San Francisco Regional Conference July 25, 2002   Vetting Vendors [email_address]   Strategic Technology Consultant   Robe...
Agenda <ul><li>Information Technology Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul><ul><li>Needs Assessments </...
Agenda <ul><li>Demonstrations/Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Due Diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Contract issues </li></ul><u...
Information Technology Planning <ul><li>Part of Strategic Plan (mission-driven). </li></ul><ul><li>Process: business model...
Model of Information Systems Technology Infrastructure Information Functions IT Management
IS Model (cont.)
Project Management <ul><li>Project Selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organizational needs, list of projects from plan, objec...
Needs Assessment <ul><li>Before shopping: </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how you’ll decide. </li></ul><ul><li>Assemble the team....
Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Develop detailed requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview key stakeholders. </li></ul...
Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Requirements (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they think they need? </li></ul></...
Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Build or Buy? </li></ul><ul><li>If buying, software or ASP? </li></ul><ul><li>“ BOB” or i...
Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Rate requirements (required/desired). </li></ul><ul><li>Will you use an RFP?  </li></ul><...
Vendor Pool <ul><li>Vendors must fit client’s culture, staffing, and budget, as well as meeting functional needs. </li></u...
Vendor Pool (cont.) <ul><li>Client probably has some vendors in mind.  </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have experience with...
Request for Proposals <ul><li>An RFP is a document that precisely summarizes your needs. </li></ul><ul><li>An RFP is a for...
Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>Describe your project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunity are you trying to seize...
Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>What do you want to learn from vendors? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their experience with ...
Request for Proposals (cont.) <ul><li>Should you disclose your project budget? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It helps vendors deci...
Proposal Review <ul><li>Review vendor’s proposed solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have they met your technical and operation...
Proposal Review (cont.) <ul><li>Is their development process clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their proposed timeline reasonabl...
Due Diligence <ul><li>Reference checks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk to previous similar clients. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Due Diligence (cont.) <ul><li>Viability of vendors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-term interest of company or consultant in wo...
Reference Checks <ul><li>Sample Software Reference Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How long did it take for you to “go li...
Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>When hiring a service vendor, make sure the people you’re interviewing will be the ones doi...
Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Choose several scenarios that cover the most critical functions. </li></ul><ul><li>At big o...
Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Make sure stakeholders can attend demos. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite all interested staff. </l...
Contract Issues <ul><li>Software price may not be negotiable. </li></ul><ul><li>Training, customizations, implementation a...
Implementation Overview <ul><li>Policies & Procedures: responsibilities, access, “rules” </li></ul><ul><li>Reports: map ol...
Implementation Overview (cont.) <ul><li>Training: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>team at beginning of project </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
Support <ul><li>Plan & budget for support (upgrades, staff turnover) </li></ul><ul><li>Define a support “hierarchy” </li><...
QUESTIONS <ul><li>? </li></ul>
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San Francisco Regional Conference July 25, 2002

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  • Intros Agenda Questions at the end
  • Notes: Machines: The foundation of a good IT system is the technology infrastructure that provides the “conduit” for all functions of the system. This incorporates the equipment and software that provides basic functioning such as email, printing, file sharing, word processing, desktop faxing, voice communication, and the like. Without a solid, well-supported foundation the overall system cannot function effectively. When most people say “technology” they are thinking about equipment and operating systems, but infrastructure is really just the beginning.   Data: The information systems of the agency rest on top of this infrastructure. Here is the nexus of the infrastructure, application software, external information systems such as paper files or voice communication, and the user. A good analysis of this interaction is necessary to ensure that the infrastructure supports the daily work of the user and efficiently interacts with “non-electronic” and external systems. When people say technology, they mean they want information systems.   People: The management of the system provide the necessary vision, policies, standards &amp; procedures to ensure that the overall system functions in good order. These are the “rules of the road” that include basic day to day functions such as backups, virus protection practices, file naming conventions, and software standards. In addition, this layer defines appropriate use of features like email and web browsing as well as outlines the role of managers in the maintenance and development of the overall system. Management is what allows organizations to get the most use out of their technology investment. It’s the people part of technology that determines success or failure.
  • San Francisco Regional Conference July 25, 2002

    1. 1. San Francisco Regional Conference July 25, 2002 Vetting Vendors [email_address] Strategic Technology Consultant Robert Weiner [email_address] Associate Director, eGrants 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. 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>
    5. 5. Model of Information Systems Technology Infrastructure Information Functions IT Management
    6. 6. IS Model (cont.)
    7. 7. 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>
    8. 8. Needs Assessment <ul><li>Before shopping: </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how you’ll decide. </li></ul><ul><li>Assemble the team. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan ahead for buy-in. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Needs Assessment (cont.) <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>
    10. 10. Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Requirements (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they think they need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s on their wish list? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can they support and afford? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will a new system be better than what they have now? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Needs Assessment (cont.) <ul><li>Build or Buy? </li></ul><ul><li>If buying, software or ASP? </li></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><ul><ul><li>O/S, platform, Mac vs. PC, DBMS, WWW. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with other systems? </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. 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><ul><li>Create demo scripts </li></ul>
    13. 13. 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>
    14. 14. 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, talk to similar organizations. </li></ul>
    15. 15. 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>
    16. 16. 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>
    17. 17. 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>
    18. 18. 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>
    19. 19. 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 impact your future development costs or staffing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency of product upgrades. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to customize. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Proposal Review (cont.) <ul><li>Is their development process clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their proposed timeline reasonable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their pricing understandable? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they want your business? </li></ul><ul><li>Is their ability to do the project clear? </li></ul><ul><li>How will training be handled? </li></ul><ul><li>How will ongoing support be delivered? </li></ul>
    21. 21. 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>Not always necessary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand staffing and infrastructure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Due Diligence (cont.) <ul><li>Viability of vendors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-term interest of company or consultant in working in the nonprofit sector. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask about their business stability and ask to see a financial statement (transparency). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How long have they been in business? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are nonprofits involved on advisory board? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is their client contingency plan is they go out of business or are acquired? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain Dunn & Bradstreet report (optional). </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. 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>
    24. 24. Demonstrations (cont.) <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>
    25. 25. Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Choose several 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 new 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>
    26. 26. Demonstrations (cont.) <ul><li>Make sure 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
    27. 27. 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 or blazing new trails. </li></ul>
    28. 28. 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>
    29. 29. 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>
    30. 30. 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
    31. 31. QUESTIONS <ul><li>? </li></ul>

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