Having got the contract negotiated and signed it is time for the kick off to the project and it is up to the Project Manager to partner with the vendor engagement lead to get the project off to a good start. The kick off should be a joint effort to develop and also present and should focus on the objectives of the project, measures of success both organizations seek and the roles everyone will play in meeting the agreed upon plan.
1) Understand key contract negotiated points and ensure they are enforced
2) Meet with and approve the key vendor supplied resources ensuring they have sufficient background in what you are undertaking, relevant industry knowledge (if applicable) and that they can fit within the overall team and culture.
3) Focus immediately on putting together the project roadmap with your vendor and have the whole team buy into it
4) Agree rules of engagement to work jointly together along with known escalation paths.
It is well known that starting off well and with a solid foundation of openness will pay dividends in the end but it takes effort and understanding on both sides to create. There will always be issues to address and disagreements along the way but you can establish the guidelines in how to deal with it via a well planned kick off.
Next – Resolving Issues