The First Step – Sign a Contract with Your Chosen Consultant

Let’s talk today about taking the first step towards choosing your next ERP software. In case you missed it, in the first article of the series we introduced you to the process we have perfected over many years.

To start, we want to encourage you to choose someone to lead the project. Choosing software to help you run your company for the next five to 10 years is not an easy task. The person you choose to run the project is equally important. This  person is going to have to dedicate a lot of hours to this over the next three months – give or take.

The project manager is very important and must first work with an internal team to define what the company needs from the new ERP, then identify and meet with vendors who can supply the software to meet those needs all before creating and distributing a Request for a Proposal.(RFP).  They must analyze each of the responses before recommending and obtaining internal agreement on the chosen vendor. A Herculean task!

If there is no one in the organization that has the skills, or the time, needed to tackle the project, you will need a consultant. The help of a consultant who has been through this process many times is invaluable. An experienced consultant can provide guidance every step of the way, keeping you on track and ensuring the project team focuses effort on the right things.

If you decide to use a consultant make sure both parties agree to the terms (and get it in writing!)  Here are two agreements that we strongly recommend:

Master Professional Services Agreement (MPSA)

The Master Professional Services Agreement is useful when you plan to hire a consultant to perform a series of services, or several completely different tasks, over a period of time. An MPSA allows  you and the consultant to more easily negotiate future statements of work since you can both use the general terms of the master agreement.

Terms of the MPSA may include scope of work, compensation and payment terms, detailed ownership rights, service warranties, agreement termination, liabilities, insurance, non-solicitation of employees, and agreements related to use of third parties for work. The MPSA can also include a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

A lot of projects don’t require an MPSA, though. In many cases, a Proposal/Statement of Work with Terms and Conditions is enough.

Proposal / Statement of Work (SOW)

This document clearly describes what needs to be done to fulfill the contract, and it defines the tasks to be accomplished or services to be delivered in clear, concise and meaningful terms.

Once completed and reviewed by the legal departments from both parties, the documents are signed and then kept available to guide the work over the next few months.

At Roghnu we have 10+ years’ experience in software selections, and we have all the tools you need to facilitate a top quality selection of your own. Contact us, we can provide you access to these tools at no charge and with no commitment to us on your part.

Don’t miss the next installment of the series where we will take you to step two, which consists of initiating the project plan and holding the kick off meeting.

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