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Questions to influence procurement selection

There is no one way in which procurement selection can be made. As such, a great deal of guidance is available from client groups, public bodies and academic textbooks.

What they all agree on is the fundamental approach of the client’s project priorities being established (through a series of questions) and these being matched to the most appropriate procurement route (by the project manager).

One set of questions has been developed by Morledge and Smith (2013), as follows:

Time: is early completion required?

Cost: is a firm price needed before any commitment to construction is formed?

Flexibility: are variations necessary after work has begun on site?

Complexity: is the building highly specialised, technologically advanced or highly serviced?

Quality: is high quality important?

Certainty: is completion on time important? Is completion within budget important?

Division of responsibility: is single-point responsibility wanted? Is direct professional responsibility wanted?

Risk: is transfer of responsibility for the consequence of slippage important?

Your task

The success of a project arguably stems from selecting the most appropriate procurement strategy in order to deliver the client’s key project criteria. This is not an easy task as there can be many different opinions within the client’s own organisation.

Given the project information from the earlier task (repeated below), complete the answers to the above questions, ready to decide on selecting the most appropriate procurement route to deliver the project.

You are looking to develop a leisure park to the west of the city in conjunction with the local government. The park will contain several phases over an anticipated five-year period. Phase 1 will be constructed first and comprises a 10-screen cinema and four adjacent restaurants and bars.

Post your thoughts and share your answers. It is expected that differences of interpretation of what the key project criteria are will emerge. How can these be reconciled?


Morledge, R. and Smith, A. (2013) Building Procurement [online] Chichester: Wiley. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=COV_ALMA5199999700002011&context=L&vid=COV_VU1&search_scope=LSCOP_COV&isFrbr=true&tab=local&lang=en_US [6 May 2020]

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This article is from the free online course:

Pre-Contract Management for Construction Projects: The Basics

Coventry University