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Is there a charter for this project? What is the supplier supposed to be supplying - the majority of the deliverables for the project or just a small subset of them?
Hi Divya, This is when I'd be bringing out the PMBOK guide to give you an idea of the initial steps for starting a project and what needs to happen next.
Have you worked with this supplier before? Have you got existing working processes established with them?
Good luck in starting your project!
I can write a lot but my recommendation is focus on project procurement (just to put some context). Your organization´s procurement area is key to help you. There are lot of things to take into account from legal to work details specific. That will limit your work as project manager. Into each initiative I have to deal with multiple providers belonging to multiple countries.
These are some of the immediate steps:-
1) Make sure you thoroughly understand the Project scope and deliverable. Check for any artifact like Project Charter or Business Case in relation to the project. Understand the reporting requirements in relation to the project , the composition of your project board, your project sponsors , your team and your key stakeholders.
2) Understand what parts of the project are delivered by the SOW and how it fits in the big picture. As you get more clarity on what is to be delivered , you can start creating a Work Breakdown structure in a simple tool like Visio.
3) Sit with your sponsor or Finance Manager . Understand the Project funding. How much money is allocated to this SOW ? to the Project as a whole? Do you need to procure additional software? additional Human Resources? Additional Services? If you forecast that not enough money is allocated to complete the project, you need to raise it immediately with your sponsor and Project Board , so this background work on Project Funding is pivotal !
4) Go through the content of the SOW and understand the relevant Project Management areas- especially regarding Risks, Assumptions, Scope, Schedule, Cost Breakdown
5) Get the SOW reviewed by a member of your Procurement and Legal Team for terms and conditions . Make sure that they sign off and accept it , so you and your company are protected.
6) Next, get your Project's Subject Matter Expert or technical expert to check on the deliverable in the SOW and make sure it makes full sense to them ; especially look at the Assumptions, In-scope and Out of scope items in the SOW with them. Have a line by line walk-through with them if required.
7) Ask to meet a reference customer of this supplier and have a brief chat regarding their experience with this supplier and the "Gotchas".
8) Have a project kick off with the supplier and your core team to address any clarifications regarding the SOW.
9) Once you know exactly what this supplier is going to deliver and what your team is going to work on in the project, create a Schedule using any of your preferred PM scheduling tools eg MS Project . You can then refine your risks and issues log with your team.
10) Start working on a Project Management Plan
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