Procurement Knowledge Area

Procurement Management in Small Projects (Part Two)

Welcome to the second post to discuss Procurement Management in a small project.  Last time, I talked about Plan Procurement Management.  Today, I’ll address Conduct Procurements, Control Procurements, and Close Procurements processes.

These two articles are part of a larger series that focuses on small projects within the framework of the Project Management Institute’s Knowledge Area framework.  Although projects of all sizes need to address each Project Management process, smaller efforts need to tailor implementation to suit their needs, budget, and scope.  However, it’s not always clear how or what should be modified, if anything at all.  As regular readers of this space will know, sometimes it’s not possible to skip processes because to do so would jeopardize the project’s success.

Planning Process Group

Executing Process Group

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

Closing Process Group

Plan Procurement Management

Conduct Procurements

Control Procurements

Close Procurements


Conduct Procurements

According to the 5th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), Conduct Procurements “is the process of obtaining seller responses, and awarding a contract” (p. 371).  Recall that during the Plan Procurement Management step, the project analyzed whether to make or buy needed materials.  Let’s assume there are some items the team plans to purchase through a full procurement process [e.g., issue a Request for Proposal (RFP), evaluate proposals and select the winning bid].  What can be tailored for the small project?  Probably not much.  Time and cost efficiencies may be achieved if the work required is simple (and therefore the RFP will be less complex), although if the project needs to use a procurement process, then that may not be the case.

It is important to select the seller who will best meet the time, cost, scope, and quality requirements of the project.  So, invest the due diligence necessary to pick the right one.

Control Procurements

After the seller is under contract and work is underway, try to establish a partnership with the external organization.  It will pay huge dividends for both stakeholders in that the team will have a trusted supplier and the vendor has an opportunity for follow-on work.  An increased likelihood of success is another important, tangible benefit.

However, regardless of the type of relationship established, the buyer must administer the contract.  This means: review work and performance reports, involve the supplier in meetings, and pay the supplier for services rendered.  It is incumbent upon the buyer to complete deliverables and for the seller to pay for work completed.  All of these activities are part of the Control Procurements process.

Again, there are no corners that may be cut for a small project because good business operations demand each party hold up their side of the bargain.  There are no shortcuts.


Close Procurements

This is the process to conduct after all of the deliverables are done.  Although the majority of the work is over, there are remaining tasks to complete such as: closing vendor accounts after all payments have been disbursed, updating records and other documentation, and collecting lessons learned.  From the supplier’s perspective, it’s also crucial to check-in with the client at appropriate intervals to understand if the deliverables are working as described.  Although the process may be simpler for a small project, this is another one that must be followed as described by the PMBOK.

Next up:  Quality Management.

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  1. […] my next post, I will assume the small project has decided to buy (rather than make) and talk about the next […]

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