Thank you for joining us again this week as we continue to explore the growing need to review your IT Services contracts and make your IT Services plans for 2022 in our 4-part series that runs from Monday – Thursday.
Yesterday, we published a new original article:
Today, we are publishing another new original article (Part 2 in our 4-part series):
2. Tuesday: The 8 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself About Every IT Services Project
Please come back tomorrow to check out our new original blog on our research of over 50 India-based IT Services companies, where we will reveal our choice of the Top 10 firms, including highlighting who we think is #1 and why (teaser; it’s not who you think it should be).
3. Wednesday: Top 10 India-Based IT Services Companies for 2022.
And then on Thursday, we will make our brand new original Whitepaper (that outlines our Top 25 Recommendations on How to Negotiate Best-in-Class IT Services Contracts in 2022) available for download.
4. Thursday: Top 25 Recommendations on How to Negotiate Best-in-Class IT Services Contracts in 2022.
Clients often think of IT Services contracts as wildly intense legal documents with all manner of complexities that obfuscate truth and reason, making them almost unintelligible, and seemingly only designed and purpose-built to be instruments for future litigation. To be sure, these contracts are solely designed by the suppliers to give them maximum protection with minimal obligation, and your job as a customer is to try to balance that equation to include some basic fairness and protections for your organization so that you get something of value for your money while establishing stronger obligations on the part of your supplier to ensure you receive that value both when, and in the manner of your choosing.
To simplify this challenge, we offer a handy guide you can use in nearly every situation. If you can easily answer all these questions in your contract, and point to the specific provisions and language in your agreement that codifies these answers, you will have an excellent business contract.
When we come into a new situation we generally start here, and you might be surprised to learn that these very basic and simple questions are rarely (if ever) clearly illuminated in the contractual agreements and/or supporting documents.
The biggest miss is generally on question #8; to achieve what desired end-result. This is a bit of a loaded question because while it often includes more objective measures like functionality, performance specifications, and quality standards (all things that are somewhat easy to define and measure), it can also include things like, ‘elegantly designed’, ‘intuitive’, ‘easy to use’, and ‘aesthetically pleasing’, among many other, more subjective measures. This is where your customer acceptance process and criteria need to be tightly defined, aligned to your project plan, and proactively managed, so that the project team and its influencers are providing ample feedback to ensure the efforts stay aligned to the end goals. It is not an insignificant challenge to turn opinion-based feedback into empirical evidence, but it can be done with surveys and objective scoring measures, among other techniques.
The point of the phrase ‘desired end-result’ is that it will only ever be as good as your ability to explain it and to measure it, and it will only ever be an objective issue you can discuss with your supplier if your customer acceptance criteria are defined in such a way to ensure you able to provide clear and concise feedback on where testing results are not meeting acceptance standards, and you’ll only be able to do that if your project team fully understands the desired end-result.
- Customer Acceptance Criteria are one of the Critical Contract Terms and Conditions outlined in our upcoming Whitepaper: Top 25 Recommendations on How to Negotiate Best-in-Class IT Services Contracts in 2022, coming Thursday this week, so check back to learn more.
If you can answer these questions quickly and easily (not just by what you think your contract says, or what your contract is ‘supposed’ to say, but by reference to what is actually written in your contract), then you deserve a big congratulations, as you are already well on your way to a best-in-class agreement. Unfortunately, our experience has shown that many of these provisions (even if they are explicit in the agreement language) are written in such a lopsided way that all interpretation and leverage favors the supplier.
In case you missed it, check out yesterday’s article:
Join us again tomorrow (Wednesday), where we will reveal our new blog:
- Top 10 India-Based IT Services Companies for 2022
Be sure to check back on Thursday to download our new Whitepaper:
- Top 25 Recommendations on How to Negotiate Best-in-Class IT Services Contracts in 2022.
Thanks for joining us for this 4-part series about IT Services Contracts.
Please let us know if you have any feedback, as our content is always designed to respond to current market challenges, and to address the changing needs of our clients.
May you and yours continue to have a safe, healthy, and happy 2022.
And may your career continue to flourish as your company continues to thrive.
All the best!
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