PROJ 598 Discussions Week 1 to 7 Contracts & Procurement Management

PROJ 598 Discussions Week 1 to 7 Contracts & Procurement Management 

PROJ 598 Discussions Week 1

Week 1 DQ 1: Overview of Procurement

 Overview of the Project Procurement Processes (Graded)

All: What are the four unique differences of the four procurement processes? Why are these processes fundamental to managing project procurement?

Week 1 DQ 2: Overview of Procurement

 Building Trust:

All: How do you feel intuitively about building trust in an organization? What do you think are the key ingredients in building a trusting relationship? I feel that trust in organizations is a top priority because the lack of trust can be destructive for any organization. When an organization is in a situation where people do not feel trusted, it makes for a difficult situation. People do not perform well if they are constantly worried about their job.

Check your ideas with the “Building Trust for Successful Partnerships: Checklist” on page 14 of our text. Do you see any new ideas? Do you think that building trust is inherently the same across all types of relationships?

Finally, read the Copier Confusion case in the Case Study Area within Doc Sharing. Is this case a good example of how to build a successful partnership? Why or why not? Can you relate this case study to other situations in good and bad organizations where you have seen trust change over time?

PROJ 598 Discussions Week 2

Week 2 DQ 1: Introduction to Contracts

 Contract Risk (Graded)

In business, the contract is considered the standard document between buyers and sellers. Some people believe that contracts are unnecessary because if both sides know what is required and there is an agreement on the price, then the details should take care of themselves. I find that this is not true and even beyond the contract document; there are always risks for both the buyers and sellers.

Consider and answer the following;

  1. Do we always need contracts?
  2. When must be have a contract?
  3. Is an oral agreement an acceptable way to engage another company?
  4. What are some of the risks associated with a contract?
  5. What are some of the risks associated by not having a contract?

Week 2 DQ 2: Introduction to Contracts

 Why Do We Need Contracts? (Graded)

Class: This week we will be reviewing contract risk. To understand risk one must examine the risks associated with the buyer and with the seller

  1. * What are some of the sources of risks associated with contracts?
  2. * Cite examples of risks that you have encountered (not necessarily in writing) when purchasing things in your own personal or professional life.
  3. * What are the sources of these risks identified by our text? Can you think of any others?
  4. * Do any types of contracts or contract situations increase risk?
  5. * Do you feel that risk is equally divided between the buyer and seller?
  6. Your text has some interesting perspectives on this material, which you may wish to review. You can also research bids on the Web if you feel you need some additional information and examples.


PROJ 598 Discussions Week 3

Week 3 DQ 1: The Preaward Phase

 Bid v. No Bid (Graded)

Class: There are two distinct sides of any negotiation. In many cases, people tend to review contract negotiation from the buyer’s perspective. However, no analysis of contracts and negotiations would be complete without considering the seller’s perspective on bid participation and negotiation. The bid/no-bid decision requires analyzing the risks versus the opportunities of a potential business deal before deciding whether or not to proceed.

This week, we will consider the buyer’s and seller’s decision to participate on a bid. Consider the following:

  • What are some factors that would be taken into consideration in whether to participate in a bid? Please share any examples that you may have from your experience with bids.
  • What tools are available to help us make a good bid/no bid decision?
  • What are some implications of declining a bid on a particular project?
  • Consider and explain the role of research as it pertains to a bid decision.

Your text has some interesting perspectives on this material, which you may wish to review. You can also research bids on the Web if you feel you need some additional information and examples.

Week 3 DQ 2: The Preaward Phase

 Potential Conflict – Buyers & Sellers (Graded)

Class, page 100 of our text mentions best practices for buyers and sellers in the pre-award phase. Do you see any potential conflicts between the two sets of suggestions? For best practices in the seller’s list, explore a conflict from the buyer’s side. Help your classmates consider other conflicts.

Give an example of a negotiation conflict that you have had (buyer or seller), and explain how the situation was resolved. Review what your classmates write, as all of this will offer a variety of examples of what kind of conflict can happen during a negotiation.

This will come in handy later when we explore negotiating.

PROJ 598 Discussions Week 4

Week 4 DQ 1: Risk Factors in Contracts

Contract Pricing (Graded)

Using alternatives specified in Chapter 8 (Garrett, pages 124-127), discuss what kind of contract pricing might be best for the following procurement situations. Arrange to select a topic “round robin style” so that you select the next topic that has not already been discussed. Which of these topics are better served using one of these contract vehicles: Firm Fixed, Cost Reimbursable, or Time & Material contracts? Be sure to define each of these contracts before aligning a topic.

