Using the procurement foundation as a simple process helps you understand, document and communicate the procurement project you are about to initiate at a top level. Furthermore it serves as an important reference point through out the full end-to-end project.
The procurement foundation looks as follows.
“A solid procurement process and project can only be designed after the foundation has been established and accepted.”
To initiate a successful IT procurement project, the procurement process must be designed. The design and nature vary a lot depending on e.g. organisation, technology, maturity of the market, complexity, budget, aims and many other factors. It is important to understand that a solid procurement process and project can only be designed after the foundation has been established and accepted.
Establishing the procurement foundation is well suited for a workshop with key stakeholders. It is both a fun and eye-opening experience. If there is no real business value, no objectives or the purpose is fuzzy, then terminate the process and close the project.
Step 1: Why are we doing this?
Define the business value, business objectives and overall purpose of the project. If not able to do this, then stop the whole project as it can never be a success.
It is great if the Why is concise, however it does not have to be, as long as it is not directly vague or meaningless. The most important factor is the business value, and it is usually not enough to refer to a corporate strategy. A rule of thumb is that the Why must be so strong that all the requirements in the procurement process can be validated to support it.
Step 2: How will it be afterwards?
This is usually a question of people, either in form of organisational changes, or people what will work differently after the project. This knowledge can be used to involve the right stakeholders, design the organisational change and transformation process as well as support realisation of benefits.
Step 3: What needs to be taken into account?
This can basically be anything as long as it is important and have a major effect on the project. Examples include limitations in scope, legacy IT systems, time constraints, budget, human capabilities (e.g. language skills) and much more.
A solid procurement foundation is the key to design a successful procurement process, and the above is a simple and powerful way of getting started. Furthermore, elements of the foundation can be used as guidance throughout entire end-to-end lifecycle.