project management discussion 9

Topic 1: What and Whom You Solicit

Max Wideman’s PM glossary defines solicitation as the purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining supplies or services from vendors. Contracting includes description, but not determination, of supplies and services required, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract administration. It does not include making grants or cooperative agreements. (According to Wideman, solicitation). What Max does not say about solicitation is the ethical quicksand you, as your organization’s representative, can get yourself bogged down in. Many vendors and marketers are willing to provide special trips, meals, presents, and the like for special consideration paid to their products or services.

You, as the PM, are the project focal point and must set the ethical example for the rest of the project stakeholders and especially your project team. Remember, at the end of every day, you still have to look at that person in the mirror. Therefore, every decision you make as the procurement person for your project is defined by your character and the level of your ethics.

Do you agree or disagree with this premise? Take a position on the approach to risk.

Topic 2: Selecting a Winner

It is a common practice for companies to create a proposal evaluation matrix for use in selecting the winning response to an RFP. However, it is also a common practice for companies to try to write the RFP in such a way that it favors a vendor they prefer, or to try to change the weighting after the responses have been received if their preferred vendor did not receive the highest score. How would you handle this if you were the project manager in situations such as these?

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