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Lessons from a Successful Nuclear Project

by Bruce Harpham

Nuclear technology and project management have a long standing relationship. The River Corridor Closure Project was a finalist for the PMI Project of the Year award in 2015. As a large-scale project that dealt with significant hazards and large budgets successfully, there is much to learn from this project.

Valentine’s Eve Negotiations: A Story of Ethical Procurement

by Debasis Chakrabarti

Negotiators in this story followed the rules and ethics of the game. The goal was to maximize the gain of their respective organizations. There was no compromise on integrity. At the same time, the instinct of a youngster and the wisdom of a veteran collaborated to take the game beyond zero-sum and made it win-win…

How to Buy Well: A Short Guide to Ethical Procurement

by Bruce Harpham

Once project planning begins, procurement quickly becomes a vital activity. Whether you are building a bridge, installing a software upgrade or launching a new product, procurement matters to project success. Procurement poses both ethical and practical challenges.

How to Better Manage Fixed Bid IT Projects

by Subhasis Purkayastha

In fixed bid projects, effective project selection, vendor management, a good contract, organizational change management and project management all play a role in ensuring a positive outcome. In this article, the author discusses how to manage fixed bid IT projects with a focus on the vendor's perspective. The crucial phases in the lifecycle of a fixed bid project and how to effectively navigate them are examined.

A Comparison and Contrast Between Contract Management and Project Management (Part 2)

by Steve Olson

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the types of contracts, the CM methodology, profession and associations, and the role of the contract manager. Now we’ll review CM’s control tools, best practices, key success factors and the causes of failed contracts. Hopefully, this article and upcoming webinar will provide food for thought on how you can apply one or more of these to your PM role, organization or project.

A Comparison and Contrast Between Contract Management and Project Management (Part 1)

by Steve Olson

What can we learn from contract management and apply to our roles, organizations and projects? Welcome to this two-part article where we’ll examine the CM profession and its people, processes, tools and key success factors. Its objective is to give you a basic understanding of the CM profession and their associations, roles, methods and tools, and success factors for managing their contracts to successful outcomes.

Pre-Paid Staffing Model: A Distributed Factory

by Sreenivas Kunapuli

There are essentially two types of billing for contract work—Fixed Price (FP) or Time and Materials (T&M). Both have their advantages and disadvantages. This article introduces a third type of billing for a contract, called “Pre-Paid” (PP) billing. The Pre-Paid staffing model has an interesting parallel to flight booking and looks at the economies of scale to benefit both the provider and the client.

Contracting for Infrastructure Technology (IT) Services – “Software as a Service” Projects

by Janice Blake, PMP

With business competition increasing, organizations have turned to third parties for delivery models that offer new ways of fulfilling their information processing and data needs. Managing an IT service is very different from managing IT products and requires new skills. Contract establishment, vendor management and education of the business staff is needed. This paper addresses some of the key areas to consider when contracting for large-scale IT service contracts.

Stepping Your Way Through Vendor Negotiations

by Teresa R. Ramsey

...or how a DIY trouper never stops learning. As this project manager planned her next big do-it-herself project, she started to parallel her effort to those she has encountered many times when executing a program or project at work. What can you learn from her experience...and mistakes?

An Insider's Guide to Shopping for Consultants

by Mark Mullaly, Ph.D., PMP

How you go about shopping for a consultant is critical. Most companies do it poorly rather than doing it well. This makes the entire process more frustrating, time consuming and expensive for all parties, consultants and customers alike. In the hope that some of this frustration can be minimized, we present an insider's guide to shopping for a consultant.

Topic Teasers Vol. 22: Agile Procurement

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA

Question: Since our agile team is self-managed, we have recently received notice that we can also oversee procurement on items that would not be commonly used by the rest of the organization. None of us has a background in this area. How do we make good buying decisions?

A. People who are agile should not be buying things. That slows down software development. Tell management you will need a Procurement Department to make purchases so you are not involved in this low-level process in any way.
B. Agile projects do not need anything except enthusiastic and inventive people to create success. Leave any procurement issues to those who follow traditional project management processes.
C. If your team is often short of money to add all the extra bells and whistles to the project, being in charge of procurement gives you the opportunity to ask prospective vendors for free merchandise to use for the project or for team incentives.
D. There are some common questions you can ask to help the team make better procurement decisions. It is a positive move to gain procurement responsibility since you are in the best position to evaluate buying options and get the features you really need to optimize your project success.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

The Path to the PMP (Part 12)

by Bruce Garrod

The Project Procurement Management knowledge area often causes stress to potential PMP exam takers, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are, however, a few important elements within the process that will need to be studied in further detail.

Evaluating Consultants

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Just having bodies in seats is not enough for success; it needs to be the right bodies at the right time. When a project involves a consultant, it is important to evaluate the resource and not take their resume or proposal at face value.

Insourcing vs. Outsourcing

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Sometimes it's a knock-down, drag-out brawl between proponents of insourcing and outsourcing. When the final bell rings, who will still be standing?

The Highs and Lows of Contract Project Management

by Andy Jordan

Done well, contract-based project management can deliver the kind of results that simply wouldn’t be possible using only employee resources; done poorly, it can be a disaster.

Hiring a Consultant: What to Do, What Not to Do...and Why

by Mark Mullaly, Ph.D., PMP

Is "consultant" a dirty word? Many consultants get a bad name from the fact that they become indistinguishable from the organizational employees that they work alongside. How do you know that hiring a consultant is a good idea?

The Key to Optimum Outsourcing

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Some studies have indicated that the real benefits of offshore outsourcing can be diminished by issues in communication, skill sets and accountability. But if managed properly, offshore IT projects can reap substantial rewards.

The Consulting Relationship: A Matter of Trust

by Andy Jordan

Many consulting engagements see frustrated consultants because they are not allowed to do what they feel is needed to maximize the chances of success. Here, we look at how these scenarios can be avoided--something that starts with trust.

The Pros and Cons of Consultants

by Michael Wood

What comes to mind when you ponder the possibility of engaging a consultant? Dread or excitement? The high cost or opportunity for growth? Most of us have heard good things and bad things about using consultants, most of which are true.

Build or Buy: How Do You Decide?

by Andy Jordan

Build versus buy decisions are crucial for success, but they aren’t simple. Some elements will be developed in house and some will be outsourced. But with such a wide ranging impact, how do you decide on the best approach?

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"Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes."

- Chinese Proverb

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