Acquiring software, whether an existing
package or outsourced development, frequently is disappointing.
The software often costs more, takes longer to implement, and
works less well than expected; and the acquisition process itself
often is too costly and time consuming. Acquisition can cut costs,
speed implementation, and improve quality--when selected, tested,
and installed using an appropriate methodology. Invariably, though,
many acquisitions are done by people who don't even realize they
don't understand how to acquire software effectively. Merely replicating
a prior selection, using the "textbook" approach, or
engaging a consultant who uses it, can create a false sense of
security. The "textbook" approach is necessary but not
sufficient in today's competitive environment. This course presents
it, along with the advanced critical elements which the textbooks
tend to overlook, especially for successful outsourcing. Attendees
receive an actual model Request for Proposals (RFP) which they
may adapt for their own acquisitions. Case exercises reinforce
* Systematic reliable process for acquiring packaged
or outsourced software that meets requirements.
* Ways to minimize the cost and duration of the acquisition
* Creating and using a Request for Proposals
(RFP) to control what you buy and avoid "being sold."
* Defining clearly, completely, and appropriately
what the vendor should deliver.
* Using reliable cost and performance data to focus
on important payback areas.
* Economical yet powerful methods for comparatively
evaluating competing proposals.
* Negotiating favorable contractual terms with vendors.
* Managing the quality, schedule, and acceptability
of installed software, even when outsourced.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This course
has been designed for systems and business managers, project leaders,
analysts, advisors, quality professionals, and auditors who are
or will become involved in acquiring packaged and/or outsourced
Make vs. buy, package/outsourcing strategies
Traditional selection process weaknesses
Role of methodology in succesful selection
DEFINING MEANINGFUL REQUIREMENTS
"Textbook" weaknesses to overcome
Guidelines/pitfalls for defining requirements
Internal and external information sources
Outsourcing and remote development
Support and maintenance
Performance and complex environments
Components and flow
Defining requirements--typical approaches
Packages vs. outsourcing, maintenance
Request for Proposals (RFP) purposes/use
Identifying prospective vendors
Model RFP which you may adapt
Terms, conditions, licensing, pricing
Weighted scoring proposal evaluations
Analyzing proposal costs/benefits
Report to management
EVALUATING COMPETING PROPOSALS
Getting "apples to apples" comparisons
Keeping responsibility on the vendor
Seven-step evaluation procedure
Outsourcing and sole-sourcing suitability
References, benchmarks, demonstrations
Risks and management considerations
Effective use of consultants for selections
NARROWING THE FOCUS
Using feasibility analysis to advantage
Estimating costs, benefits, and performance Steering Committee role