Evaluating the Statement of Work – Project Management

The Statement of Work (SOW) provided by the vendor for an ERP implementation is a critical document. It is the vendor’s way of defining the terms of the engagement and it is understandably used by them to maximize their profitability and to protect themselves when things go wrong. The SOW is not like other contracts that have been vetted by the lawyers many times and very difficult to change. The vendors will negotiate the terms in the SOW, and you need to review it carefully especially with regard to scope and roles and responsibilities. We are going to write a series of blogs about what to look for in the SOW starting with Project Management

The vendors will include project management in their SOW but how do you judge whether it’s sufficiently covered. The following items will give you a clue whether the vendor has what it takes:

  • They have included experienced project managers. Get their resumes and ask to meet the project manager
  • The vendor is responsible to manage the project schedule
  • The vendor is responsible for the project charter
  • Their PM will meet with your core project team every week and with the steering committee once per month
  • They use project tools to manage schedule and tasks
  • Scope is clearly defined
  • The estimated timeline is reasonable
  • They use a combination of waterfall methodology to design all processes but use the agile method to implement processes that can stand alone and add value. Waterfall methodology is the traditional approach to project management whereby tasks are generally done sequentially, and the agile method uses an iterative approach to implement the system in multiple phases (called sprints).

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