The plan procurement process is a complicated one. For the PMP Certification Exam, you will need to know as much about the process as possible. The techniques you will apply in this process are

  • Determine which items you will make inhouse and which you will procure from an outside source.

  • Conduct market research to identify the technology and resource availability.

Of course, any time you are working with procurements, you will need some expertise in the form of procurement or contracting specialists. Make sure you have someone on your team who can help you with the legal and contractual issues.

To make or buy: That is the question

Of the many things to consider when deciding to procure project scope, some decisions are obvious. For example, you might procure goods if your organization doesn’t have the skills necessary to develop the product. Or, in other cases, you might have the skills but not the capacity, or you don’t have enough resources to get the work done in a timely manner.

Sometimes, the reasons to keep work inhouse are fairly obvious. For example, if the item you need is your organization’s core competency — a fundamental knowledge or an ability that the organization possesses — you have the resources, and you can do it efficiently and inexpensively. Perhaps proprietary reasons determine keeping work inhouse.

The following table summarizes standard reasons to make or buy scope:

Reasons to Make Reasons to Buy
Less costly Less costly
Use existing capacity Use supplier skills
Maintain direct control Small volume requirement
Maintain design secrecy Limited inhouse capacity
Develop a new competency Maintain supplier relations
Company’s core competency Transfer risk
Available staff Readily available

For certain products or services, you may have the option to keep the work inhouse or to outsource it. You will want to do some market research to help you make a good decision.

Market research

For those deliverables or services that can be either purchased or developed inhouse, market research can be used to help determine the market conditions that will inform your make-or-buy decision. For deliverables or services that you know you will purchase or outsource, market research can help you identify emerging technologies, qualified vendors, and alternative approaches.

Information gathered from market research can help refine the information in the statement of work (SOW), the procurement management plan, and the source selection criteria.

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