Procurement is an essential component of project management, where external goods and services are acquired to support a project's needs. Procurement activities are defined in the National Competency Standards for Project Management as being planned early on and continually refined throughout the project's life cycle to ensure that changing objectives are met. The PMBOK Guide outlines four main processes of project procurement management: planning, conducting, controlling, and closing procurement.
The significance of procurement cannot be overstated, especially in large-scale projects where it can be a minefield. Inadequate methods can lead to disputes between suppliers and buyers, ultimately killing the project. Delivering excellent services involves delivering on promises, providing a personal touch, going the extra mile, and dealing well with problems and queries. Procurement should work in a tangible way to meet the Iron Gate Triangle of time, cost, and scope.
Several factors can affect project procurement and contribute to its success or failure. For instance, failing to define procurement expectations in terms of requirements to suppliers and contractors can lead to project failure. Understanding the culture of the project, local legal systems, people, and organizations is important for better procurement. It is also crucial to keep in mind the emotional state of team members when implementing change and to communicate in a way that does not create fear. Keeping teammates engaged by being friendly and creating a comfortable zone is also important. Sponsors should be kept engaged and well-informed as they are the purpose of the project and will benefit from it.
Legal systems also play a role in procurement, with contracts being mutually binding agreements that obligate the seller to provide specified products or services and obligate the buyer to pay for them. Common law, such as the duty of care, and state and national legislation that relates to procurement or the items being procured also come into play. In short, procurement is a vital aspect of project management that requires careful planning and execution to ensure project success. It is essential to consider all the factors that may affect procurement and to have a solid understanding of the project's culture, legal systems, and the emotional state of the team members to ensure the success of the project.