Turbocharged: Can You Ace Your SOW Project Management Using Your VMS? | DCR Workforce Blog

Turbocharged: Can You Ace Your SOW Project Management Using Your VMS?

Does your organization contract out complex and expensive projects using Statement of Work (SOW) contracts? If so, are you required to manage the human resources required for the project? Do you also monitor their execution of the project, meeting its deadlines and deliverables in a timely fashion, while keeping to the expected parameters on its quality and cost?

SOW project management can prove to be an inordinate amount of stress on you! If you need help with the end-to-end management of your contract projects, and the ability to quickly call out the laggards, you’re at the right place and help is very near!

When bringing in contract workers, companies turn to Vendor Management Systems (VMS). But when you need your VMS to manage SOW contracts, very few VMSs can make it past the finish line.

All VMSs deal with the management of contingent workforces brought in to supplement your existing workforce. But with SOW project management, the VMS must be able to track and manage the various phases of the project, and ensure their successful execution on time, to confirm that the project is completed per expectations. Not all of them have the required functionalities built into them, like DCR’s SmartTrack, to achieve this. And tacking on a pdf does not turn your VMS into a SOW project management system.

What a SOW program needs

Basically a SOW contract (or SOW document) lays down a lot of clearly defined terms and conditions, specifying the expectations for each phase of the project in perfect detail.

This can include:

  • Desired outcomes, milestones and performance standards
  • Measurements with technical standards and reporting systems applicable
  • Timelines and performance-linked payment terms for the project, with applicable penalties for any deviations or failure to deliver to expectations
  • Global capabilities including language and monetary differences
  • Any other deliverables deemed necessary for project benchmarks and completion

Turbocharged VMS

So, to do all these complex processes, you need a turbocharged VMS that can track all your Statement of Work costs, project milestones and deliverables and the various parameters and metrics. A simplistic VMS that works out the costs of a resource supplied at a specified hourly rate for a specified period of time is completely inadequate to deal with such complexities. Nor will it suffice to have a VMS that’s not global in nature and does not incorporate universally acceptable job specifications and fails to offer universal time, language and monetary systems.

In fact, the management of a SOW project demands an agile and dynamic approach that can factor in the unpredictable developments and unique changes which generally hamper the successful execution of any given SOW project.

Take a close look at the possibilities offered by a VMS, which is capable of helping you to ace your SOW project  management:

Choose right: The VMS can guide you on choosing the right type of third-party resource to be used, and the best contractual structure to represent the agreement between all parties. It can organize and automate the process of vendor selection including proposal solicitation, vendor evaluation, contract negotiation SOW creation and vendor onboarding.

Visibility over the project: Many projects require you to break them up into sub-projects, apportioning specific tasks to them and setting down deadlines for the deliverables. The VMS allows you to have complete visibility over all the sub-projects and offers the necessary control to have them executed simultaneously, to achieve the final outcome.

Track each vendor: When vendors are made responsible for achieving a desired portion of the project, the VMS can track each vendor’s progress against the contracted terms.

Enables communication: The VMS enables a direct and continuous flow of communication between the client and the suppliers, which is essential to the ultimate success of the project. Similarly, it enables continuous communication between the multiple suppliers and the various internal stakeholders who play a role in the project. It provides visibility into the project execution and helps to manage the required approval cycles as appropriate across multiple buyers and project owners.

Manages payments: In a SOW project, payments are linked to the execution of the work or service required. In a single project, every payment must meet the contractual terms laid down based on time-and-materials, price/deliverables stipulations, against applicable verification and payment authorization requirements. The VMS can track the payments through complex financial systems as well to deliver a holistic view into the project’s financials.

Global distribution: The VMS needs to work with onshore and offshore resources as well as suppliers, incorporating different rates, engagement structures and compliance requirements linked to time zones and regulatory requirements.

Track non-billable resources: All resources on the project team can get paid through the system, but a full picture is possible only when the VMS tracks the hours of non-billable resources too.

Avoids double-dipping: It’s possible to have vendors working on more than one project with unique requirements and unless the right project/cost codes are applied; a vendor may get paid twice. It disallows any payments against old projects once charge codes are deactivated.

Check out our Customer Success Story: “Playing for the Advantage – Calculating All the Right Moves” to see how DCR can help you with managing your SOW projects.

There’s no doubt that all VMSs cannot be designed to handle the complex requirements of SOW project management across multiple projects, but when you have it available – why would you settle for anything less?!

Is your VMS turbocharged to handle complex SOW projects? If not, take a peek under the hood of Smart Track. Request a demo today!

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.