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Designing flexible procurement systems

Hughes, W. (1990) Designing flexible procurement systems. In: CIB-W92 Symposium on Procurement Systems, 10-13 September 1990, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, pp. 340-349.

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The systems used for the procurement of buildings are organizational systems. They involve people in a series of strategic decisions, and a pattern of roles, responsibilities and relationships that combine to form the organizational structure of the project. To ensure effectiveness of the building team, this organizational structure needs to be contingent upon the environment within which the construction project takes place. In addition, a changing environment means that the organizational structure within a project needs to be responsive, and dynamic. These needs are often not satisfied in the construction industry, due to the lack of analytical tools with which to analyse the environment and to design appropriate temporary organizations. This paper presents two techniques. First is the technique of "Environmental Complexity Analysis", which identifies the key variables in the environment of the construction project. These are classified as Financial, Legal, Technological, Aesthetic and Policy. It is proposed that their identification will set the parameters within which the project has to be managed. This provides a basis for the project managers to define the relevant set of decision points that will be required for the project. The Environmental Complexity Analysis also identifies the project's requirements for control systems concerning Budget, Contractual, Functional, Quality and Time control. The process of environmental scanning needs to be done at regular points during the procurement process to ensure that the organizational structure is adaptive to the changing environment. The second technique introduced is the technique of "3R analysis", being a graphical technique for describing and modelling Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships. A list of steps is introduced that explains the procedure recommended for setting up a flexible organizational structure that is responsive to the environment of the project. This is by contrast with the current trend towards predetermined procurement paths that may not always be in the best interests of the client.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:4257


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