The back office ICT system was bought a few years ago. It was hailed as a fantastic piece of procurement by the team that was chosen to select a vendor and a package, the benefits that your company were to realise would transform the efficiency, profitability and performance of the organisation and the working lives of all staff would be transformed, ensuring retention of quality people and motivation rising. The fanfare of the trumpets resonated about the office!
A few years on the procurement team have mainly left the company, or work with their heads down. When they do appear they do so with their fingers of blame pointing in all directions. The main target for the vitriol is the vendor, who is held responsible for failed promises, poor platform, bad project management and overcharging for every change request you require, but that you think probably was part of the original requirement. In the distance the sad, pathetic sound of a lone violin plays the last lament, before the client shouts the battle cry of “litigation”.
Which sound is familiar to you?
So it’s become a blame game. The emotions are high and at that point you need to understand where it has all gone wrong. In a recent project where BPG were brought in to help the organisation exit safely from their contractual obligations it became necessary to explain to the client that you need to identify one version of the truth before any litigation could proceed. What we found was:
- The project started (and continued) without any business objectives, outcomes or business led requirements documentation being in place. – Nb without identifying what business outcomes have to be delivered there is no bench mark for holding the vendor accountable.
- The client believed that the software was substantively unstable and could not be relied upon by the business, so they continued to use in parallel the old systems developed by the in-house development team.
- The client organisation massively under resourced the project, put in place no change management and had no consistent governance processes for dealing with change requests, new software releases and defect fixes.
- The vendor/client relationship had broken down. There was substantive lack of trust about motives, strategy and project costs. Both sides believed the project had cost them money and that the other was ripping them off.
- The client was taking on the responsibility (contractually) of the vendor by employing its own expert independent of the vendor. Therefore paying twice for the one service.
BPG deliver rapid solutions to get projects like this back on track by:
- Reviewing and realigning behaviours within the context of the contract
- Defining corporate and operational goals and objectives and processes.
- Defining one version of the truth and understanding emotion versus evidence
- Ensuring and supporting senior executive involvement for the change process
- Driving vendor engagement and issue ownership
- Contract realignment to deliver controlled revenue for the vendor and costs for the client.
To find out how you can successfully resolve vendor ICT disputes, download our free white paper – Why Vendors Have More Responsibility to get Errant Projects Back on Track, Fast