Read part 1 here.
In part 1 of this 4-part blog, I discussed articulating your desired tool requirements. This is important as you need to ensure that the technology team’s needs are met and that the business understands why it is important to make this purchase. Here in part 2 of this blog I will discuss understanding the procurement process now that you know what you wish to buy.
#2 – Whether you know it or not, your organization has a procurement process, so figure out that process FIRST!
Typically, there are several key stakeholders within an organization that are required to make a purchase:
- Executive sponsor – If you don’t have an executive who is willing to step up and fight to make a purchase then chances are that a purchase process won’t get very far. We’ll talk about this in part 3 of this blog series.
- Technical champion – A more senior technical champion/architect within an organization will typically be required to vet a solution. This person needs to give their blessing from a technical perspective that the solution will meet the needs of the organization. We’ll talk about this in part 3 of this blog series.
- Budget person/team – Someone somewhere needs to find the budget to make a purchase. Organizations work differently as far as who controls an organization’s budget (accountant, department director, executive, board, etc.).
- Procurement lawyers – Software purchases require contracts. Contracts require lawyers for legal reviews.
- Business sign off person/team – Who is at the top of the chain who needs to sign for a purchase? Is that the department head, CIO, board of directors, etc.?
Choosing a Global Software Development Partner to Accelerate Your Digital Strategy
To be successful and outpace the competition, you need a software development partner that excels in exactly the type of digital projects you are now faced with accelerating, and in the most cost effective and optimized way possible.
Nobody like to have to dance at 11pm on the last day of a quarter. It’s not fun for the vendor and it’s not fun for the client (trust me, I’ve been on both sides of that fence). Find out at the beginning of the process if your organization has preferred vendors. If so, it might be much easier to work with those vendors. A vendor will typically put a termination clause on a PO to expire at the end of a month or a quarter. Work with the vendor to set a reasonable time expectation (then assume the vendor will do everything/anything to shorten that time J ).
Things to consider:
- What is your organization’s average procurement cycle in terms of process and time?
- Does your organization require a master sales agreement (MSA) and is that MSA in place with the vendor(s) who you are speaking with?
- Can your organization make software purchases from partner resellers? Does your organization have preferred partners that could provide you with additional value with a tool purchase?
- Who are your stakeholder sign-off people and are you including them in the decision-making process?
- Have your legal department check the vendor’s end user license agreement (EULA) at the beginning of the process and get their sign off ASAP. EULAs typically don’t change, so why wait to have your legal department review and sign off on them?
Frankly speaking, procurement cycles within an organization are typically not fun to work through. Therefore, it’s important to know as much about the process as possible ahead of time. There will be bumps along the road and the process will typically take longer than desired/expected. However, if you’re prepared at the beginning hopefully things will go as smooth as can be expected.
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