Project management becomes so much more complicated when contracts get involved. If nothing else, it seems to cause so many more project managers (or people who call themselves project managers) to pop out of the woodwork. This should be a good thing, but it can also be an unhelpful complication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our webinar A Comparison and Contrast Between PM and CM Methodologies, Processes and Roles focused on contract management methodology and how it can be applied to an individual’s role and organization. Participants walked away from the webinar with renewed insight, and here the presenter tackles some of the questions from that session.
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.
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.
...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?
According to the Project Management Institute, acquiring the goods and services that are necessary for a project to succeed follows four specific processes. This article continues the series of walking through the processes within each knowledge area.
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.
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.|
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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?
Transitions can be difficult when management and stakeholders change--something that happens on a regular basis in the government. Some basic guidelines can keep the project on track.
A new agile procurement process--one that can operate in conjunction with and alongside an agile software development methodology--should significantly improve both the procurement of software vendor’s services and and successful delivery of software projects. This article will explore the underlying principles as well as map the reconciliation points required to harmonize agile development and procurement methods.