Vendor assessment checklist


Quick Summary
A set of questions to ask a company or contract resource you're thinking of hiring for your project. The questions are aimed at ensuring you have a common understanding and good fit in goals, skills and experience, processes, and priorities. Avoid disaster! Choose your partner well.


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What this is

Checklist for assessing any outside contractor or third-party organization you are considering using for your project. For instance, vendor or "partner" types can include:

Partner TypeDescription: the outside entity is engaged to ...
Full project partner- turn-keyExecute an entire project in the portfolio
Development partner - turn-keyExecute the entire technical development effort for a project
Manufacturing Partner- turn-keyManufacture the product created by the hiring company
Development partner - integrated(Firm or individual contractor) Execute part of the technical development effort for the project, working side-by-side with company developers
Other cross-functional partner - integratedExecute a cross functional aspect of the project (e.g. create technical publications for the product being developed)
Technical advisorReview elements of the project, taking responsibility for soundness of design etc.

Why it's useful

"Virtual" teams with an "out-sourced" component present special challenges to a project manager. Many things can go wrong when a project depends upon help from outside the company. This checklist ensures that you've probed for hidden sources of potential trouble so that risk management and other appropriate actions can be taken as part of project investigation and planning.


How to use it

Use this checklist (and add your own items) as soon as you begin interviewing any outside resources. Note that the list applies even if you're planning to use resources you've already used on past projects, as some items are situational.

The results of the assessment will drive key activities during project planning and investigation of project design alternatives. For instance, if the company has mismatches in their development processes, time will have to be spent up front to agree on what process steps and deliverables will be followed.


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