Selecting a Project Vendor

by Joseph_Phillips on January 29, 2013

In the planning process group you created the procurement management plan. Now you’re about to execute this beauty of a plan by inviting sellers to bid on your project work. Once you’ve collected the bids and proposals then you’ll choose the best vendor for your project. Recall that the procurement management plan defined the acceptable contract types and the processes of how you’ll choose vendors. Some of the information I share in this section might not apply to you at all as your organization may manage the procurement process away from the project managers. Don’t sweat it – managing a project is tricky enough, let someone else deal with the vendors.

Once the decision has been made that the project needs to work with a vendor the creation of the statement of work is completed. A statement of work (often just called the SOW) defines the work or the materials a project is seeking to procure a solution for. For example, a SOW to create a web application would define the application’s purpose, how the application will be used, how the application is to be maintained, other software that may interact with the application, and so on. The SOW can be broad or highly-detailed, depending on how much information is known about what’s being procured.

Real World Note: The SOW often becomes part of the contractual terms. The vendor may help the organization or project manager write the SOW based on interviews and sales calls. In some organizations, however, the SOW calls for industry standards, blue prints, technical drawings, and other specifics. That’s the beauty of project management – there’s generally accepted approaches that may vary from organization to organization. The trick is to know how your organization handles a process and then acting accordingly.

Vendors need the SOW and may get it one of several ways.

  • Preferred vendors list. Most organizations have a preferred vendors list that they’ll issue the SOW to.
  • Advertising. Government agencies typically are required to announce projects that are open for bid in the local newspapers. SOWs are issued to qualified vendors that will participate in the bidding process.
  • Evaluation criteria. An organization may evaluate potential vendors to determine if the vendors qualify to participate in the procurement process. For example, an evaluation criteria could be top-secret security clearance with two certified Project Management Professionals on staff.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: