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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Some substantive updates to the definition of Scrum artifacts may seem like minor clarifications to terms and definitions, but they have quite profound implications. In this article, we discuss these changes and how they affect the ScrumMaster (or project manager) tasked with delivering a “done” increment.
Does your project need outside help? You’ll need to consider a few things before making your pitch to the necessary senior leadership and actually bringing in an outside consultant. Here, we cover some key considerations.
This will be the first in a series of articles that will look to provide the background of issues involved with managing an agile software development project under a traditionally linear and sequential project procurement process. Software development has been deliberately chosen for the example industry since that’s the domain for which agile is most typically used, but for those using agile in other industry domains, the general issues and proposed solution should work equally well within your industry.
Procurement management is one of the knowledge areas in PMBOK, but procurements for large computer systems or multi-year projects can easily take on a life of their own. This article will provide guidelines for issues that are unique to a procurement project. Ensuring that these guidelines are followed (or at least considered) by the appropriate stakeholder will assist the PM in successfully completing the procurement so that the real work can begin.
RFPs are a double-edged sword for many vendors. In the first article, we looked at the challenges with layout and content. In this second installment, we look at the challenges vendors experience in the process from the point they are made aware of the RFP to the submission of the bid.
Have you ever thought about the RFP process from the other perspective--the potential vendor who responds? An RFP response is more than just a proposal to supply products and/or services; in many cases it is an opportunity to showcase a potential vendor to the procuring organization. But when some vendors reply to RFPs, you have to wonder what they thought that they were bidding on. In this article, we flag some of the things vendors should consider.
In the ever-increasing speed trip down the ramp of badly made cost-cutting decisions, many mainstream manufacturers are compromising on the quality of their products. To help address this, we all need to more carefully monitor the quality of our supplier goods.
Some RFPs are bad…really bad. It makes you wonder how clear the purchasing organization is on what they are trying to achieve. Here, we look at the process that an organization goes through in preparing and issuing an Request For Proposal--and identify some best practices.
Although the 71st anniversary of Operation Dynamo, which took place during the second World War, was celebrated earlier in the summer, we can still continue to celebrate its achievements in the extraordinary results that the use of "crowdsourcing" in projects can deliver.
This two-part article will provide you with some insight into some of the most frustrating aspects that vendors experience when they attempt to decipher the hieroglyphics found in the proposal documents. The first part will focus on the content of the RFP.
Where evolving procurement requirements come from, and why, is in reality no different than how requirements evolve in any organizational area. The challenge is that they compound themselves, layering restriction upon constraint upon requirement. What can an organization do to improve its procurement efforts? What can be done to make procurement work in support of projects rather than be a barrier, roadblock or black hole?