The purpose of Supplier Agreement Management (SAM) is to manage the acquisition of products and services from suppliers.


The scope of this process area addresses the acquisition of products, services, and product and service components that can be delivered to the service's customer or included in a product or service system. This process area’s practices can also be used for other purposes that benefit the service (e.g., purchasing consumables).

This process area does not apply in all contexts in which commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components are acquired but does apply in cases where there are modifications to COTS components, government off-the-shelf components, or freeware, that are of significant value to the work or that represent significant risk.

Throughout the process areas, where the terms “product” and “product component” are used, their intended meanings also encompass services, service systems, and their components.

The Supplier Agreement Management process area involves the following activities:

  • Determining the type of acquisition
  • Selecting suppliers
  • Establishing and maintaining agreements with suppliers
  • Executing supplier agreements
  • Accepting delivery of acquired products
  • Ensuring successful transition of acquired products


Examples of both tangible and intangible products that can be acquired by the work group to become part of a service delivered to the customer or to become part of the service system include the following:
  • Maintenance of a specialized piece of equipment through a service level agreement with an external supplier as part of a facility maintenance service
  • User training for a service, where the training is performed by an internal supplier as part of an operating level agreement (OLA)
  • Nursing services at a hospital supplied through an outsourcing agreement
  • Meals and refreshments at a conference supplied through a catering contract
  • Communications equipment that is purchased and delivered by a purchasing agent on receipt of an order
  • Gasoline to be sold at a gas station
  • Automobiles to be delivered by a delivery service as ordered
  • Automated teller machines at a bank
  • Components of a web-based search engine
  • Airplanes at an airline
  • Automobiles at a car rental outlet

Typically, the products to be acquired are determined during the early stages of planning and development of the service system.

This process area does not directly address arrangements in which the supplier is integrated into the work group and uses the same processes and reports to the same management as the work group members. Typically, these situations are handled by other processes or functions (e.g., work management processes, processes or functions external to the work group) though some of the specific practices of this process area can be useful in managing the supplier agreement.

This process area typically is not implemented to address arrangements in which the work group’s customer is also a supplier. These situations are usually handled by either informal agreements with the customer or by specification of the customer furnished items in the overall agreement that the work group has with the customer. In the latter case, some of the specific practices of this process area can be useful in managing the agreement, although others may not, due to the fundamentally different relationship that exists with a customer as opposed to an ordinary supplier. See the CMMI-ACQ model for more information about other types of agreements.

Suppliers can take many forms depending on business needs, including in-house suppliers (i.e., suppliers that are in the same organization but are external to the work group), fabrication departments, suppliers of reuse libraries, and commercial suppliers. (See the definition of “supplier” in the glossary.)

A supplier agreement is established to manage the relationship between the organization and the supplier. A supplier agreement is any written agreement between the organization (representing the work group) and the supplier. This agreement can be a contract, license, service level agreement, or memorandum of agreement. The acquired product is delivered from the supplier according to the supplier agreement. (See the definition of “supplier agreement” in the glossary.) pplier agreement” in the glossary.)


SSD Addition
Refer to the Service System Development (SSD) (CMMI-SVC) process area for more information about developing and analyzing stakeholder requirements and developing service systems.

Refer to the Requirements Management (REQM) (CMMI-SVC) process area for more information about maintaining bidirectional traceability of requirements.

Refer to the Work Monitoring and Control (WMC) (CMMI-SVC) process area for more information about monitoring the work against the plan and managing corrective action to closure.


SAM.SG 1 Establish Supplier Agreements
Agreements with the suppliers are established and maintained.
SAM.SG 2 Satisfy Supplier Agreements
Agreements with suppliers are satisfied by both the work group and the supplier.