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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!

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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