Writing Effective Technical Specifications

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An outline of training on writing effective technical specifications for public works construction projects.

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  • Michael E. Purdy Michael E. Purdy May 8, 2008 Michael E. Purdy
  • Writing Effective Technical Specifications

    1. 1. Writing Effective Technical Specifications for Public Construction Projects Mike Purdy Michael E. Purdy Associates (206) 295-1464 [email_address] www.mpurdy.com
    2. 2. - Agenda <ul><li>What Does Your State Law Require? </li></ul><ul><li>Why Good Specifications Are Important </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of Specification Language </li></ul><ul><li>Tips in Writing Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Warranties </li></ul><ul><li>Bidder Responsibility Criteria </li></ul>
    3. 3. What Does Your State Law Require? <ul><li>Learn what your state law requires says that public agencies must comply with regarding specifications for your public works construction projects. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why Good Specifications Are Important <ul><li>Why do we have competitive bidding? </li></ul><ul><li>How do specifications affect bidding? </li></ul><ul><li>How do specifications help control costs? </li></ul><ul><li>How do specifications ensure a quality project? </li></ul><ul><li>How specifications impact permit issuance? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Types of Specifications <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Standard </li></ul><ul><li>Proprietary (Sole Source) </li></ul><ul><li>Building Engineering Systems </li></ul>
    6. 6. Sources of Specification Language <ul><li>Standard Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Other Government Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants (architects and engineers) </li></ul><ul><li>Previous projects </li></ul><ul><li>Custom written by public agency staff </li></ul>
    7. 7. Tips in Writing Specifications <ul><li>Disputes </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity and Simplicity </li></ul><ul><li>Say it Once </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Make the Contractor Responsible </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Submissions with Bid </li></ul><ul><li>Means and Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Level of Precision </li></ul><ul><li>Verifying Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Streamlined specs vs. full sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Words and Phrases to Avoid </li></ul>
    8. 8. Interpretation of Specifications <ul><li>Complementary components </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret documents as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Order of Precedence </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with Ambiguities </li></ul>
    9. 9. Warranties <ul><li>Types of Warranties </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of length of warranties </li></ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul>
    10. 10. Bidder Responsibility Criteria <ul><li>What is “Responsibility”? </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Bidder Responsibility Criteria: </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for writing Supplemental Bidder Responsibility Criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Specification Qualifications </li></ul>
    11. 11. Want More Information on Writing Effective Technical Specifications? <ul><li>Duration: Normally a 4 hour class </li></ul><ul><li>Cost: Cost varies depending on location and travel time </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Us: Contact Michael E. Purdy Associates to discuss scheduling this training for your agency or company </li></ul>
    12. 12. Michael E. Purdy Associates - Contact Us Mike Purdy Principal (206) 295-1464 [email_address] www.mpurdy.com Mike Purdy’s Public Contracting Blog: http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com
    13. 13. Michael E. Purdy Associates - About Us <ul><li>Public Contracting Advice </li></ul><ul><li>for Public Agencies & Businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing and implementing strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solving problems and addressing challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing tailored training </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Michael E. Purdy Associates - Subscribe by e-mail to the Blog
    15. 15. <ul><li>Michael E. Purdy Associates: Mike Purdy has more than 29 years of experience as a manager in public contracting and procurement. He is the principal of Michael E. Purdy Associates ( www.mpurdy.com ), a consultant firm established in 2005 to help public agencies and businesses develop and implement effective contracting strategies, solve contracting problems, and learn more about contracting and procurement through tailored training. He maintains the popular Public Contracting Blog at http://PublicContracting.blogspot.com . </li></ul><ul><li>Experience: Mike is also the Contracts Manager for the University of Washington’s Capital Projects Office and is responsible for managing design and construction contracts for more than $1 billion worth of projects at the University. Before joining the UW in 2005, he spent five years at the Seattle Housing Authority where he served as Contracting and Procurement Manager, overseeing all of the contracting and purchasing (construction, design consultants, other consultants, goods, supplies, and services) for the largest residential landlord in the state. Prior to that he worked for the City of Seattle for more than 21 years, where he administered the City’s construction and consultant contracts as the City’s Contracting Manager. </li></ul><ul><li>Education: He has a bachelor’s degree in business and public administration and an MBA, both from the University of Puget Sound, and a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. </li></ul>

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