Project Management


 

What is Procurement Project Management?

Procurement Project Management is a structured process that is used to define, plan, implement, control and transition an activity from a current to a future state.

Project Management is derived from the realisation a project needs to be carried out. This realisation could be generated from a macro or a micro factor.

The management of the procurement project requires a range of skills and competencies, knowledge, processes, methods and clearly outlined objectives, if the outcome is to be as desired and in accordance with stakeholders ’ needs.

Project Management incorporates the understanding of the required outcomes, being able to communicate effectively, being aware of associated budgetary constraints as well challenges associated with people and resources. Technical aspects and team management are also of key importance.

Project Management is an all-encompassing activity which requires careful planning from procurement professionals with a high level of business acumen to ensure the end goal is achieved.

Once the need for a project has been realised the project management process should start.

Without effective project management the optimum outcome of a project is unlikely to be achieved.

Project Management

(Source: Jarvis-Grove, 2020)

Why is Procurement Project Management Important?

By having a strong and structured project management approach for procurement activities the importance of this can be demonstrated.

When conducted correctly project management gives many benefits as outlined below which include having measurable objectives, understanding risk, ensuring a transparent process and having more opportunities to negotiate improvements within the supply chain.

Important chart

(Source: Jarvis-Grove, 2020)

What are the Steps in the Procurement Process?

Within all procurement project management several similar steps will be required. This model outlines the tasks that should be undertaken in accordance with each aspect of a project.

  • Commencement - At the “Commencement” or start phase of a project the project management should create a business case, research the scope and identify their stakeholders.
  • Preparation - Within the “Preparation” phase tasks such as developing a Gantt Chart, finalising resources including time available, deadlines, ensuring the team is briefed and required skills are secured should be completed.
  • Implementation - The “Implementation” phase requires tasks such as managing teams and ensuring strong leadership throughout.
  • Performance Management - “Performance management” as a phase which requires tasks including, but not limited to, undertaking reviews to evaluate whether the project is on schedule against the budget and making sure any milestones outlined in the project are being met.
  • Completion - The “Completion” phase whilst seemingly the end of the process is not the final phase. Within “Completion” the tasks undertaken should include rolling out the finalised project, seeking feedback and reflecting on how well the project was managed
  • Lessons Learned - The final phase is “Lessons Learned” and here the tasks are very important as part of continuous improvement. Here the gained feedback should be analysed and any constructive criticism accepted. A SWOT analysis can be undertaken to help to understand what strengths and weaknesses were apparent internally during the project management and what opportunities and threats presented themselves externally.

Once those tasks have been completed then actions for improving the project management process can be put into place for future procurement activity.

commencement

(Source: Jarvis-Grove, 2020)

What are the 5 Main Processes of Project Procurement Management?

The management of all successful projects should follow the same process. The SQERT model shows the process which is explained in detail below:

  1. “Scope” - At the start of any project it is imperative to understand the Scope i.e. what is required to be delivered or what the desired outcome is.
  2. “Quality” - is key as this is where the standard, grade or expectations of the level of delivery are agreed. This could be in accordance with a specification or an agreed standard such as ISO or EN. 
  3. “Risk” - is the next element on the SQERT model. Here risk analysis and evaluation should be conducted to understand what possible challenges could present themselves.
  4. “Time” - within this model represents the amount of time needed or expected for the project to be completed and will most likely include a deadline date for delivery.
  5. “Effort” - is about what levels of resource are required. The understanding of how many people, how much money and what skills are needed should be identified and covered here.

Important chart

(Source: Jarvis-Grove, 2020)

Key Skills for Project Managers

Core project management skills can be learned but soft skills will be very importnant for project managers to be able to communicate plans, engage and influence stakeholders, lead a team and deliver successful outcomes. The tops 5 skills include:

  • Communication Skills – the ability to communicate effectively on all levels to engage with stakeholders is fundamental to project management.
  • Soft Skills - The CIPS/Hays Salary Guide highlights the importance of soft skills, which dominate the top five skills in demand for 2020 and are seen as very important by procurement professionals for doing their jobs well.
  • Leadership - Strong leadership skills will not only help to create a successful project team but also elevate the profile at senior levels.
  • Influencing Skills – the ability to be able to influence stakeholders at all levels is key to gaining buy-in to project scope, progress outcomes and progress.
  • Stakeholder Management Skills - Building a relationship and managing internal stakeholders through effective identification, communication and engagement strategies is critical for project success.

Related Podcasts:

 

Project Management podcast from Rob Astell

Listen to the Podcast

 

CIPS Project Management Tools

  • What Is Project Management? - This model outlines the basic need for project management. Once the need for a project has been realised the project management process should start.
  • What Drives PM? - Within Procurement two main aspects will drive the need for project management. These are either that a problem needs solving or an opportunity needs to be exploited.
  • Procurement Project Management - This cycle outlines the process that should be followed once a project has been approved to be undertaken.
  • PPM Drivers - This model show what factors could result in the need for a project to be launched and then managed.
  • SQERT - The management of all successful projects should follow the same process. The SQERT model shows that process.
  • PM Phase Tasks - Within all procurement project management several similar tasks will be required. This model outlines the tasks that should be undertaken in accordance with each aspect of a project.
  • Importance of PM - By having a strong and structured project management approach for procurement activities the importance of this can be demonstrated.
  • Gantt Chart - This template can be amended to suit the project for which it is being used.
  • PM Inputs to Outputs - This diagram represents what should go into a project management process, and what tools and techniques should be used to turn those inputs into the desired outputs.
  • Elements of PM - This model simply outlines the important elements of project management and shows how a good project manager has to manage or balance all aspects to enable continuity of delivery of the project.
  • Dependencies of PM Success - A successful project manager will depend on many aspects. These aspects are shown in this model and all of these are required in equal amounts to result in a well- rounded delivery of a project. The model shows the dependencies as steps aiming to suggest that if one step is missing the route to success (i.e. the top) will be hindered.

CIPS members can download the CIPS Project Management Tools to use in your organisation along with the guidance notes will full explanations of all of the tools listed and how to use each tool effectively.

CIPS members can download the CIPS Collaborative Working Tools to use in your organisation along with the guidance notes will full explanations of all of the tools listed and how to use each tool effectively.

 

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