How to Better Manage Fixed Bid IT Projects

I have been in the IT industry for over 14 years now. I started with small development projects, and then gradually moved on to project management. During this time, I have had the chance to work on many fixed bid, IT development projects. There were a few very successful ones and also a few that were not so successful. There can be multiple reasons for the failure of a fixed bid project. I would like to share my thoughts on a few aspects that often contribute to the failure of a fixed bid project.

A fixed bid project can be quite risky for both the customer/buyer and the vendor. While a vendor needs to ensure that the project is delivered on schedule and under budget while meeting the scope criteria, a buyer needs to make sure that the project is awarded to the right vendor. In the process, every potential vendor has to go through a stringent vendor selection process. Using a stringent selection procedure ensures that the vendor chosen has the right technological, intellectual, and social skills required, as well as the infrastructure to become a true partner for the success of the customer.

This is not the end. Once the project is awarded to the vendor, the project stakeholders and project sponsor must be committed to this endeavor. Both parties should constantly strive to create positive outcomes that enhance a trustworthy working relationship. While it is the vendor&#…

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- George Bernard Shaw