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    August 5, 2016

    The Project Manager’s Role in Avoiding Procurement Delays

    Michael P. Fischetti, Executive Director of the National Contract Management Association, wrote an interesting article that asked the question — Contracting Officers: The Weakest Link?

    Image of businessman holding alarmclock against illustration backgroundHe argued that since COs have top-level authority and wide latitude in acquisition success, they should be to blame for destructive projects. But only to the extent that they are just a link in a more extensive process with other team members, all with additional senior-level oversight.

    I couldn’t agree more. But, my perspective is from that of the Program or Project Manager, who I believe can help reel in the acquisition process, especially concerning schedule. PMs need to approach COs and get them to document their inputs and outputs that define the procurement activities in the master schedule of any program.

    Too often, PMs do not start managing until award, or they blame “contracting” for delays to their project starts. PMs often fail to achieve buy-in from the contracting staff activities on the master schedule and then track and report any procurement delays in real time.

    A project is most successful when a project schedule starts at project inception and includes the procurement phase activities before award. If contracting is to blame for a delayed award, all stakeholders can look back to see where in the schedule the problems occurred and then take necessary corrective actions in conjunction with the contracting team for the next program.


    Markon Team Member

    Markon is a national consulting firm with a federal government focus, specializing in enterprise technology, financial, and program and construction management for the intelligence community and civilian, and defense agencies.

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