|contractor who is (theoretically) to be selected in open competition as the result of an RFP, there are certain types of problems you should select. The problem should be real and for a real organization you are with now or one that you know about. It is recommended that you use a real organization as the context for|
Identify or select a performance problem in a business activity that you believe could be resolved or substantially improved by the acquisition of IT services performed by a contractor selected in open competition as a result of an RFP (request for proposal). The acquisition of IT services may also include the acquisition of IT software and hardware, as needed. Document your performance problem as Activity 1 using Template 1 provided by IT Economics Corporation. Available at: Why do you need to select a business performance problem that will require the acquisition of IT services (and products as needed) from an external IT services contractor? It is the most important form of IT acquisitions. It involves the largest investments and is instrumental in transforming organizations and aceving competitive advantage. At the same time, it presents the greatest risk, with the probability of project failure increasing as the size and complexity of the projects increase. On the other hand, IT hardware and software acquisitions that do not involve services are usually “commodity purchases” (as explained below) and lack the challenges and complexity of acquisitions that involve IT services. The templates used in ts course are for IT acquisitions that include IT services. They are not meant for use with IT commodity purchases. Commodity purchases from vendors usually come with incidental services, such as installation and certain support services. These do not qualify as “contractor services.” An IT product is considered a “commodity” when there is a common definition of the good, the contracts for its purchase are for the most part standardized, and there are common qualities or service levels associated with the good. (On the other hand, your problem can require the selection of a contractor–via an RFP–that, for example, helps your organization identify, evaluate, decide on, and implement one or more IT commodity products.) For example, going out and buying a printer is a commodity purchase. Buying 20 laptop computers is a commodity purchase. Buying 15 copies of a software application is a commodity purchase. The decision to buy the commodity means that the problem has been solved and the commodity is the solution. However, ring an IT contractor to help design a system, acquire the hardware and software needed by the system, and assist in implementing the system is NOT a commodity purchase. It is the acquisition of IT services. Although you must select a performance problem that requires the services of an external contractor, you will not be asked to prepare a request for proposal (RFP) for an external contractor. Instead, you will prepare a basic performance-based work statement–the heart of an RFP–using one of the templates provided. Since the solution to your problem must require the services of an IT contractor who is (theoretically) to be selected in open competition as the result of an RFP, there are certain types of problems you should select. The problem should be real and for a real organization you are with now or one that you know about. It is recommended that you use a real organization as the context for your project so that the realities of the organization, including the constraints it must contend with, can be taken into account in planning your project. Basing an individual project on a fictitious organization provides no real world challenge since there are no real constraints. There is no need to identify the organization and do not divulge confidential information or information that the organization might find objectionable for you to reveal. Further, you only need to obtain data that are readily available. For data that are not readily available, reasonable estimates will do. A rule of thumb is to select a problem requiring an IT acquisition project that spans (though it can be much longer). The idea is to keep the size of the project from being no larger than needed for you to gain the insights from using the acquisition templates but not so small that it will make using the templates trivial and meaningless. Projects shorter than three months generally fall into the latter category. The problem should be such that the organization would be sufficiently concerned with the cost, risk, and need for success that it will go through the various acquisition steps, including competition among contractors (sources), in order to control cost, manage risk, and increase the likelihood of success. Your individual project will use a total of 12 best practice templates/models involving activities ranging from requirements definition to preparation of a performance-based statement of work. You will be given explanations and, in most cases, examples, of how to use the templates to perform your individual project activities. These are activities that are key in IT acquisition projects. Here are some examples of problems that past students have addressed with their individual projects: Document your problem selection using Template 1 from IT Economics Corporation, available at: . When you enter your information into Template 1, the result will be your Activity 1. Note that IT Economics Corp. gives two examples of filled-in templates–these are examples of what you are being asked to do to complete your “Initial” Activity 1. Post your Activity 1 as a response to ts topic (click “Start a New Thread”) and attach a Word document that contains your Activity 1.