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Off-The-Shelf IT Solutions:  A practitioner’s guide to selection and procurement

Book Description

Despite the sophistication of modern off-the-shelf IT products, most organisations find they don’t get the benefits they expected. This practical book presents a proven decision-making process to help IT and business managers select the off-the-shelf software product that best fits the needs of their organisation, whether in the commercial or public sector. Offering a structured approach to managing stakeholders, requirements and candidate IT vendors, this practical ‘how-to’ guide will help deliver a rigorous, defensible decision within an aggressive timescale. As well as illustrating the techniques, this book includes case studies from business managers who have been through the process. Useful templates and additional articles are available by download from the supporting website. -- “Martin is the guru of robust decision making. The process he describes in this book combines intuition with rigorous, transparent logic. Good choices are easy to explain, sell and defend whilst spurious bias is left with nowhere to hide.” Mike Berners-Lee, Founder, Small World Consulting Ltd -- “Martin’s book builds on his clear, detailed understanding of assessing and selecting off-the-shelf IT and provides a rigorous, practical method to get the solution needed.” David Nickson, Author and Bid Consultant. -- “I’ve long experience of how newcomers react to the selection method in this book - they like it a lot. I’m very confident that readers will quickly appreciate the benefits and how to apply it to their projects.” Professor David Brown, Lancaster University Management School.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Contents
  6. List of figures and tables
  7. List of executive perspectives
  8. Authors
  9. Foreword
  10. Acknowledgements
  11. Abbreviations and glossary
  12. INTRODUCTION: PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES
    1. I.1 Overall purpose of this book
    2. I.2 Why you should read this book
    3. I.3 How to get the best from this book
    4. I.4 Major guiding principles of the method
    5. I.5 Nature and characteristics of the selection process
    6. I.6 Chapter summary
    7. I.7 References
    8. I.8 Further reading
  13. 1. INTRODUCTION TO OFF-THE-SHELF SOLUTIONS
    1. 1.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 1.2 Introduction to off-the-shelf solutions
    3. 1.3 Interaction of strategy and software
    4. 1.4 Impetus – the project pre-conditions
    5. 1.5 Why buy an off-the-shelf solution?
    6. 1.6 Avoiding common pitfalls when procuring off-the-shelf software
    7. 1.7 IT consultancy for IT selections
    8. 1.8 Chapter summary
    9. 1.9 References
    10. 1.10 Further reading
  14. 2. TALENT MANAGEMENT: SUPPLIER PSYCHOLOGY (with Cathy Humphreys)
    1. 2.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 2.2 Overview
    3. 2.3 Candidate supplier constraints
    4. 2.4 Attitudes and relationships
    5. 2.5 The sales process at the software suppliers
    6. 2.6 Power, partnerships, fairness and good losers
    7. 2.7. Chapter summary
    8. 2.8. References
    9. 2.9. Further reading
  15. 3. INITIATION: SHAPING AND AUTHORISING THE PROJECT
    1. 3.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 3.2 Overview
    3. 3.3 Determining scope
    4. 3.4 Scoping workshops
    5. 3.5 Studying costs and feasibility
    6. 3.6 Establishing project phases
    7. 3.7 The executive sponsor
    8. 3.8 Project initiation or terms of reference
    9. 3.9 Launch events
    10. 3.10 Chapter summary
    11. 3.11 References
    12. 3.12 Further reading
  16. 4. REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS: CAPTURING THE ORGANISATIONAL NEEDS
    1. 4.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 4.2 Overview
    3. 4.3 Some cautionary notes on requirements capture
    4. 4.4 Studying best practice
    5. 4.5 Capturing requirements
    6. 4.6 Selecting interviewees and organising interviews
    7. 4.7 Preparing attendees for interviews or workshops
    8. 4.8 Preview of later use of requirements
    9. 4.9 Chapter summary
    10. 4.10 References
    11. 4.11 Further reading
  17. 5. REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT: DOCUMENTING AND AGREEING REQUIREMENTS
    1. 5.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 5.2 Overview
    3. 5.3 Organising requirements (cataloguing)
    4. 5.4 Requirement formats
    5. 5.5 Guidelines for articulating requirements
    6. 5.6 Validate, agree and refine requirements
    7. 5.7 The weighting workshop
    8. 5.8 Chapter summary
    9. 5.9 References
    10. 5.10 Further reading
  18. 6. TRAWLING THE MARKETPLACE: ESTABLISHING THE LONGLIST
    1. 6.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 6.2 Overview
    3. 6.3 Creating the longlist
    4. 6.4 Risks when engaging with the marketplace
    5. 6.5 Longlist length and when to include candidates
