By Sanjay M Mathkar, IT Infrastructure Services, Tata Consultancy Services
As a part of the procurement cycle, a DD serves as a means of gathering and analyzing information to ensure that the provider can deliver the services to the Buyer at the proposed price and within the proposed service levels. Guidelines for this process listed below are drawn from practical experience.
DD is the process of verifying and validating relevant information, data and records with the prospective buyer before entering into a contract; to ensure that provider can deliver the services at the proposed price and within the proposed service levels.
The 4 key objectives of the DD are:
Finalization of Scope and Baseline
This will involve verification of the data received with both party’s SMEs. The provider should discuss and agree on the scope and baseline with the buyer.
The proposed solution should be discussed in detail with the provider(s). Revisions if any should be mutually agreed and the implications also tabled and agreed.
Assumptions that have been stated during the earlier stages should be reviewed and validated.
Transition Plan Finalization
Various aspects of the Transition Plan like the timelines, locations, dependencies, risks, contractual commitments should be finalized seeking agreement with both parties.
Approach and Methodology
Approach should cover:
Define objectives and methodology
Establish and agree to the Schedule
The DD Methodology covers the following aspects
The DD should cover the following phases:
The main purpose of this phase is to kick start the DD. The DD lead should work with the Buyer to:
Outline the requirements
Assess readiness of parties
Discuss meeting schedules, availability of SMEs
Analyze key risks and issues
Agree engagement models and escalation mechanisms
The main purpose of this phase is for the provider to collect:
3rd party contracts
Performance and future growth plan
In-flight and proposed projects
Change management details
The Buyer should undertake the following activities:
Provide a data room for provider use
Gather information on the provider approach and methodology
Do site visits
Speak with provider reference clients
Summarize findings, issues, risks, impacts and related mitigations
The main purpose is to review the information for:
Interviews and Site-visits
The team should:
Publish the agenda in advance
Provide required documentation and follow up
Share the data points and review comments that needs to be discussed in advance
Conduct Site Visit
Non-IT document review
The focus is on:
In this phase, the team should perform a detailed analysis on:
Impact of information on solution, transition, scope and pricing
Transition and Transformation Plan
Risks and Assumptions
DD Manager should schedule clarification meetings to playback and validate Provider’s understanding of Buyer environment and Buyer’s understanding of Provider’s solution.
Final reports should be provided by the DD Manager.
Best Practices – Dos and Don’ts
The following table captures the Buyer focused Dos and Don’ts that the Provider needs to follow