You should meet the supplier at the start of the project to agree:
- where the supplier will work and which tools or software you will use to collaborate
- roles and responsibilities
- how the project will be managed, for example using agile or another delivery methodology
- key milestones for the project, displayed in shared diagram or ‘roadmap’
- how the work will be assessed, for example which metrics you will use to monitor performance
- how any when any incentives will be paid
During the delivery phase you should:
- meet regularly to discuss ongoing performance, where possible with the whole supplier team, not just their project manager
- identify any areas for improvement and agree how to make changes
- consider how to work with suppliers with specific needs, for example women-owned businesses may require more flexible hours
- regularly review the exit plan that was drafted at the beginning of the contract
The level of monitoring should be proportionate to the value and importance of the contract. For high-value or complex projects this should involve a range of stakeholders, ideally including those independent of awarding the contract.
During crisis response situations a less intensive or targeted approach may be required to ensure you can still deliver services with your supplier.