How to buy Project Management Consulting Services: Service as a Product (SaaP)

When you need to hire a project management consulting firm, knowing in advance exactly what services you are getting and how much they will cost you gives control and peace of mind. Innovative firms are thinking differently about how they charge for their consulting services and they are offering creative ways to package Project Management services to their clients.

I asked Todd Williams of eCameron Inc about how his firm is differentiating itself by packaging project management professional services as products. This gives his clients the consistency and predictability they look for in consulting engagements by offering them a service as a product that has a standardized list of features, clear outcome, and at a fixed price.

The Interview:

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I asked Todd the following questions:

  1. What are the purchasing trends that you are seeing in the industry right now for purchasing project management services?
  2. SOWs are at the heart of every contract. What is the biggest issue that clients face with vendor SOWs?
  3. The SOW is all part of a greater contract. Why not just use the lawyer review to do this?
  4. You seem to have a lot of examples from some very high-profile and sophisticated companies and organizations. These are smart people, how can this persist?
  5. With a list-price product, I am not in control of the scope. We are unique and standard products like this won’t work. Why would I do this?
  6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of SaaP?
  7. What do you say to those who think this just add cost, time, and bureaucracy to the signing process?

About Todd Williams:

For twenty-five years Presidents, Vice Presidents, and C-Level executives of manufacturing and service companies have asked Mr. Todd Williams to help them build leading-edge systems, improve organization efficiency, and turn-around troubled projects. From this experience, he has developed methods to streamline organizations, recover red projects and help prevent recurring failures.

In his first book, Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure (March 2011), he defines a project audit and recovery process that rescues failing projects while focusing on root cause correction and prevention. His experience covers many domains inside manufacturing and service industries. Experience is drawn from working on internal and third-party projects, including integration of manufacturing systems, equipment integration, web-based collaboration tools, thick clients with automated internet update, and large-scale business systems integration. His cultural experience includes the Pacific Rim, Middle East and North America, coordinating teams dispersed in as many as five countries, three continents and countless time zones. Over the years has a developed team philosophy that he finds critical in recovering projects.

As President of eCameron, Inc., located outside Portland, Oregon, he is considered an expert in rescuing projects and preventing their failure. He maintains a blog that has been quoted on ZDNet, The Center for CIO Leadership, CIO Essentials, IT Business Edge, and Project Managers Planet.

Audio Links:

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