The guide 4. Manage delivery

Manage supplier delivery

Use effective project management and monitoring to ensure outcomes are delivered

Why it's important

Beginning a new project with a supplier is a crucial stage in the procurement and contract lifecycle. You will need to be clear about:

  • how you intend to work with them
  • roles and responsibilities
  • how you will measure and reward performance

What it means

You should meet the supplier at the start of the project to agree:

  • where the supplier will work and which tools or software you will use to collaborate
  • roles and responsibilities
  • how the project will be managed, for example using agile or another delivery methodology
  • key milestones for the project, displayed in shared diagram or ‘roadmap’
  • how the work will be assessed, for example which metrics you will use to monitor performance
  • how any when any incentives will be paid

During the delivery phase you should:

  • meet regularly to discuss ongoing performance, where possible with the whole supplier team, not just their project manager
  • identify any areas for improvement and agree how to make changes
  • consider how to work with suppliers with specific needs, for example women-owned businesses may require more flexible hours
  • regularly review the exit plan that was drafted at the beginning of the contract

The level of monitoring should be proportionate to the value and importance of the contract. For high-value or complex projects this should involve a range of stakeholders, ideally including those independent of awarding the contract.

During crisis response situations a less intensive or targeted approach may be required to ensure you can still deliver services with your supplier.

Do's and don'ts


  • define roles and responsibilities at the start of the project
  • agree where the supplier will work and which tools you will use to collaborate
  • agree a shared set of milestones and clarify how they will be assessed


  • do not allow one person to monitor high-value projects on their own, particularly if they also awarded the contract

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