Weighing Options

I’ve been working on an interesting and challenging (at this rate, what program ISN’T challenging?) program for the past three months. A big pharma company was looking to replace a ten year old system that created and maintained information (and documentation) about their partnering and licensing activities (including other pharma companies, universities, healthcare systems, etc). The program started with an RFP, followed by Proof of Concept, vendor selection phase, and finally, implementing the system that we select. I’ve already led the stakeholders through the RFP phase and brought the number of potential solutions down from 6 to 2. I’m having the stakeholders apply weights to the functional, technical, financial, and other categories of requirements. Here’s a bonus – as the single point of contact with the various vendors under consideration, I’ve gotten my share of free Starbucks coffees, lunches, etc (it’s not what you’re thinking – I DID make it perfectly clear that I was going to remain completely impartial. But I’m not about to turn down a venti caramel macchiato). What in the world does all this have to do with Agile? Nothing. Just wanted to make you jealous. No seriously, we did the RFP, Proof of Concept and now the vendor selection phase using Agile and Scrum. It’s definitely making those activities more manageable, and the increased collaboration among the team as well as the stakeholders is helping to ensure that we apply the right weights and priorities to all requirements (business/functional, technical, environmental, budget, compliance, etc).

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