More Purchasing Project Tips

PurchTips edition #27


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Learn From A Purchasing Project Specialist

This resource features a tip-laden interview with Patricia K. Vaia, PMP, Executive Consultant for PK Solutions, Inc. based in Export, PA. Pat helps high tech, manufacturing, health care and educational entities manage projects, reengineer processes, and improve their supply chain management. Prior to founding PK Solutions, Pat held project management and purchasing positions in large and medium size companies such as Sony Electronics and Marconi, PLC.

NLP: If a purchasing professional with no project management experience is asked to lead a project, what is the first thing he or she should do?

PKV: The project leader's initial effort should be to clarify and document the project's deliverables as explained or envisioned by the project sponsor. Review this document with the project sponsor and obtain his/her approval and signature.

NLP: What is one common project management mistake and how could the purchasing professional avoid it?

PKV: One of the most common project management mistakes is the absence of an experienced project facilitator and a managed project plan to provide the discipline, structure, and guidance required to succeed. Effective front-end project planning is a high-leverage activity that purchasing professionals should either perform or obtain assistance in developing. This should include identifying key stakeholders, assumptions, risks, deliverables, resources, etc.

NLP: If a purchasing project is falling behind schedule, how should a purchasing professional approach his or her management with an update?

PKV: Be honest with management! Use your project plan and prepare a PowerPoint presentation to explain at a scheduled meeting: (a) why the project is falling behind, (b) how the lost project time could be made up, (c) how the budget will be effected, and (d) three (3) options for management to consider.

Thanks, Pat!

Next Level Purchasing, Inc. appreciates Pat's willingness to share her insights with members of the FREE Purchasing Resources Program. If your organization is seeking a project manager or process engineering consultant, you can contact Pat directly at (724) 244-9128.

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