Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

What It Takes to Work Together: Successful Client/vendor Relationships Depend on Collaboration, Accountability, and Honesty

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

What It Takes to Work Together: Successful Client/vendor Relationships Depend on Collaboration, Accountability, and Honesty

Article excerpt

In a vendor-based information technology project, there is an "arranged marriage" of sorts. Two parties, with little to no prior knowledge of each other and with varied backgrounds and motivations, share a common goal: a successful product installation delivered on time, within scope, and within budget. Like a successful marriage, a successful product installation depends on critical success factors, and a few of them are described below.

Collaboration

The first critical step is to establish a sense of collaboration, with executives from both the vendor and client signing onto the product installation. In addition, both sides need a line staff project manager to serve as a single point of contact.

From the kickoff meeting to postimplementation review, the vendor and client must act in unison and with a common purpose and goal. Executives on each side can establish and propagate a sense of collaboration in how they comport themselves in meetings and how they treat their internal and external partners. If the implementation team members sense that mutual respect, then they are more apt to mirror that positive attitude. The project managers can extend that goodwill by holding joint team sessions, sending out joint communiques, encouraging open dialogue, etc.

Collaboration is manifested by having inclusive meetings in which key project players gather to discuss the project in its entirety, rather than focusing on only what needs to be done from the vendor's or client's perspective. Collaboration also can involve celebrating birthdays and project milestones together or even commiserating at the end of a long day at a local watering hole.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Accountability

Some clients are under the impression that vendors should do everything involved in a product installation and yet never miss a deadline. But the project will suffer if both sides don't operate in an equitable, collaborative environment and are held accountable for their share of the implementation. The project delivery date will be delayed if milestones are not met by either side, but a milestone usually has to be missed at least once before everyone realizes the negative impact this can have on the project's schedule.

Accountability involves documenting expectations, along with everything else: project and communication plans, roles, responsibilities, contingencies, vacations, maternity leaves, and even cell phone numbers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.