Six Techniques for Optimising Project Procurement
When last have you worked on a project where you had plenty of time, money and the right people to ensure the success of your project? Most projects I have been involved with had not enough time, not enough capital and certainly not an overflow of skills and resources. How do you optimise your project procurement process and remove some of the pain points you know you encounter during projects?
Our techniques serve as reminders of the simple things needed to succeed with your next project.
How Do You Optimise Your Project Procurement for Success?
- #1 Understand project have tight deadlines and accept you will need to find solutions on the run – thus prepare upfront for the inevitable;
- #2 Projects are about being part of a team – select a team that will work well together under pressure;
- #3 Scoping makes the difference – scope creep and garbled scopes do not deliver successful projects;
- #4 Value existing vendor relationships and work with trusted suppliers;
- #5 Avoid unnecessary contract negotiations – these come at a price and normally impact schedules quite badly; and
- #6 Focus on effective communication – both listening, clarity in instructions and an ability to receive criticism.
Six Techniques/Steps To Improve Your Project Procurement In Order To Deliver Successful Projects
#1. Find Solutions that Remove Time and Cost Creep
We all know projects have tighter delivery schedules than operational requirements. In my experience, the complexity and time required for project procurement is always underestimated.
Toughen up and find the right people with a mindset of finding solutions.
From personal experience I know as project manager one does not have the time to hold anyone’s hand.
Best be prepared, go the extra mile and make sure that you find smart solutions. You cannot have the same mindset on a project as you have with operations. Understand the deadlines and find diligent fir-for-purpose ways to procure effectively.
#2. A well-functioning project team delivers successful outcomes
Work with the project team to determine what is critical, long lead and non-critical.
Procurement provides a service to the project team, but is no doormat.
Agree timelines, requirements and quality and hold people accountable.
#3. The scope determines your success (and stress levels)
Stand your ground on detailed scopes, the project team will groan but a clear scope avoids unnecessary variations and claims.
In my personal experience, it is really helpful if you have a project manager that is even more pedantic and prescriptive on the quality of scopes and specifications.
Detailed, clear scopes are non-negotiable.
#4. Make use of existing providers
Make use of existing providers where possible.
They know your operation and will be more loyal because they know there is work after the project. This way you can focus on long lead and critical path procurement.
Treat your existing suppliers as trusted partners and as core part of your supply chain.
#5. Don’t get stuck on contract negotiations
Get fit-for-purpose contract templates that don’t require endless negotiations.
Start closer to the middle ground because that is where you will end up in any event.
Value your time, respect that both parties have to make a living and that you cannot contract out your reputation when things go wrong.
Plan for straightforward contract terms to reduce the pain of contract negotiations eating into your schedule.
#6. Project Procurement – all about communication
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Communicate as you go including project approvers. There is nothing more frustrating than having to salvage contract negotiations at number ninety-nine because an approver came up with a sudden “brainwave”.
It will happen but the more you communicated, the smaller the chance is that you will have to redesign your procurement process due to someone’s brainwave.
Your project procurement can make or break your project. Even cause significant time, cost and reputation blow outs.
Contact us if you need help with finding the right people, procurement and contracting solutions for your project.