Over time I have been part of many projects involving managing the role of a vendor and have decided to document some of those experiences and lessons learned to try and establish the mythical ‘best practice’
After the selection should come the decision and the inevitable contract negotiations where the role of the Project Manager needs to be clearly understood to enable a workable business relationship with the chosen vendor. Contract negotiations can become tough when discussing key terms and as much as the Project Manager needs to know about those terms, they don’t need to be directly front and center of them.
Here are a few simple rules for this stage around the role of the Project Manager
1) Ensure there is one and only one focal point for the vendor in terms of the contract and that it isn’t the Project Manager who needs to have a good working relationship for the implementation.
2) Make sure the Project Manager contributes to the negotiations and has key implementation specific terms included in the contract
2) Also ensure the Project Manager clearly understands the other contract terms so that they can be planned for and managed.
3) Ensure that the Project Manager is clearly set up as the focal point for the vendor during the implementation
4) Agree up front the project roles and responsibilities for the implementation and that the Project Manager is to manage the vendor and project on your behalf.
The contract negotiations is an opportunity for both sides to assess the potential working relationship fop the implementation and beyond. The Project Manager can learn from that and also set up key management expectations to drive a successful project.
Next – The Kick Off