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Chapter 13 - The IT Procurement Project Team

13.1 Selecting PPT members

The key to building a strong PPT is finding resources with the right skill sets and the time needed to complete the procurement project. These people should be stakeholders in the final product or service and/or individuals who have knowledge and skills to fill a particular area of expertise or project discipline.

There are four main project skill sets or knowledge areas that the PPT should possess:

  • Functional: expertise in the business needs of the project
  • Technical: expertise in the IT or technical aspects of the project
  • Financial: expertise in financial analysis of potential suppliers
  • Contractual: IT expertise in development and review of the solicitation and contract documents

It is important to select team members who fully understand the needs of the public body acquiring the IT goods and/or services and the desired outcome of the procurement. The PPT should possess as much valuable knowledge as possible to ensure the best qualified supplier is selected. It is recommended that the PPT provide input into the solicitation document, especially the evaluation criteria. The team members should fully understand the requirements of the solicitation and must be able to critically read and evaluate responses.

Beyond covering the four major project skill sets, the following are important qualities to look for when considering members for your PPT:

  • Strategic thinking ability to understand and conceptualize the potential improvement in an IT service area(s).
  • IT project management and technical skills to convert strategic thought into practical plans for the project's total IT life-cycle.
  • Understanding of the Commonwealth's and the public body's strategic IT objectives to foster those objectives and to deter potential short- and long-term conflicts.
  • Risk assessment and mitigation skills to help reduce potential IT technical, schedule, cost, security, confidentiality, and/or contractual obstacles and issues.
  • Procurement skills for the specialized complexity associated with IT acquisitions.
  • Negotiation skills for IT products/services/solutions with the competency to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Enthusiasm and drive to see the project succeed.
  • Objectivity to ensure that all proposals will be viewed equally based on their merits.

The PPT should be formed and functioning soon after the agency business need is identified. Input from all those responsible for significant aspects of the acquisition should be obtained as early in the process as possible. This is particularly important for procurements with critical time requirements. Early planning serves to shorten the acquisition process.

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