11.6 Key steps and milestones of IT procurement planning

11.6.1 Define business objectives

Step

Action

1.

Define scope and conditions of acceptance. The desired outcome of the objective is a clearly defined statement of the business problem(s) and the need(s) being procured, including the current technology and user environments.
Considerations in defining the scope and conditions of acceptance include:

  • Requirements for compatibility with existing or future systems, programs, strategic plans or initiatives,
  • Cost, schedule and capability or performance constraints, or any enhancement phasing,
  • Stability of the desired technology or requirements,
  • Delivery and performance-based requirements, and
  • Potential risks and trade-offs.

2.

Prepare market analysis to gain awareness of products/services/solutions readily available in the marketplace for purchase.

3.

Perform a "make vs. buy" analysis.

4.

Estimate investment costs: set established cost goals for the project and the rationale supporting them; discuss related cost concepts to be employed, including, when appropriate:

  • Life cycle costs including repair parts, upgrades and maintenance.
  • Fair cost estimate: develop a cost estimate given the requirements and current market trends. This estimate may be used as a benchmark for the evaluation of the reasonableness of the prices proposed.

5.

Create procurement project team.

6.

Define and assign team member roles and responsibilities.

7.

Develop a project plan/schedule.

8.

Discuss technical, cost and schedule risks and describe efforts to reduce risks and consequences of failure to achieve goals.

9.

Discuss any special security, data and/or confidentiality needs (i.e., HIPAA, VITA Security or Enterprise Solutions and Governance, SAS 70 audits, etc.).

10.

Address protections and remedies such as payment holdbacks, performance bonds, warranty provisions, liquidated damages provisions, intellectual property or insurance (i.e., errors and omissions, cyber security) requirements.

11.

Commit to the source-selection objectives for the procurement including the timing for submission and evaluation of proposals and the relationship of evaluation factors to the agency business needs.

12.

Prepare statement of objectives for the business owner/steering committee, if appropriate, and obtain business owner sign-off.