Friday, October 03, 2008

Software Evaluation, Selection and Procurement Process

Typical example of a Software Evaluation & Selection Study:
  • Build business case for investment including business and technical requirements and consideration of relevant opportunity costs
  • Investigate alternatives including continued use of any existing products
  • Investigate the services and support offered by the suppliers
  • Investigate the financial viability of the suppliers
  • Evaluate the products to confirm their fit to the business requirements
  • Evaluate the products ability to fit into the organisations environment including ease of use, required knowledge for use, etc.
  • Evaluate existing use of the product within similar organisations and/or negotiate setup of a functional prototype
  • Evaluate enhancements and ongoing growth of functionality for the products
  • Investigate licensing strategies

Common problems and associated risks:

  • Lack of user involvement - erosion of project support, increased user resistance
  • Poorly defined business case - cost overruns due to poor planning, lack of business benefits, lack of ownership
  • Incomplete or inaccurate requirements - inability to sufficiently evaluate the system, unplanned work to identify new requirements at a later date, incorporate additional functionality and perform additional testing, difficulties establishing project scope
  • Insufficient testing - unidentified software gaps and integration issues
  • Insufficient verification with external customers/suppliers - customer/supplier discontent, lost sales, lowered customer service , cost increases
  • Insufficient due diligence of software vendor - poor support, lack of future functionality for upgrade/enhancement, increased TCO


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