ROUNDUP March 9, 2003 Vetting Vendors


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ROUNDUP March 9, 2003 Vetting Vendors

  1. 1. ROUNDUP March 9, 2003 Vetting Vendors [email_address] Strategic Technology Consultant Robert Weiner With input from Michael Stein [email_address] Affiliate Consultant, CompassPoint Dawn Trygstad Rubin
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Information Technology Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul><ul><li>Needs Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing a pool of qualified vendors </li></ul><ul><li>RFP/I/Qs </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal Review </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Demonstrations/Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Due Diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Contract issues </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation issues </li></ul><ul><li>Support issues </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & Discussion </li></ul>
  4. 4. IT Systems Project Cycle Strategic IT Plan Needs Assessment Alternatives Analysis Improve Existing System Outsource Select Software Package Custom System Develop & Implement Org. Ready? Maintenance and Evaluation (incl. annual budget) Right people interested Strategic Plan (risk) Technology Objectives Resources
  5. 5. Information Technology Planning <ul><li>Part of Strategic Plan (mission-driven). </li></ul><ul><li>Process: business model, data/work flows, assess effectiveness, identify problem areas & possible solutions, prioritize projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan: list inventory, desired changes (projects), resources, training & IT management. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual projects should fit overall plan. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Project Management <ul><li>Project Selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organizational needs, list of projects from plan, objectives, allocate resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>team members & roles, responsibility matrix. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>task list, Gantt chart, CPM diagram, other agencies, project budget. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tracking / Implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>issues list, time sheets, receipts / accounting reports. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Information Systems Model IT Management Information Functions Technology Infrastructure
  8. 8. Needs Assessment <ul><li>Develop detailed requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview key stakeholders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s really wrong? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help them envision new capabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they really need? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Requirements (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are their top priorities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s on their wish list? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can they afford and support? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Options: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay with current system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsource </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ BOB” or integrated package? </li></ul><ul><li>Will you buy based on the “next release”? </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor or technology restrictions? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Rate requirements (required/desired). </li></ul><ul><li>Will you use an RFP? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If so, requirements will be the basis of the RFP. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there other procurement requirements? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will RFPs or demonstrations be scored numerically? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>point ranges, met/unmet, numeric weights. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Vendor Pool <ul><li>Vendors must fit client’s culture, staffing, and budget, as well as meeting functional needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors should be experienced with clients of this type and size, unless client is willing to take risks. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Vendor Pool (cont.) <ul><li>Client probably has some vendors in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have experience with this type of project, ask other consultants, listserves, professional orgs (AFP, etc.), talk to similar organizations. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Request for Proposals <ul><li>An RFP is a document that precisely summarizes your needs. </li></ul><ul><li>An RFP is a formalized process for vendor interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Get complete team signoff on the RFP. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you get it right. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>Describe your project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunity are you trying to seize? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What problem are you trying to solve? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give the lay of the land. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe your desired outcome. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lay out your project specifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operational details. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical details. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>What do you want to learn from vendors? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their experience with similar projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their general approach to projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their recommended solution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their pricing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do they want to work with you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References from similar clients. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>Should you disclose your project budget? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It helps vendors decide if they’re a good fit. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t put the budget in the RFP, but discuss verbally with vendor. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Proposal Review <ul><li>Review vendor’s proposed solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have they met your technical and operational needs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does their proposed solution match your future budget and staffing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency of product upgrades. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to customize; how do customizations work with upgrades? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interfaces & integration. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Proposal Review (cont.) <ul><li>Is their development/ implementation process clear? </li></ul><ul><li>How will existing data be converted? </li></ul><ul><li>How will training be handled? </li></ul><ul><li>How will ongoing support be delivered? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their proposed timeline reasonable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their pricing understandable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their ability to do the project clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they want your business? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Demonstrations <ul><li>When hiring a service vendor, make sure the people you’re interviewing will be the ones doing the work. </li></ul><ul><li>For software demos, make vendors show what the client needs to see. </li></ul><ul><li>Use scenarios for software demos. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: comparing apples to apples. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenarios should show real situations derived from the Needs Assessment. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Choose scenarios that cover the most critical functions. </li></ul><ul><li>At big organizations consider separate demos by department, each with its own scenarios. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample scenario: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a member. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a major donor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marry the two records and show joint giving. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divorce the records. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Make sure key stakeholders can attend demos. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite all interested staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Collect input from everyone. </li></ul>Data Entry Events Management Prospect Management  Membership Mgmt. COMMENTS RATING AREA
  23. 23. Due Diligence <ul><li>Reference checks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk to previous similar clients. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was work delivered on timeline and on budget? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How was training? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How is ongoing support relationship? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site visits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be to vendor or to client sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Viability of vendor </li></ul>
  24. 24. Reference Checks <ul><li>Sample Software Reference Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How long did it take for you to “go live” on the software? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many of your staff worked on the project? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What assistance did the vendor provide? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you use consultants or other 3 rd parties? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were you happy with the training provided by the vendor? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would you do differently if you had it to do over? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Contract Issues <ul><li>Software price may not be negotiable. </li></ul><ul><li>Training, customizations, implementation assistance, consulting, and schedules are often negotiable. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider payments based on performance, especially if buying based on unreleased features. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Implementation Overview <ul><li>Policies & Procedures: responsibilities, access, “rules.” </li></ul><ul><li>Reports: map old to new, include letters and other outputs. </li></ul><ul><li>Processes: work & information & paper flows; system use. </li></ul><ul><li>Customizations: features, reports, interfaces. </li></ul><ul><li>System Set up: codes & fields, security (users, groups and permissions), preferences, business rules. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Implementation Overview (cont.) <ul><li>Training: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>team at beginning of project. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>end users at end of project, during final data conversion. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Data Conversion: map data, 2+ tries until right, data clean-up (now in legacy system, in conversion, afterwards in new system). </li></ul><ul><li>Testing: all parts above. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Support <ul><li>Plan & budget for support (upgrades, staff turnover). </li></ul><ul><li>Define a support “hierarchy.” </li></ul>Complexity, Skill Level, Time $ <ul><li>Power Users </li></ul><ul><li>Self-help (Online, Procedures, Help Guides) </li></ul>Level 1 <ul><li>IT Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Accidental Techie </li></ul>Level 2 <ul><li>Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor support </li></ul>Level 3
  29. 29. QUESTIONS <ul><li>? </li></ul>