The practice and consequences of embedding the SOW into the contracts for software and services.

Incorporating the SOW into the contracts for software and services strengthens those contracts, but that isn’t the primary purpose of doing it. The primary purpose is to determine the scope, shape, structure and day by day direction of the implementation project.

Every implementer’s oh-so-unique and proprietary methodology is designed primarily to demonstrate performance – and the performance to be demonstrated is their compliance with the terms of contract satisfaction. That compliance is 100% of what they work toward. Work that does not further that compliance is out of scope by definition (if you really want it done anyway, we’ll be happy to quote it). Experience has taught implementers that no other business model works. Consequently, when they are not given concrete and unambiguous goals to meet, they impose their own: this phase is done (and its associated obligations satisfied) when the customer order processing module is configured, that phase is done when we produce a balance sheet from test data we’ll show you how to enter.

We know of no available statistics to back this up, but we’re willing to bet that in at least two-thirds of the failed ERP projects to date, all performance measurement milestones were met right up to point at which failure announced itself. Not just alleged to have been met: well and truly achieved, according to the project plan and the terms of the contract. How can that be? It can be because the project plan was designed, by the seller but with the buyer’s full involvement, to finish all tasks – and thus the project as a whole – in the shortest possible time. It can be because, of all the metrics used to determine project performance and the quality of the implementers’ work, none comes close in importance to staying on budget and schedule. It can be because very few (if any) of those perfectly met milestones corresponded in the slightest degree to any of the buyer’s critical expectations for the system.

Adaptive Growth’s approach addresses the current and great demand for a solution to ERP project failures.

Download our free E-book–The Symptoms, Reasons, and Causes for ERP project failure from our web site www.adaptivegrowth.com.