Managing VendorRelationships in Development Projects Katherine Kott Stanford University Libraries DLF Project Managers Group November 2, 2011
Why work with vendors?• Project requires specialized resources for brief duration• Short term funding creates recruitment challenges• Shift from traditional service models (ILS) to vendor participation in open source communities
Processes, opportunities, challenges• Selecting• Hiring and managing• Integrating work cultures – Work practices – Tools
Find the right fitBlue Footed Booby Courtship Display 5 of 7, A. Davey
Spend time on the pre-nup 108 Copy of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urbans pre-nuptial agreement, Mirandala
They’re just like us! A formally trained librarian!!!
With slightly different priorities…Library Vendor• Service, linked to library • Bottom line, cost mission containment• Technical innovation (grant • Service to customer funded) • Technical innovation (if a• Get it done right start-up or customer funds) • Get it done on time and on budget
When the honeymoon is over just a couple of dirty socks lying on the floor, terremonto
Define expectations, terms, roles, responsibilities and tools• What does it mean to • Point person match- iterate? ups• How much must be – PM to PM specified up front? – Developer to Developer• What are the feedback mechanisms? • Whose tools to use? – For bug fixing – PM – For unsatisfactory – Communication work? – Bug tracking
Case study background…• Drupal-based library website redesign• Complex project – Library Executive Sponsor – Library Governance Group – Library User Experience Group – Digital Library Systems and Service project management and technical management – And the vendor…
Notes from the trenchesPlus Delta• Significant in-person • Co-presence of developers meeting time at project did not create auto-magic launch (local vendor) collaboration• Weekly standup with • Insisting vendor use our developer on site tracking tool• Collaboration improved our • Proliferation of information process channels is confusing – Ability to estimate • Initial culture clash – Ability to make decisions and move forward
Lessons learned• We could not have done this project without vendor involvement• We can learn a few things from vendors as we scale-up digital library operations – Service definitions – Clearly defined project scope – Estimating work – Making decisions and moving forward
Other observations?Questions? Discussion? Thank you! email@example.com
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