This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of The Rational Edge E-zine on-line magazine, copyright 2002-2003 IBM and Max Wideman.

The Rational Unified Process (RUP) is a rigorous software development process advocated by the Rational Software Corporation.

The downloadable PDF file of the paper on this site is the one prepared by the Rational Edge editorial staff with the special assistance of Ms Marlene Ellin.

Published here August, 2003.

PART II | Recap | Elements of a Valid Contract | Impediments to Successful Contracting
Progressive Contracting Overcomes Impediments
Advantages of Centralized Procurement | PART IV

Advantages of Centralized Procurement

Another way that companies make contracting a little easier for themselves is to centralize procurement. This has the following advantages:

  • A department with a staff of acquisition specialists can know the market better than the managers of individual projects.
  • These specialists can buy more efficiently and reduce duplication of common activities across a number of projects.
  • Under certain circumstances they may also be able to buy more competitively because they know competing suppliers, or they may know of other work that the company can offer to make the package more attractive.
  • Senior management can establish better control of corporate contracting terms and practices.
  • It is easier to limit signing authority, and the extent to which the organization is committed legally and financially.
  • Centralized buying also helps to reduce bias, or personal favoritism in the project environment.
  • The buying process can be separated from the process of managing technical requirements.

These issues are especially important for public agencies. If you are attempting to introduce a progressive acquisition approach into your organization, it will be part of your job to convince your company's centralized procurement people of its advantages. You should carefully explain to your administrative counterparts the potential for cost and risk reduction that progressive acquisition affords.

Next month, Part IV of this series will take a closer look at the contents we've outlined for progressive acquisition documents, and at how to build flexibility into Head Contracts and CWOs.

Progressive Contracting Overcomes Impediments  Progressive Contracting Overcomes Impediments

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