Establish and maintain supplier agreements.


A supplier agreement is any written agreement between the organization (representing the project) and the supplier. This agreement can be a contract, license, service level agreement, or memorandum of agreement. The content of the supplier agreement should specify the arrangement for selecting supplier processes and work products to be monitored, analyzed, and evaluated, if the arrangement is appropriate to the acquisition or product being acquired. The supplier agreement should also specify the reviews, monitoring, evaluations, and acceptance testing to be performed.

Supplier processes that are critical to the success of the project (e.g., due to complexity, due to importance) should be monitored.

Supplier agreements between independent legal entities are typically reviewed by legal or contract advisors prior to approval.

Example Work Products

  1. Statements of work
  2. Contracts
  3. Memoranda of agreement
  4. Licensing agreement


1. Revise the requirements (e.g., product requirements, service level requirements) to be fulfilled by the supplier to reflect negotiations with the supplier when necessary.

Refer to the Requirements Development (RD) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about developing product requirements.

Refer to the Requirements Management (REQM) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about managing requirements of the project’s products and product components and to ensure alignment between those requirements and the project’s plans and work products.

2. Document what the project will provide to the supplier.

Include the following:

  • Project-furnished facilities
  • Documentation
  • Services

3. Document the supplier agreement.

The supplier agreement should include a statement of work, a specification, terms and conditions, a list of deliverables, a schedule, a budget, and a defined acceptance process.


This subpractice typically includes the following tasks:
  • Identifying the type and depth of project oversight of the supplier, procedures, and evaluation criteria to be used in monitoring supplier performance including selection of processes to be monitored and work products to be evaluated
  • Establishing the statement of work, specification, terms and conditions, list of deliverables, schedule, budget, and acceptance process
  • Identifying who from the project and supplier are responsible and authorized to make changes to the supplier agreement
  • Identifying how requirements changes and changes to the supplier agreement are to be determined, communicated, and addressed
  • Identifying standards and procedures that will be followed
  • Identifying critical dependencies between the project and the supplier
  • Identifying the types of reviews that will be conducted with the supplier
  • Identifying the supplier’s responsibilities for ongoing maintenance and support of the acquired products
  • Identifying warranty, ownership, and rights of use for the acquired products
  • Identifying acceptance criteria


In some cases, selection of modified COTS products can require a supplier agreement in addition to the agreements in the product’s license. Examples of what could be covered in an agreement with a COTS supplier include the following:
  • Discounts for large quantity purchases
  • Coverage of relevant stakeholders under the licensing agreement, including project suppliers, team members, and the project’s customer
  • Plans for future enhancements
  • On-site support, such as responses to queries and problem reports
  • Additional capabilities that are not in the product
  • Maintenance support, including support after the product is withdrawn from general availability

4. Periodically review the supplier agreement to ensure it accurately reflects the project’s relationship with the supplier and current risks and market conditions.

5. Ensure that all parties to the supplier agreement understand and agree to all requirements before implementing the agreement or any changes.

6. Revise the supplier agreement as necessary to reflect changes to the supplier’s processes or work products.

7. Revise the project’s plans and commitments, including changes to the project’s processes or work products, as necessary to reflect the supplier agreement.

Refer to the Project Monitoring and Control (PMC) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about monitoring commitments.