RFPs: Really Frightful Process
By Elen Bahr
Folks, we have an industry-wide epidemic and its called the RFP. Formally known as Request for Proposal, I put the RFP into its own category: Really Frightful Process. In fact, I don’t respond to them any more. Sure, I’d like to increase my client base, but the time and effort needed to respond to an RFP is often inefficient and not helpful to the client or the vendor. I’ve heard this from many agencies and consultants. We prefer to make personal connections where a dialog will replace paperwork and where we can get to know the potential client as much as they’d like to get to know us.
If the intention of an RFP is to find a strong partner for your project, put more time into getting to know each other and less time into drafting a long document.
Before you begin an RFP process, consider that you may not need one. Read the Complete Article
The Sixth Essential in Project Management: Suppliers
By Russell Whitworth
This article is part of a series. You can find the previous article here.
When I have reviewed projects in the past, “supplier problem” is the most common reason I hear for projects running into difficulty. To some extent, this might be a convenient excuse: it is easy to blame something or someone outwith the project rather than admit failure within the project team. But the PM doesn’t get off the hook that easily, as there are techniques that will improve the chances of project success.
It is really difficult to generalize, as each project situation is different with respect to suppliers. Suppliers range from internal suppliers (such as a test team, office facilities, or HR) through to major sub-contractors supplying multi-millions of equipment and services.
Often, the internal suppliers are the hardest to manage. The problem is lack of accountability to the project manager. Read the Complete Article
The 5 Phases of the Vendor Selection Process
By Keith Mathis – PM Expert Live
Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try or how much we want it, we can’t do it all. Regardless of the size of your organization, you will eventually come across at least one aspect (usually several) that is not feasible or cost effective to do for yourself. Whether it is buying paper, printer ink, food, or a new MRI machine, you will sooner or later find that you must go in search of a vendor.
Hiring a vendor has several advantages. It can reduce operational costs, enhance working conditions, improve responsiveness, and save significant money.
While outsourcing to a vendor may be necessary, there are also times when it is not wise to do so.
Read the Complete Article
- If you and the potential vendor do not have the same goals.
- If you feel like you must micromanage the entire project and process.
Contractor Selection in Project Management
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK
Purpose of the Contract Selection
To encourage the most effective and cost effective means of engaging consultants and contractors to carry out necessary services and works.
Fitness for Purpose Checklist
- quality of supplies, materials and results;
- the value of the finished product to the business;
- life-cycle costs not just initial costs; and,
- appointing, retaining and improving the best team to manage and deliver a project.
The aim of the “Contractor Selection” is to achieve best “value for money”, whilst ensuring that the objectives of any commission are properly met.
There are two aspects to the type of contract which may be adopted for a particular works contract or project strategy:
Read the Complete Article
- the basis on which the price is to be sought; using:
- bills of quantities,
- schedules of rates, or
- simple lump sum contracts;
- the type of contract including:
- traditional lump sum contracts,
- design and build contracts,
- prime cost contracts,
- management contracts,
- construction management contracts,
- design and manage contracts,
- extension contracts and variations,
- term contracts.
Contractor/Vendor Selection: Bridging The Communication Gap (#3 in the series Outsourcing From a Project Manager’s Perspective)
By Susan Peterson
In the continuing series on outsourcing project work this month’s column addresses the challenges related to selecting those individuals and/or organizations that will provide the expertise needed for specific activities. All too often this process is filled with “communication disconnects” in documenting what is needed from contractors/vendors. Whether one uses requests for proposal (RFPs), requests for information (RFIs), or other types of vendor solicitation documents, clear definition is critical. I have participated in the election process in multiple roles including leading the selection process, writing solicitation documents for clients, and responding to client proposals. The following areas are primary considerations to effectively facilitate the project vendor selection and subsequently the contracting process.
Be specific — even if it hurts.
There is no substitute for clarity in specifying what activities need to be performed. Read the Complete Article
Procurement Management in Project Management – Taking Out a Contract (#4 in the series Procurement Management in Project Management)
By Joseph Phillips
Contracts override everything: promises, email, secret handshakes. As long as they don’t include illegal activities, contracts are backed by the U.S. legal system. A contract is what makes the deal a deal.
To get to the contracting activities, you need to create the procurement documents. The initial document is usually the statement of work (SOW), which describes the thing or service you want to buy. The SOW is provided to the vendor with an invitation to bid (IFB), which you probably also know as a request for quote (RFQ). The IFB and the RFQ are basically the same thing and are focused just on price, not ideas.
A request for proposal wants a price, but also suggestions and ideas on how the project work should be done. Proposals are more than just costs—they’re a bit of consulting from the vendor. Read the Complete Article
Procurement Management in Project Management – Source Selection (#2 in the series Procurement Management in Project Management)
By Joseph Phillips
I know lots of people who like to go shopping. One person (who shall remain nameless, but her initials are LISA) plans her vacations based on the shopping malls in the vicinity of her hotel. She buys an extra seat for the flight home, just to carry all of her new shoes and fancy outfits.
As a project manager, you can’t go project shopping just because shoes are on sale. While sales are good, they don’t always help the project to acquire the things it needs to reach project closure.
There’s nothing better than finding a sale on the hardware or software that your project needs, but you and I know that’s just not the way technology and procurement usually works. We have to shop, compare, evaluate, and eventually cough up the cash to get what our projects need. Read the Complete Article
Project Management – Invitation to Tender (#13 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team
A template for an Invitation to tender document
Background to the Project
Short section, no longer than half a page, setting out an overview of the project, similar to background section in the Project Initiation Document
Supplier response required
This is the key section that sets out what the supplier needs to respond to. It should be laid out in a clear manner that will ensure suppliers approach the ITT in a consistent way, thus facilitating ease of comparison. You may want to consider setting these out in table form, as an appendix.
Scope of the work
This section should be based on the relevant deliverables, laid out as individual bullet points. Should include any associated work such as ongoing support or training of staff. It may also include asking for the experience/views of the supplier on future development options and how this stage of the development might best be used to ensure that future needs can be accommodated. Read the Complete Article