Senior Supplier

This forum is for members to share and gain knowledge of Project Management. Got a question about project management? Need help with a problem? Wish to offer tips and advice? Post here.
Post Reply
New Member
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu 10 Feb 2011 5:24 pm

Can someone please answer an argument?

I am currently starting a large IT implementation across multi sites in the UK and I am have a heated discussion with the Project Executive about the Senior Supplier role on the Project Board.

Senior supplier role according to PRINCE2 represent the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring, implementing etc etc etc the projects products. But as the role title suggests supplier the Project Executive wants to put the actual supplier on the Project board. Where as I would prefer the Head of IT to sit on the board as the Senior Supplier. Who is right?

My argument is why would you want an external body sitting on the Project Board? We are paying a lot of money to them for their software, but our IT team is the one implementing the software and the project itself is more than just software its about changing business processes etc.

Confused and needing to find a pub!

Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed 08 Sep 2010 1:38 pm
Location: Westminster - London

Hi, if you read the book properly it says that the senior supplier represents any person or body of people that supplies either goods or services to the project.

It also says that there can be more than one senior supplier representing the interest of different companies and that the senior suppliers company can decide to have more than one person in the form of a committee representing the decision making function of that company, though only one person should represent that committees collective decisions on the executive team.

Not coming from an IT background, I would imagine that the senior supplier of the company owning base software package that you are using has been called in for two reasons.

The first function is to give advice on the particular software package and the second is in relation to the contractual terms and condition of the software license.

As you know, you can only use or change or adopt a companies base product with their expressed permission.

In other situations you may have multiple companies working on different aspects of the project especially in building and construction projects. Each supplier has their own set of responsibilities, which need to be monitored and agreed upon and in a lot of cases these responsibilities are integrated and or overlap each other, especially when it comes to changes in scope or quality specifications.

It therefore makes sense if your company is going to be both efficient and effective in its project delivery to have representatives of these companies on board during their part in particular phases of the project.

Prince 2 also goes on to say that where no senior supplier is forthcoming or it is undesirable to have them onboard for security reasons then a senior buyer of the company can take on this position to represent them. I suppose this is more in line with a project senior supplier liaison officer’s role.

There are some very good books on the subject that I have reviewed in the 'Business Books Review' section of this site. Perhaps you may consider getting hold of a copy of some of them to answer this question and many more items that you have doubts about.

On another note, just because you are learning or have learnt Prince 2 there is no reason why you should not study the books from the other associations like the PMI PMBOK or the AMP manual and I thoroughly recommend the book The Definitive Guide to Project Management and also Project Management A Managerial Approach which takes the whole subject to a much higher level.

I hope this helps with your question.
Kind regards

Stephan Toth
Post Reply