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Project Procurement Planning

Make or Buy

The PMP Certification Exam may include Make or Buy Analysis questions. Although it’s not the only reason for learning this material, this assignment helps prepare you for that type of question on the exam. The assignment is relevant whether you plan to take the PMP exam, have already passed the exam, or have no plans to take the exam.

The calculation part of the question requires only addition and multiplication. Start by reading the scenario and then answer the questions below.


You are the project manager on Project VIM, which is building a new printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine from various component parts. One of the component parts for the VIM product is currently available from a supplier for $115,000 for the 5,000 units you need. You took over for a prior project manager who only allocated $90,000 for this component. This means that you will exceed your project budget if you purchase the VIM component units from this supplier.

You reach out to your in-house manufacturing group and find that you can produce these 5,000 units in-house, within a time frame that fits the project timeline. The manufacturing group indicates that there is a one-time charge of $3,000 for setting up the production line. The material and labor cost will be $12 per unit if the firm manufactures the product in-house. You also learn that since this is a new set-up (which is using old equipment), the in-house manufacturing team estimates the following defects percentages, as well as the probability of those defects occurring:

Defect %                                                            0             25             35                40
Probability of occurrence (%)             10            60             20                10

The replacement cost for defective components made in-house is $30 per defective unit.

Calculate the following (using the Excel Template linked below):

  • Total      material costs
  • Expected      number of defective units at each defect percentage (%)
  • Cost      of replacing defective units at each defect percentage (%)
  • Material      costs plus cost of replacing defective units at each defect percentage (%)
  • The      probability of cost for the defect percentage (%) levels
  • Expected      value of “making” components in-house

Address the following in a written essay:

  • Using      the expected value, present your recommendation to make or buy the Project      VIM component parts.
  • Will      you need to issue a change request for additional money on your project?      If so, for how much; and, if not, why not? What reasons do you think      management might use to opt for the less economical choice?


  • For      the calculation section, complete the attached Excel template or a similar      one. Post your answers in the Excel file.
  • For      the written essay section, submit a paper that is full 3 pages long.      Include a minimum of two scholarly references, in addition to any course      textbooks or lecture material you decide to use. 
  • APA      format.

Chapter 4 in Mastering Risk and Procurement

Part1, Chapters 12 & 13 in PMBOK® Guide

Part II, Sections 2.2, 3.23, & 3.24 in PMBOK® Guide

Repenning, N. P., Kieffer, D., & Repenning, J. (2018). A new approach to designing work. MIT Sloan Management Review, 59(2), 29-38.

Smits, K., & Brownlow, R. A. (2017, April/June). Collaboration and crisis in mega projects: A study in cross corporate culture conflict and its resolution. Independent Journal of Management & Production, 8(2), 395-415.

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide®) (6th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management.

Stevenson, W. J. (2018). Operations management (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Wilson, R. (2015). Mastering risk and procurement in project management: A guide to planning, controlling, and resolving unexpected problems (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.