PROJ 410 All Discussions Week 1 to 7 Devry

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PROJ 410 (Contracts and Procurement) Devry


Week 1

Week 1 DQ 1    Procurement in Projects (Graded)

 There are many reasons to pursue business process outsourcing and project procurement, including flexibility, improving methodologies, and increasing productivity.  Taking into consideration budget, scope, schedule, and risk, what are some of the other reasons to contract part or all of a project or business process?  What are some of the drawbacks to outsourcing?  Again, consider this question from the budget, scope, schedule, and risk standpoint. 



Week 1 DQ 2    Contract vs. Project Management (Graded)

A project manager and a contract manager are both needed to administer a procured project or process.  If you were the project manager, how would you work with the contract manager to ensure a successful procurement?  In answering this question, consider such issues as at what point you would want to get the contract manager involved in the project, what areas of the contract you would want to be his/her responsibility, how much and what types of communication you would want the seller (i.e., the contracted firm) to have with the contract manager, and who would handle conflicts that might arise with costs, schedules, or scope.


Week 2

Week 2 DQ 1    Contract Pricing Options (Graded)

Assume that you have made the final payment on a one-acre residential lot you purchased years ago to build your retirement home.  You are now ready to build your dream home.  This will be your ongoing project for the next couple of years.  Which contract structure (fixed price, unit price, reimbursable) do you think you would use to proceed with your project?  Explain your choice.

Week 2 DQ 2     Project Control (Graded)

What are the differences among a fixed price contract, a time and materials contract, and a reimbursable contract in terms of how well-defined a contract needs to be relative to price, scope, and schedule prior to the commencement of any work?  How much control over the project scope, price, and schedule should the contractor have under each contract type?


Week 3

Week 3 DQ 1     RFP Requirements (Graded)

Consider again the dream retirement home that you were building as part of the Week 2 discussion.  Assume you are working on the request for proposal to be bid on by some local general contractors.  Using the outline of the RFP sections discussed this week, what are some specific questions or areas of detail you would put in your RFP?  What are some ways you'd tailor your RFP to make sure you knew if the local general contractor you choose will meet all of your success criteria?

Week 3 DQ 2    RFP Evaluations (Graded)

It is very common to find buyers that fail to identify the RFP evaluation criteria during the project procurement planning process, and in fact do not define the evaluation criteria until after proposals have been received and the evaluation process is set to begin.  What do you think is the risk of waiting until bids have been received to establish the evaluation criteria to be used to select a preferred contractor?


Week 4

Week 4 DQ 1    Evaluation Criteria (Graded)

The formulation of evaluation criteria has long-lasting implications throughout a life cycle of a contract.  The result should be picking the right seller for the contract.  In fact, the development of evaluation criteria has often been debated to be one aspect of contract procurement that needs to be closely coordinated with both the contract administrator and project manager.  What are your thoughts on the role the contract manager should have in the development of evaluation criteria?  What about the project manager?  Who else should be involved in establishing and applying the evaluation criteria?

Week 4 DQ 2      Bid Duration (Graded)

How do you go about defining the proper duration for a bid procurement?  Consider the time it takes to plan for the procurement, draft an RFI and/or RFP, receive responses, and make a decision.  What could you do if you needed to "fast track" this bid duration?


Week 5

Week 5 DQ 1      Human Resource Transitioning (Graded)

As your textbook indicated, business process outsourcing has become an emerging trend in most small and large size corporations.  This has been particularly true during the last year and a half, as many companies have turned to outsourcing in order to reduce overhead costs during these recessionary times.  Identify some companies that you have been personally associated with, or companies you have read about that have gone through the outsourcing process for some of its business operations.  How did affected employees react to the outsource process?

Week 5 DQ 2      Globalization and Procurement (Graded)

For most industries, globalization is arguably one of the more common business trends of the last decade.  As your text indicates, there are several considerations that must be evaluated from a contracting standpoint relative to multi-nation operations and contracting agreements.  Let's take the various contracting considerations presented in your text (and outlined in this week's slides), and lets discuss how they can affect U.S.-based firms seeking a BPO or subcontracting agreement with a foreign company on a region by region basis, including: Canada, Europe, Asia, South/Central America, Canada, and Mexico.  Based on your understanding and/or experiences in these other regions of the world, what do you think are contracting considerations that should be considered and addressed in the BPO contract?


Week 6

Week 6 DQ 1    Contract Dispute Resolution (Graded)

Conflict resolution and conflict management is a common day-to-day activity in most projects and office environments.  As a group, let's identify the top five sources of conflict in a BPO agreement for project management services.  Let's identify one source at a time and discuss whether or not each of you feels it ranks in the top five sources of conflict.  As I read your exchanges, I will make a determination as to whether or not enough evidence has been provided to justify its inclusion into our top five list.

Week 6 DQ 2    Benchmarking (Graded)

There are several ways to benchmark.  The two most common benchmarking tools are "performance benchmarking" and "best practice benchmarking."  Consider a nationwide bank that has contracted with a seller to assess its current staffing and facility locations.  The goal of the contract is for the seller to produce a strategic plan that creates cost efficiencies for the bank by recommending (and implementing) areas to consolidate among staff and facilities.  (One recommendation may be to close down a bank branch that is located within three miles of another bank branch.)  This is a long-term contract stretched out over five years.  If you were the Project Manager in the bank, what benchmarks would you compare your seller to?  Are they performance benchmarks or best practices benchmarks?  


Week 7

Week 7 DQ 1    Renegotiation and Termination (Graded)

More often than not, it is more desirable to renegotiate a contract than to terminate a contract.  What do you think may be some of the effects of a contract termination from the buyer's perspective?  What about from the seller's perspective?

Week 7 DQ 2   Contract Close-Out (Graded)

One of the most frustrating aspects of contract management to customers/clients is the length of time that it commonly takes to close out a project (from an administrative standpoint) after most or all of the contract scope of work has been completed.  The closeout is the fourth phase in the generic project life cycle where all outstanding contractual issues are completed and documented in preparation for turning over the product or service to the customer.  What are some of the activities that need to be performed as part of the contract closeout functions?  What do you think are some of the factors that cause such a length in delay in the closure of the project/contract?


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    PROJ 410 All Discussions Week 1 to 7 Devry

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