  1. Adding a room to your home
  2. Landscaping your company’s grounds
  3. Developing a new software module
  4. Purchasing new desktop computers
  5. Conducting a survey of employee attitudes
  6. Purchasing a new home
  7. Purchasing an older home
  8. Purchasing a new car
  9. Purchasing a used car
  10. Leasing a new car
  11. Leasing an apartment
  12. Contracting for office supplies
  13. The purchase of an office building
  14. The contracting for company healthcare services
  15. Contracting for a fleet of company owned cars
  16. Contracting for a service agreement for a new car
  17. Contracting for insurance for a new appliance
  18. Contracting for a new roof for a home
  19. Outsourcing of a customer service division
  20. Purchasing of a new cell phone and a service plan
  21. Contracting for new windows for a home
  22. Contracting for new car insurance
  23. Purchasing life insurance
  24. Purchasing a new air conditioner/heater (HVAC system) for a home or business
  25. Purchasing a new boat
  26. Purchasing membership in an exclusive club/resort/timeshare

Week 4 DQ 2: Risk Factors in Contracts

 Source Selection (Graded)

Class: Read the “Peach Computer Company” Case found in the Case Study Area of Doc Sharing, and discuss the following:

What are the main issues in the case, and how would you begin to resolve them using some of the concepts we have discussed in class?

  • What alternatives are available to resolve the issues?
  • What type of contract incentive (s) could you adopt to make this case more successful and why?
  • Provide an analysis of the four bidders. What are the benefits and disadvantages of each supplier? Which bidder would you select and why?
  • What factors should be considered or addressed in the implementation? How would you implement your recommendation?
  • Do you feel that company politics would have an impact on the selection of the supplier?


PROJ 598 Discussions Week 5

Week 5 DQ 1: The Award Phase

 Best Practices (Graded)

Class: In Chapter 9 of our World Class Contracting text, the section, Best Practices: 45 Actions to Improve Results, lists 45 actions to improve results in the contract award phase. Pick a few of these best practices that you have seen successful in action and share your experiences with the class. Comment on the choices of your classmates to discover other best practices that might be useful to you in contract negotiations. Discuss and explain which best practice you have found to be the most important or the most useful to you in the past.

Week 5 DQ 2: The Award Phase

 Negotiating Case Study (Graded)

Read and review the “BBC vs. Info R Us” Case located in Doc Sharing, let’s discuss the following questions:

  • How should Dan, as the contract manager, prepare for his negotiating session with BBC? How does this relate to the negotiating assignment?
  • What if Bennie ignores Dan’s recommendations during the negotiation with BBC? How does this relate to what you learned in the negotiating assignment?
  • What impact will company politics have on this negotiation?
  • What risks exist for Dan at this point? How does this relate to what you learned in our negotiating assignment?

Also, consider if you have been in a similar situation and how you handled the situation. Did you use any of the best practices discussed this week in that negotiation?


PROJ 598 Discussions Week 6

Week 6 DQ 1: The Post Award Phase

 Getting the Job Completed (Graded)

Class: Why is it sometimes difficult to get suppliers to complete the final work activities? Do you have any experiences to share or observations related to interesting examples around us? Additionally:

  • Why is it more difficult to get fixed-price contractors to complete their contract work as compared to reimbursable contractors?
  • What can be done to induce fixed-price contractors to become more responsive?
  • What other types of strategies can be employed to induce contractors to finish the work on time?
  • How does risk relate to getting the final work completed?
  • How often have you seen projects completed early?

This subject is discussed in detail in Chapter 10 of your World Class Contracting text. Please review the material there as well as from any other sources that you can find.

Week 6 DQ 2: The Post Award Phase

 World Class PMO (Graded)

More and more companies are using the project management discipline, internally and externally, to provide a highly focused, integrated, multifunctional solution that meets or exceeds their customers’ expectations. Project managers and CMs are working side-by-side to make this happen in world-class organizations. Take a look at the project management maturity model described in Chapter 13 of our World Class Contracting text.

  • How do you imagine that project management might aid or detract from the contract negotiating process, depending on how mature the process is within the organization?
  • How far along has your company come in terms of the project management maturity model, and how does it aid the negotiating process? Do you have any experiences to share? Do you believe that your company will ever have a project management maturity model?
  • How do you see that project management will continue to aid the contract process? What are truly world class companies doing differently in terms of buying and selling to stay ahead of the competition?
  • Do you feel that organizations would benefit from using a project management maturity model?

PROJ 598 Discussions Week 7

Week 7 DQ 1: Uniform Commercial Code

 The Uniform Commercial Code (Graded)

TCO H is as follows: Given a claim on a major contract, analyze the role of commercial terms and conditions, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and applicable government regulations on the outcome.Assume that you are a seller, and the buyer makes a claim on a major contract that you oversee. Let’s discuss the following aspects of the UCC:

First, how might commercial terms and conditions impact the outcome? Second, analyze the potential role of the UCC on the outcome. Third, what role might applicable government regulations play on the outcome? Fourth, if the agreement is silent on a topic, how might the UCC protect each party?

Also, consider why the Uniform Commercial Code exists. Is it important? How does it affect commerce?

Week 7 DQ 2: Uniform Commercial Code 

I’d like to give some advice to. . . (Graded)

Class: Based on our discussions, please offer some ideas on how you will apply the knowledge from this class to assist with future negotiations. Then, name some people, whether in public, business, or private life, whom you would like to advise on their contracting management style. What are some of the issues you would like to address, and how might they benefit from some of the ideas in the class? What specifically would you suggest? Comment on the ideas of your classmates to help them develop their ideas.

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