Select Page


Procurement Management – Lessons Learned from Major Programs (#48 in the series Foundations, Frameworks and Lessons Learned in Program Management)
By Robert Prieto

The lessons learned on several major programs have been characterized in the context of the program management framework elements previously described. These lessons learned are reflected below.

The programs reflected range from $ 1 to over $ 30 billion in size and from 4 to 30 years in duration and include both US and non-US program management delivery. Over $ 125 billion of program cost is represented by these major programs. Program management lessons learned have been “sanitized” to protect the identity of specific programs. Input derives from program managers or other senior executives and in select instances from lessons learned documents prepared as part of the post mortem process.

Lessons Learned in Procurement Management – #19 in Organizational Foundation & Integrated Framework Processes

Program 1: Today and more so in the future major programs rely upon electronic data communication technologies to market, purchase, and manage resources. Programs are to reengineer to exploit e-business processes; build the supporting electronic systems (internet and private networks) and employ electronic systems for economic benefits. Develop strategic vendor selection processes.

Program 2: Contract packaging must reflect a programmatic approach. This will likely drive changed contract form and a reconfigured supply chain.

Program 3: No lessons learned.

Program 4: No lessons learned.

Program 5: No lessons learned.

Program 6: Contracts were written by others and handed over to the integrated team to manage but any changes had to go through a rigorous change process. Because the contracting staff was constantly turning over, delays and extra work occurred. Attempts to reduce turnover in the contracting staff eased the problem somewhat.

Program 7: No lessons learned.

Program 8: No lessons learned.

Program 9: Contract form modified to address full range of optional services to expedite decision making and project execution.

Program 10: Contracts were written by the owner but managed by the PM. The PM learned the owners procurement procedures and managed by them.

Program 11: No lessons learned.

Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President

Robert Prieto is senior vice president for Fluor, where he leads strategy for Fluor’s Industrial and Infrastructure group. Mr. Prieto focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide.

Prior to joining Fluor, Bob served as chairman of Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. As head of PB’s board of directors, he was responsible for overseeing management performance, establishing top-level policies, and ensuring the firm’s continued long term success.

He is a member of the executive committee of the National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a member of the board of directors of the Business Council on International Understanding, a member of the board of the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation, and co-founder and member of the board of the Disaster Resource Network. He currently serves on the National Research Council’s committee framing the challenges on Critical Infrastructure Systems. Until 2006 he served as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and served as chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of The World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Polytechnic University of New York, and was previously selected as alumni of the year by its New York Chapter.

He has had an executive sponsorship role in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub; West Coast Rail Modernization; Train Protection and Warning System; Level 3 Communications Long Haul Network and Superconducting Super Collider.

Prieto holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of New York and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from New York University.

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) provides services on a global basis in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 500 company with revenues of $14.1 billion in 2006. For more information, visit

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App