Over the years, the scope of IT Service Management framework has broadened. IT SM tools also reflect these changes covering the life cycle processes and each vendor adding their own flavor. Comparing the tools can be a daunting process. Earlier I have written an article to use a “short cut” approach. (https://psymphony.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/how-to-choose-a-perfect-service-deskitsm-tool-in-5-days/)
However, for many Government and large enterprises this “short cut” may not be suitable. They need to follow the “traditional” approach of sending a RFT, getting the responses, collating, inviting the vendor to demo the product and make a final selection.
The typical RFT can run into 800+ criteria. It is an intensive job for both sides of the fence. The purchaser usually use an Excel spread sheet to specify their criteria. However, it is still not an elegant solution because we need to “cut and paste” from the responses. Responding in Excel for a text intensive response impacts the readability.
Well, the good news is you can still fast track the RFT invitation, comparison and selection by using a MS Word template. We have developed a tool, Kloudax Comparison Assistant (KCA) that can read documents, PDF, web pages and generate a comprehensive comparison matrix.
Step 1: Fast track RFT development by using a template
Use a standard RFT template and customise to your needs. Here is an example of a typical RFT. We wish to acknowledge Cherwell software (www.cherwell.com) for providing MS Excel template. We have converted the template to MS Word.
This template covers the complete life cycle features of ITSM tool suite. The criteria are classified into:
- Technical requirements
- General functional
- Incident management
- Problem management
- Change management
- Service catalogue management
- Service Level Management
- Configuration Management
- Knowledge management
- Release management
- Capacity-availability management
- Financial management
- Program Project Management
- Self service
The word document has much more intelligence built into it apart from the detailed criteria specification. This document is machine readable by the tool KCA.
Step 2: Fast track vendor responses
Once you tailor the RFT, send it to the chosen vendors for self assessment. You may ask them to rate each criterion in a scale of 1 to 5 with the following guidelines:
In the self assessment, the vendor can comment to justify their rating.
KCA tool allows you to customise this rating. You can associate any description with the rating levels.
In addition, the tool can search within any PDF/HTML manuals based on keyword. It will give you rating , with the description from the manual/document. You can change the rating based on your judgement.
Step 3: Fast track evaluation and comparison by using KCA
Once you receive the responses (it needs to be in Word format), upload them in KCA. Your comparison table covering all 800 criteria is generated automatically.
Of course, you have options to change the vendor self-assessment ratings based on your interpretation.
The tool has features for team collaboration. So, you can partition the work to many reviewers and collate the result.
Have you already sent out the RFT? Not a problem. You can still use a multi-criteria approach evaluate the features and rank them.
Here is an overview of the tool: kloudax.net.au/software
Sounds interesting! Want to try your hand?
info [at] process-symphony.com.au