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Contracts and procurement masterclass 1

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This was an inspiring event and very interesting presentation providing an introduction to the Contracts and Procurement Master Class Series of six events. In the first of these events the subject matter under discussion were the developments in the Procurement arena focusing primarily on contracting for projects and programmes. This was a very well received and attended APM evening event held at The Aztec West Hotel, 110 Park Avenue Aztec West Almondsbury, Bristol, South Gloucestershire  on the 27 February 2012.

The key note speaker was Jon Broome, Jon is a consultant at Leading Edge Projects Ltd as well as the Chairman of the APM Specific Interest Group Contracts and Procurement (C&PS). Jon began by outlining his presentation, discussing the details of the follow-on master classes 2-6 over the next six months and the profile of people who will be presenting them. He then proceeded to cover the detail of his own presentation by examining the key differences between procurement of goods and services and the important developments in having a project and programme contract and procurement strategy and provided the update of the  current thinking of the C&P SIG.

Jon provided the details of the follow on Contract and Procurement Master Class sessions

1. Basic Contract Law for Successful Projects on 20 March in London
2. What is NEC3 ? on 21 March in London
3. Repeat of 1 and 2 on 24 April in Cardiff
4. Contracts & Procurement Master class 2: The importance of the business case and the project procurement strategy on 29 March in Bristol.
5. Contracts & Procurement Master class 3: Developing the Package Contract Strategy on 22 May Bristol

Jon then outlined the role of the C&P SIG,and its structure and then went into detail describing the aims of the C&P SIG especially relating them to project management and the management of projects. The aims of the C&P SIG are as follows:

 Exists to promote and disseminate knowledge, understanding and good practice of contracts and procurement in a project & programme environment.
 Aims is to become a lively and constructive debating forum which takes existing best practice and helps make it better.
 Wants to be disseminating this knowledge, understanding and better than best practice through a variety of accessible means.
 Has a long term aspiration to become recognised as an international forum at the leading edge of excellence in contracts & procurement for projects

Jon then covered the development of the last SIG Guide and went onto explain how the project life cycle has expanded to include operation and termination as well as considering whole life costs and benefit, outcomes and benefit management.  There is also emphasis placed on contracts having to be aligned and consideration given to end products that cannot be fully defined and the necessity of understanding relationships and motivations in other words the need to consider the soft skills elements of a project team and supply chain.

The presentation went onto discuss the additional changes to the guide and compared the terminology written in the APM Body of Knowledge. One key comparison was the definition for the term procurement:
Procurement is the process by which the resources (goods and services) required by a project are acquired. It includes the development of the procurement strategy, preparation of contracts, selection and acquisition of suppliers, and management of the contracts. Is this still valid as a definition for the APM?

Compared with the term from the SIG guide:

Procurement is the process by which the benefits, enhanced capabilities, functions / performance or resources (goods & services) required from or by a project or programme are acquired. It includes deciding the package structure and, for each package, the development & implementation of the contracting strategy contract documents, including the specific scope / requirement process and evaluation criteria for selection and award leading to the effective management and administration of the contracts once entered into."

The remainder of the presentation focussed on the role procurement has in the project life cycle noting the relationships at each stage and the implementation and management of the appropriate procurement strategies and process at any given stage of the project from conception through to contract closure.

The evenings presentation was concluded by an enthusiastic Question and Answer session from the audience.

Tim Elliott
SWWE Committee Member


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