The Procurement Cycle begins with the identification of a need and ends with the award of a contract. The intention with this definition is to simplify the procurement cycle and put it into context by excluding any elements that does not fall within this specific function. In some definitions, even elements of inventory control and logistics management are considered part of the procurement cycle, but they actually take place during Contract Administration.
A clearer understanding is gained once the goal of public procurement is understood. For the purposes of Publications, the procurement cycle is understood to encompass all actions from the identification and planning of a requirement up to the award of a contract.