Friday, December 23, 2011

How do you manage the Vendor?

One of my friends was asking me how you manage the vendor so that we have smooth operations and IT support with out having major or minor hiccups in the vendor-buyer relationship.

First thing we need to see - is it existing relationship or is it new contract and I am concentrating on the former. If it is existing relationship and vendor already supporting the systems, We need to plan very carefully as it involves understanding the existing systems, taboos, formal and informal communication systems, problems and solutions and need for improvements.

In order to manage the vendor relationship positively and effectively, I have divided this in to five areas and we need to understand and analyze. We need to plan for the below activities to get the grip on the entire system and maintain the momentum.

1. Who are the stake holders,
2. What are the kind of the applications supported and sensitive areas, what are the previous issues, problems and solutions, what are the organizational assets and processes (SLAs, Model templates and Communication channels),
3. Establishing Support planning and streamlining in to your daily routine,
4. Execution
5. Monitoring and Controlling

Vendor management cannot be done in isolation without understanding those details.


What we need to know?

We need to identify the stakeholders and prepare the list of all the stake holders (both Internal and external). After finishing the identification of the stakeholders, classify these stake holders into based on their power, legitimacy and influence based on salience model.

Understand the stakeholders’ needs in terms of their area of interest viz-a-viz application, reporting requirements. Now, we get sense of the overall user base, organizational structure, various stake holder needs and their priorities.

How do you get it? Tools and Techniques.

1. Conducting meetings
2. Reading available documents - organizational process assets.
3. Meeting people personally.


1. List of all stakeholders.
2. Stakeholders' business needs.
3. Stakeholders' priorities.
4. Understanding of the reporting needs.
5. Classified list of Stakeholders - power, influence, who can help and who need information etc, application users,
6. List venders and application matrix

Support processes and the application

What we need to know?

Once you get the fair idea of the stake holders, their priorities and needs, the next step is to understand support process and the applications the organization is supporting. Find out the list of services, application areas, communication channels, escalation points, reporting formats and requirements, out of the office hours supporting mechanisms, terms and conditions, on call support and costs,

After understanding the support process, you would get an idea of the applications being supported, priority areas and sensitive areas of the services supported by the vendor. Try to get a list problems, implications and solutions.

How do you get it? Tools and Techniques.

1. Study the SLAs
2. Meet the users and browse through the applications
3. Organize user meetings
4. See the previous reporting formats


1. List services and application supported by the vendor
2. Priority of the services
3. Urgency of the services
4. Reports by the vender
5. reports by the business and to the business
6. Communication channels - formal and informal communication
7. Escalation process
8. Understanding the support system – Help desk, remedy, same time etc.

Support planning and transition.

It involves planning for all the activities that requires successful planning of all activitoes need to be done.
What we need to know?

Once we have the above list of supported applications, users and its matrixes, you plan for regular routine activities and new enhancements to support the system smoothly. We need to identify daily routines such as any incidents/requests opened, priority, issue logs, check lists of support activities, weekly routines such as meetings, status reports and monthly routines and so on and clear plan of action for the routines and change request which are result of bugs. If we get new enhancement who will approve it, time taken for change implementation, go live etc.

How do you get it? Tools and Techniques.

We need to take all the outputs from the previous process and analyze, prepare lists of routine activities of daily, monthly nature and ad-hoc activities. Prepare list reports and formats and users of these reports. If you get any doubt, go back to the previous steps and repeat it until clear idea of the planning. Discuss with the senior mangers of the planning process and get inputs from them and modify your plan.

You have the clear plan of what are all the things you need to do regularly

1. List of daily , weekly activities and monthly activities
2. Change control process and implementation
3. Reports and reviews plans and formats
4. Vender reports and meetings and its frequency
5. Issue logs and regular updates to issue logs.


This stage involves performing all activities we have planed in the previous step.

What we need to know?

We need to work with the Vendor/the team to provide the good support regularly. We need to have constant look at the issue logs, all routine activities and reporting to the business users as well as venders regarding the status of the incidents and enhancement requests.

How do you get it? Tools and Techniques.

1. Always well inform the vendor on the priorities and issues.
2. Use effective communication channels such as phone calls / meetings/Personal visits
3. Regularly report the issue status and have the live issue log
4. Regular follow up
5. Share metrics with the users and venders.


1. Status of the support and enhancement
2. Problems faced by business and vendors – related to technical/business
3. Performance against the targets
4. Issues which need to planning
5. Feedback from the existing systems and processes.
6. New changes and planning

Monitoring and Controlling

It involves looking into the processes which are planed and executed for smooth support process are running/ working properly and correcting activities which are not as per the plan/not able to achieve desired output so that we are back on track to have good customer satisfaction.

What we need to know?

1. Have the reports and verify it. Ensure things are as per the plan. Information is correct and accurate.
2. Process and plan revisions
3. Issue logs and status
4. Metrics analysis and plan for it
5. Have regular formal and informal meetings, feedback.
6. Surveys with internal and external stakeholders and action plans


1. Changes to the plans and activities
2. Changes to the support system
3. Plan for the new changes
4. Improved reporting systems

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Barcampsg an Impressive Session - Da Vinci Pool

Yesterday I was there through out the Barcamp held at Singapore Polytechnic and it was quite interesting. One of the sessions By Prof. Jolyon Caplin gave me an aha movement .. oh we can do like this also.. that is Da Vinci Pool

The way the the speaker delivered the content is very much attractive and the content too. This session is a a very good learning point for many and at least for me.

  • The session made very energetic. I feel he is able to achieve such active participation because he loves his job and very creative

  • We can also exhibit the same energy when we involved in any activity be it a drink - My resolve

  • We can also use such techniques when we need to speak

  • His energy level /excellency attracted so many applauds in 30 minutes session. I saw everyone felt so happy..Involved.. Surprised..feeling Aha

Photo Courtesy: @bydaylight,@ohmysupersuper

I will update the video link once i get it you can also enjoy and realize

Friday, October 9, 2009

Constraining PIck List Based On Positions

Hi Friends

I have got the following requirement:

I have an LOV type Account_type and values Gold,Bronze and Silver. I have got two positions
Rep and Manager. Now the requirement is Rep cant see the Gold and Manager need to see all values.


One way is using scripting as in the following link

The other way is configuration.

Create profile attributes for the position and give values rep as 01 and manager as 02.
Please see some where on the web for this step

create calculated filed and put the value as GetProfileAttr("Yourprofileattributeinstep1")


Select the filed in BC which has the pick list for that particular LOV and add constraint
as below

Filed: Calculated filed created in step2 and
picklist field as your subtype field in picklist generic BC


Create LOVs as below

Type Value subtype
Account_type Gold 2
Account_type Silver 1
Account_type Silver 2
Account_type Bronze 1
Account_type Bronze 2

The Catch:

The calculated field should get the value as 2,1 for Manager and Rep.

Hope this could help you.