Enterprise Project Warning Signs

Warning signs that a software vendor is lacking with their service delivery model

In a successful IT project implementation, the client/vendor relationship typically matures to one of mutual respect and ongoing product refinement that benefits both parties equally. With a stable and responsive platform established, internal product teams shift their focus to widespread adoption, feature customization and innovation, or platform expansion into other business areas and workflows. The work continues, but as with a home-building project, the structural heavy lifting is largely finished and the happy owners are now primarily focused on turning their new house into a ‘home.’

By contrast, if the new homeowner is consistently reaching into their pockets to pay for crucial ‘fixes’ not anticipated long past the initial possession date, the relationship may be headed down a potential rocky path.

If a ‘happy home’ is your eventual goal signaling IT project success, here are some warning signs that your current enterprise solutions provider may be leading you down the garden path instead:

  • Your Go Live Date is continually pushed back with inadequate explanation or rationale provided.
  • The project is launched with significant feature gaps and/or extensive bug fixes required.
  • Product launch presents as ‘feature-lite’ with efforts to achieve your full requirements list requiring ongoing and cost prohibitive change requests and/or new project costs.
  • Feature gaps are addressed via a promised upgrade path that never seems to arrive.
  • Support requirements and costs seem to be escalating prohibitively with the possibility of balloon payments and/or tiered service billing models hamstringing your ability to cross the goal line with your requirements met in full.
  • Project requirements are descoped early and often by the implementation vendor, pushing previously agreed vendor responsibilities and costs back onto the client.
  • Core infrastructure costs such as licensing, hosting, managed services, etc. are increasing at an alarming rate not consistent with industry or inflation trends.

If you are encountering one or more of the above scenarios with your current enterprise software vendor, it is wholly appropriate to flag their service delivery model as a potential root cause risk that must be properly mitigated going forward. In fact, given the domain knowledge expertise and the absolutely vital role that your enterprise solution provider will play in your eventual project success, it is vitally important for new agencies embarking upon an enterprise software project to consider the correct due diligence approach to guarantee your software vendor is a true partner in your project success.

Next week, we’ll continue our ongoing series on How to Deploy a Digital Government Platform by showing you how to ‘Identify a software provider that is invested in your success beyond the sale.’