Two vendors who are were part of your ERP project team are not working in sync with each other, and their conflict is causing you project to fall behind schedule. In this video, Bob McGannon recommends the actions you should take along with approaches to minimize the chance of a vendor responsibility gap happening on other projects.
- In this challenge, two vendors that are part of your project team are not working well together. Their contracts aren't clear about who should be leading project integration activities and it's causing them to miss deadlines. If this continues, your project will be impacted. The first question I asked, "What action should "you take in this situation?" As with the other challenges, it's best to perform some analysis. Proper integration of the network and the ERP application is mandatory so it would be best to determine which of the vendors would be best suited to perform the integration lead role.
Find out if the wording in either of their contracts does indeed commit the vendor to perform the lead integration task. If that was your intention with either of your vendors, it could be in the contract. Make sure to double check the contract from beginning to end to see if that responsibility is laid out. If integration work responsibility is not clear in either contract, what cost might be added to your project? It's likely there will be an increase in vendor cost if you want to have a vendor do work they did not plan to perform.
And finally, determine if you or an internal staff member have the technical expertise to perform the integration role or serve as the coordinator between your two vendors. Once you have performed this analysis and determined the best course of action, communicate that decision to all involved. Then clearly outline the roles for each of your vendors so they know what they need to contribute to the integration activity. This will help keep your vendors on task and your project on track.
The second question I asked, "What actions could "you take to minimize the chance of this vendor "responsibility gap happening on other projects?" There are three things I do when working with vendors. First, share the list of tasks in your project schedule that are assigned to each vendor. Review those tasks and ensure they accept responsibility for them given the contract you have in place. Second, any time I anticipate that vendors will need to work together, I go over those tasks with all of the involved vendors in the same room.
I also appoint a member of my project team as a vendor coordinator for those tasks. Even if you don't have the technical expertise, a project team coordinator can quickly alert you to issues that may be brewing. And finally, for every vendor contract, I create a summary of responsibilities for reference by the vendor and my internal project team. This summary is not intended as a legal contract document. It's just an overview of who is responsible for what.
Writing and distributing these summaries early in your project can help avoid a responsibility issue later down the track when timing is crucial.
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Guiding process and organizational change
- Considering a cloud-based solution
- Planning a technology project
- Assessing risks and changes
- Executing a technology project
- Addressing challenges such as conflict and changing priorities