Boeing Advice

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    Yesterday I shared some advice from Philip Harris, the Director of the IT Services Business Management Shared Services Group for The Boeing Company. Here’s a bit more about how Boeing operates — albeit in a bit of a rambling fashion.

    Mr. Harris advised making sure you build flexibility into the agreement — and a lot of time into the schedule to make sure people on both sides understand how the agreement works. Since requirements change for any number of reasons, flexibility enables you take advantage of potential price/performance advantages.

    He pointed out that if you have to manage terms and prices to the contract (in other words, yank out the contract on a frequent basis to make sure its terms are being adhered to), there’s probably something “systemically wrong” with the relationship you have with your vendor.

    He said Boeing’s standard contracts include a 90-day contract termination clause.

    During transitions — which took a year during the last change in providers — he said to expect to spend a lot of time talking about the changes. In fact, he said, “You can’t spend enough time.”

    He said he won’t allow the company to outsource technical architecture and design work. The company brought help desk back in-house, he explained, because the mechanics of getting “heritage companies’ help desk-trouble ticket systems talking together” was insurmountable.

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