The Great Technology Bake-Off

Posted by Sean Flaherty on January 13, 2016 in categoryStrategy

Choosing the correct technology vendor for a strategic software product development project is crucial. It can be the difference between building a competitive advantage and wasting a whole lot of dough.

Choosing the correct vendor is a huge decision and if you leave it to an RFP process alone, you are leaving many critical evaluation components on the table that you will be unable to evaluate without direct experience. Fortunately, there is another way.

Once you have narrowed your selection to a handful of vendors, consider a low-cost, high-value, strategic "bake-off." Have them compete in a one day, off-site workshop where they take you through the initial planning steps of your project. If executed well, it will prove extremely valuable by accelerating the selection process while providing a broader set of possibilities on all fronts.

A bake-off will provide the ensuing benefits:

1. It will enable you to assess the following critical components that the RFP process does not; including:

  • The cultural fit between the organizations.
  • The ability of the firms to drive strategic and tactical clarity.
  • The ability of the firms to generate alignment between the stakeholders.
  • The ability of the firms to incorporate outside ideas and value.

2. It will serve to introduce the teams and kick-off the project with whichever firm is chosen. The bake-off provides immense value, while not slowing the process. In fact, it does the exact opposite and speeds the process up by avoiding being bogged down in a procurement driven evaluation process.

3. It will present different ideas, considerations and aspects into the mix from several capable firms that will be sure to serve the project moving forward.

If you find yourself held up on a large technology project and unsure of where to take your business, a bake-off will prove to be an extremely valuable exercise for any firm. Apart from identifying a vendor that works best for you, it creates strategic alignment before the project even begins.

Imagine knowing how good the dish turns out, before you even buy the ingredients.