Following on to our example of how sourcing engages with the project development lifecycle, here is a sample traditional sourcing workflow, integrating Statement of Work (SOW) and Request for Proposal (RFP) preparation and execution.

Skeptics will rush to add up the timeline and declare, "This is precisely why we can't stop to 'source' when the market demands we needed something yesterday!" That is a slippery slope we have seen lead directly to supplier perdition. Sourcing agility shortens or summarily fulfills steps through transparent, documented pre-qualifying activities. It does not eliminate the formal sourcing process either in whole or in part.

We discuss the process and artifacts in more detail in our supplier lifecycle section.

TaskTimelineOwnerComments
Information Gathering
1.Inform Technology Sourcing Business Stakeholder"The sourcing team..."
2.Create RFP SOW (this SOW provides the requirements details for the RFP and will be leveraged to develop the actual SOW agreed and signed with the supplier selected as a result of the RFP process2 weeksBusiness Lead, Software Engineer, IT Infrastructure Engineer, Sourcing team member 
3.Preliminary SOW Reviewed and Approved1 weekApprovers: Development Manager, Software Engineering Process Manager, Project Manager, Product Manager
Reviewers: Director Test/QA and Engineering Support, IT Infrastructure Management, Sourcing team management
The SOW at this stage must be sufficient to provide the relevant details and information sufficient to solicit a properly detailed bid from the supplier(s). A more detailed SOW will be required once the supplier has been selected (see item 16 below).
4.RFP created1 weekSourcing Team MemberBased on project needs RFP is put together using services request and Statement of Work documents, these describe fixed price vs. hourly, SLA, project term, governance model, resource requirements, work location, development methodology (agile, waterfall, etc.),....
5.RFP tendered, supplier review period1 weekSourcing Team MemberBased on project needs, RFP is tendered to the most appropriate Preferred suppliers and niche specialty suppliers as needed. Supplier has a week to review and submit questions.
Note that additional time will be required to perform requests for information, financial evaluations and site visits for any new supplier solicited for an RFP response.
6.Supplier Q&A session2-3 daysSourcing Team Member, Supplier, Business Sponsor and Project TeamSchedule Q&A sessions with Lead Developer, Tester, Suppliers, and relevant management from Client.
7.Suppliers complete responses with bids1 to 2 weeksSourcing Team Member, SupplierSuppliers typically have one to two weeks to prepare and submit their responses, with bids, following completion of the Q&A sessions. Any follow-up on Q&A is handled within this period as well.
8.Receive responses from suppliers, begin review process1 daySourcing Team MemberPost all responses on internal shares site for team review. In parallel to posting, put together summary reflecting supplier responses and their skills/ strengths etc., typically 2-5 days to turn around depending on engagement complexity.
9.Resolve any immediate questions on responses and bids2-3 daysSourcing Team MemberThese are clarifications regarding any inconsistencies or perceived omissions in the supplier responses.
10.Share bids, feedback, and strategy with all the stakeholders3 daysProject Sponsor, Software Engineering Process Manager, IT Infrastructure, QA and Testing, Project Managers, Sourcing Team MembersSchedule a meeting with Project Sponsor, Product Manager, Project Manager (Optional attendees: Development Manager, Engineering Support, Testing, Business Process Analyst)
11.For more complex projects arrange supplier face-off sessions allowing supplier to present additional details for their proposals.1 weekProject Sponsor, Project Team Members, Sourcing Team MembersSourcing will arrange face-off sessions and coordinate the process allowing for a transparent and fair forum for suppliers to present capabilities and expand upon the detail provided in their RFP response.
12.Solicit supplier's customer recommendations and references2-3 daysSourcing Team MemberSourcing to contact and interview supplier's customer references and document responses. Pre-scripted interview insures reference results can be compared across supplier responses.
13.Select supplier1-5 daysProject Sponsor, Software Engineering Process ManagerTeam and management decision on best supplier for the engagement. Sourcing is in an advisory role only.Depending on size and complexity of effort, an additional supplier "face off" of finalists may be conducted in order to arrive at a decision.
14.Award contract to the Supplier1 daySourcing Management, Software Engineering Process ManagerSupplier selection process depends on and includes acceptance of work and contract from the Supplier (depends on the cost involved) Sourcing notifies winners and losers.
15.Notify suppliers not selected1 daySourcing ManagementInform suppliers not selected of the decision to move forward with a competitor. Arrange post-mortem discussion of why supplier was not selected as necessary.
Contract Negotiations
16.Finalize SOW1 to 6 weeksApprovers: Development Manager, Software Engineering Process Manager, Project Manager, Product Manager
Reviewers: Director Test/ QA and Engineering Support, IT Infrastructure Management, Sourcing Leadership, Finance, Legal, Business Project Sponsor
Leverage RFP SOW to establish contract SOW. Ensure engagement of Finance and Legal. The time to complete will depend on Project Complexity.
17.Present SOW to Supplier for Review—finalize wording and contractual terms and conditions1 to 2 weeksSourcing Team Member, Finance, Legal, SupplierFinalize contractual terms and conditions, ensure clarity of expectations: specific outcomes and service levels for quality delivery timing, resources required and related outcomes.
18.Agree terms and solicit signature1 dayBusiness Project Sponsor, Sourcing Management, Finance, Legal, Supplier 
Business-Specific Processes
These last steps to finalize the contract will vary from organization to organization, that is, completing the logistical and accounting-related activities to set up supplier billing and internal allocation and reporting of engagement spend. It is important that accounting be set up so that Sourcing can track and report supplier IT spend and associate it with the internal business.

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