PurchTips - Edition # 89


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The Procurement Project Management Plan

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

How Do You Plan Complex Procurement Projects?

In the October 4, 2005 edition of PurchTips, myself and Diana Lindstrom – lifelong project manager, former strategic sourcing manager, and current president of Los Lobos Consulting – described how to develop a procurement risk analysis. But a risk analysis is only one of seven components of a good procurement project plan. Diana Lindstrom rejoins me for this edition of PurchTips to explain the other six components, which are:

  1. Scope. "The scope is the goal of the procurement," Lindstrom explains. "Sometimes, you can use the description from your RFP, RFI, or RFQ for your scope. But the big secret is that it has to be very specific and document every assumption that has been made."
  2. Schedule. "The schedule includes a work breakdown structure – the specific steps that are required to complete the procurement," she says. "You break down each activity into its smallest task. Then you can assign a specific amount of time it is going to take to do each one of those tasks."
  3. Budget. Lindstrom notes: "The budget can mean different things to different companies. In some companies, if you're billing your time to specific internal projects or the business unit, the budget does become important. The easiest way to create a budget is to tie it to the schedule." She suggests multiplying the number of hours of work by the pro-rated salaries (perhaps including benefits) of the workers.
  4. Quality Plan. "The quality plan lays out how you're going to maintain the standards and requirements for a good procurement," she says, adding examples of ensuring that competition is fair and that suppliers are qualified.
  5. Human Resources Plan. "The human resources plan describes the qualifications of the personnel that you need on your team," Lindstrom explains. "Usually, you can get the people you want if you can justify exactly why you need them. What is it that they know or do that you need" Remember to document it if you aren't allowed to use the people that you asked for. That can help you in explaining why your project is not doing as well as you thought it ought to do."
  6. Communications Plan. "The communications plan clearly describes who is on the team, who the end users are, and anyone else affected by the procurement," she says. "It also defines the role each stakeholder has within that procurement." Lindstrom notes that including titles and contact information is important as well as defining how communications will take place, citing the example of the procurement professional being the only one to communicate with bidders during the RFP process.

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