Procurement Planning and the Procurement Plan: Why are they Important?

by Jorge Lynch · 8 comments

Procurement planning is the process of deciding what to buy, when and from what source. During the procurement planning process the procurement method is assigned and the expectations for fulfillment of procurement requirements determined.

Procurement Planning is important because:

1.  It helps to decide what to buy, when and from what sources.

2.  It allows planners to determine if expectations are realistic; particularly the expectations of the requesting entities, which usually expect their requirements met on short notice and over a shorter period than the application of the corresponding procurement method allows.

3.  It is an opportunity for all stakeholders involved in the processes to meet in order to discuss particular procurement requirements. These stakeholders could be the requesting entity, end users, procurement department, technical experts, and even vendors to give relevant inputs on specific requirements.

4.  It permits the creation of a procurement strategy for procuring each requirement that will be included in the procurement plan. Such strategy includes a market survey and determining the applicable procurement method given the requirement and the circumstances.

5.  Planners can estimate the time required to complete the procurement process and award contract for each requirement. This is valuable information as it serves to confirm if the requirement can be fulfilled within the period expected, or required, by the requesting entity.

6.  The need for technical expertise to develop technical specifications and/or scope of work for certain requirements can be assessed, especially where in-house technical capacity is not available or is non-existent.

7.  Planners can assess feasibility of combining or dividing procurement requirements into different contract packages.

The Procurement Plan is the product of the procurement planning process. It can be developed for a particular requirement, a specific project, or for a number of requirements for one or many entities in the public or private sectors.

The Procurement Plan is important because:

1.  It lists all requirements expected to be procured over a period of time.

2.  From it the procurement schedule is developed, which establishes the timelines for carrying out each step in the procurement process up to contract award and the fulfillment of the requirement.

3.  It allows for the consolidation of similar requirements under one contract or the division of a requirement into several contract packages for economies of scale.

4.  From the number of requirements on the procurement plan, the procuring entity can determine beforehand any need for additional staffing, including external assistance for the purpose of completing all procurement requirements listed on the procurement plan.

5.  It allows for the monitoring of the procuring process to determine how actual performance compares with planned activities, and thus to alert the pertinent departments and adjust the procurement plan accordingly.

6.  It enhances the transparency and predictability of the procurement process.

How about you, any other reason why procurement planning and the procurement plan are important?

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  • kamure i.isaac

    scarcity of resources needs proper timming for allocations of resources for user department ,logistical difficulties and clearance both locally and internationally markets.

    • Jorge Lynch

      Well said, couldn’t agree more…


    What is the different between Procurement Plan and a Work Plan?

    • Jorge Lynch

      From my understanding, the work plan comes before the procurement plan and, for project procurement, it is done by the project implementation unit. In project procurement, the procurement plan is prepared from requirements identified on the work plan, but not all requirements on the work plan are listed on the procurement plan.

      • Elias

        Jorge, you are right the work plan will guide you to the procurement plan, because the work plan will tell you the nature of the activity you are going to do. it means once you develop your work plan, the work plan will tell you what goods and services required, when it requires, how much quantity the work required and how and from where (source identification, means of transport etc.), and when the goods/service are required.

        • Jorge Lynch

          Thanks you, Elias. Yes, the workplan comes before and is the basis for the procurement plan, but it’s especially so under project procurement.

  • LS

    Thank you! Really helpful for interview prep!

    • Jorge Lynch

      Interesting point. Never thought of it. Thanks.