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Improve Your Statements of Work to Hold Your Vendors Accountable

Identify and reduce performance risk before you execute your next SOW.

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Contributors

  • Pat Campbell, retired IT executive
  • Dave Whitinger, Consultant, SELect IT Consulting
  • CJ Anderson-Johnson, Senior Manager, Indirect Sourcing, Sleep Number Corporation
  • 3 anonymous company contributors

Your Challenge

  • SOW reviews are tedious, and reviewers may lack the skills and experience to effectively complete the process.
  • Vendors draft provisions that shift the performance risk to the customer in subtle ways that are often overlooked or not identified by customers.
  • Customers don’t understand the power and implications of SOWs, treating them as an afterthought or formality.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • There is often a disconnect between what is sold and what is purchased. To gain the customer’s approval, vendors will present a solution- or outcome-based proposal. However, the SOW is task or activity based, shifting the risk for success to the customer.
  • A good SOW takes time and should not be rushed. The quality of the requirements and of the SOW wording drive success. Not allocating enough time to address both increases the risk of the project’s failure.

Impact and Result

  • Info-Tech’s guidance and insights will help you navigate the complex process of SOW review and identify the key details necessary to maximize the protections for your organization and hold vendors accountable.
  • This blueprint provides direction on spotting vendor-biased terms and conditions and offers tips for mitigating the risk associated with words and phrases that shift responsibilities and obligations from the vendor to the customer.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should spend more time assessing your statements of work, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Assess SOW Terms and Conditions

Use Info-Tech’s SOW review guidance to find common pitfalls and gotchas, to maximize the protections for your organization, and to hold vendors accountable.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a two call advisory process.

Call #1 - Review common SOW pitfalls, performance risk–shifting phrases, and ways to hold the vendors more accountable.
Call #2 - Discuss next steps for the SOW and any applicable negotiation required with vendor.

Onsite Workshop

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Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess SOW Terms and Conditions

The Purpose

Gain a better understanding of common SOW clauses and phrases.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Reduce risk
  • Increase vendor accountability
  • Improve negotiation positions

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Review sample SOW provisions, identify the risks, and develop a negotiation position.

  • Awareness and increased knowledge
1.2

Review Info-Tech tools.

  • Familiarity with the Info-Tech tools

Search Code: 90370
Published: December 3, 2019
Last Revised: December 3, 2019