Procurement Planning

Plan Procurements is a process of identifying what goods or services you're going to purchase from outside the organization and which needs the project team can meet. Part of what you'll accomplish in this process is determining whether you should purchase the goods or services and, if so, how much and when. Keep in mind that I'm discussing the procurement from the buyer's perspective, because this is the approach used in the PMBOK® Guide.

The Plan Procurements process can influence the project schedule, and the project schedule can influence this process. For example, the availability of a contractor or special-order materials might have a significant impact on the schedule. And conversely, your organization's business cycle might have an impact on the Plan Procurements process if the organization is dependent on seasonal activity. The Estimate Activity Resources process can also be influenced by this process, as will make-or-buy decisions (I'll get to those shortly).

You need to perform each process in the Project Procurement Management Knowledge Area (beginning with Plan Procurements and ending with Close Procurements) for each product or service that you're buying outside the organization. If you're procuring all your resources from within the organization, the only process you'll perform in this Knowledge Area is the Plan Procurements process.

Sometimes, you'll procure all the materials and resources for your project from a vendor. In cases like these, the vendor will have a project manager assigned to the project. Your organization might choose to have an internal project manager assigned as well to act as the conduit between your company and the vendor and to provide information and monitor your organization's deliverables. When this happens, the vendor or contracting company is responsible for fulfilling all the project management processes as part of the contract. In the case of an outsourced project, the seller—also known as the vendor, supplier, or contractor— manages the project and the buyer becomes the stakeholder. If you're hiring a vendor, don't forget to consider permits or professional licenses that might be required for the type of work you need them to perform.

Several inputs are needed when planning for purchases. You'll look at them next.

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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