaw of the RFP Process

I had the privilege last Saturday to be an active part of the graduation party for my son’s high school class, and I hate to say I was “working” while I was there – but it dawned on me how applying the principles of the highly used RFP process would often lead to the wrong decision re: selection of partner.

The young girls were absolutely stunning, and the young boys looked so handsome all dressed up and ready to take the world by storm.  I think we can all remember the stress involved in picking the all-important prom date – and that stress didn’t just involve who was the prettiest.  But really, what does that have to do with selecting an ERP system? Actually, a lot.

Based on the look there were some obvious candidates to be picked first, but this is where experience with the potential date comes into play. It matters how people react on a stormy day when things are not developing just like expected; it matters who will respond when you ask for help even if it is a bit inconvenient; it matters who will let you know if you are making the wrong decision; and it of course matters who will stand by your side when you need it most.

Looks won’t do that by itself; you need more substance. You need a good person inside, you want someone by your side who will be there 5 years from now. That’s what partnerships (and friendships are all about).

If you cut away all the glossy materials and yes, yes, yes answers to the RFP selection process – and really think deep down inside “who do I want to be my RFP date” – will you make that selection based on just picking without engaging and understanding the “candidate”? Will you do it based on a one day interview process ? No, you identify your preferred partner based on so much more – and even if your choice is “not available” – at least you have gone through the right process…

You might not end up with the best looking date, but hopefully you’ll get one that shares your values, respects you as the person you are and has chosen to partner with you because of a common alignment. And that will be proud of saying 5 years from now, “that was my graduation date and we are still the best of friends.”

And from a proud dad : My son passed his test in flying colors – he did not apply the RFP principles, but he still ended up next to what looked like a super choice.

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