    6. 6.6 The incumbent solution as a candidate
    7. 6.7 Chapter summary
    8. 6.8 References
    9. 6.9 Further reading
  19. 7. ASSESSING LONGLIST CANDIDATES: SELECTING THE SHORTLIST USING THE RFI
    1. 7.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 7.2 Overview
    3. 7.3 Approach to evaluation at RFI stage
    4. 7.4 Prior planning
    5. 7.5 Formulating effective questions
    6. 7.6 Preparing the RFI
    7. 7.7 Technology used for RFI questions and responses
    8. 7.8 Marking scheme
    9. 7.9 Preparing ideal answers
    10. 7.10 Distributing the RFI
    11. 7.11 Who – roles on the assessment team
    12. 7.12 Assessing the RFI responses
    13. 7.13. How – the main RFI assessment meeting
    14. 7.14 Summarising the assessment outcome
    15. 7.15 Presentation to the project board
    16. 7.16 Chapter summary
    17. 7.17 References
    18. 7.18 Further reading
  20. 8. DETAILED EVALUATION: ASSESSING THE SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES
    1. 8.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 8.2 Overview
    3. 8.3 Who – the roles, teams and skills
    4. 8.4 Where and when – the meeting administration
    5. 8.5 How – the evaluation process and mindset
    6. 8.6 Defence mechanisms in the evaluation
    7. 8.7 Note-taking by the evaluation team
    8. 8.8 Chapter summary
    9. 8.9 References
    10. 8.10 Further reading
  21. 9. SCORING: ESTABLISHING DEGREE OF FIT AND RANKING
    1. 9.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 9.2 Overview
    3. 9.3 Crucial role of scoring
    4. 9.4 Stage outputs – scoring matrix
    5. 9.5 Definitions document with language ladders
    6. 9.6 Who – the scoring team
    7. 9.7 Where and when – the meeting administration
    8. 9.8 How – the scoring meeting process and mindset
    9. 9.9 Time management during the meeting
    10. 9.10 Steps to complete the scoring
    11. 9.11 Verifying scores with suppliers
    12. 9.12 Thresholds, error and defences
    13. 9.13 Selecting demonstration candidates
    14. 9.14 Addressing significant gaps in capability
    15. 9.15 Presenting to your project board
    16. 9.16 Chapter summary
    17. 9.17 References
    18. 9.18 Further reading
  22. 10. DEMONSTRATIONS: PROVING THE FIT
    1. 10.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 10.2 Overview
    3. 10.3 Objectives and risks of demonstrations
    4. 10.4 Who – the people who make the difference at demonstrations
    5. 10.5 Where and when – setting up the meetings
    6. 10.6 Further preparations
    7. 10.7 How – conducting the demonstration
    8. 10.8 Analysis after the demonstrations
    9. 10.9 Decision-making after demonstrations
    10. 10.10 Chapter summary
    11. 10.11 References
    12. 10.12 Further reading
  23. 11. REFERENCE SITES: REAL CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
    1. 11.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 11.2 Overview
    3. 11.3 Why – objectives of references
    4. 11.4 Who – reference sites attendees
    5. 11.5 Where and when – meeting location and format
    6. 11.6 How – example questions
    7. 11.7 The ‘anti-reference site’
    8. 11.8 Building relationships
    9. 11.9 Chapter summary
    10. 11.10 References
    11. 11.11 Further reading
  24. 12. CONTRACTS: NEGOTIATION AND AGREEMENTS
    1. 12.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 12.2 Overview
    3. 12.3 Why – objectives of a successful negotiation
    4. 12.4 What – decisions and preparation before the negotiation meetings
    5. 12.5 The scope of supply
    6. 12.6 Who – negotiation team members
    7. 12.7 Preparing to negotiate
    8. 12.8 Negotiation agenda with relevant terms
    9. 12.9 Free modifications
    10. 12.10 The supplier version of the agenda
    11. 12.11 Where and how – the negotiation process and mindset
    12. 12.12 After your negotiation
    13. 12.13 Chapter summary
    14. 12.14 References
    15. 12.15 Further reading
  25. 13. IMPLEMENTATION: PREPARING THE GROUND
    1. 13.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 13.2 Overview
    3. 13.3 Change of power positions
    4. 13.4 Supplier responsibilities during implementation
    5. 13.5 Customer responsibilities
    6. 13.6 Your implementation plan
    7. 13.7 Chapter summary
    8. 13.8 References
    9. 13.9 Further reading
  26. 14. VIEWPOINTS BY THEME
    1. 14.1 What you can learn from this chapter
    2. 14.2 Overview
    3. 14.3 Communications
    4. 14.4 Defined responsibility with consultation
    5. 14.5 Other sections of the book
    6. 14.6 Chapter summary
    7. 14.7 References
    8. 14.8 Further reading
  27. 15. CONCLUDING - RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOURCES
    1. 15.1 Summary
    2. 15.2 References
    3. 15.3 Further reading
  28. APPENDIX 1 SIZING QUESTIONNAIRE: TO SCOPE A SELECTION PROJECT
  29. APPENDIX 2 COMPARATIVE METRICS: EXAMPLE PROJECT PROFILES
  30. APPENDIX 3 CHECKLIST: DETAILED METHOD STEPS
  31. Index
  32. Back Cover