MSA – how to work calmly

If we plan to implement an IT system or build a web-app (I’m speaking about big investments of at least one million euro), it’s worth of spending some time on creating framework agreements with the service providers, as well as additional executive agreements.

It’s important to remember that such a way of working lengthens the first phases of implementation processes notably – it was 4 extra months in my case.

What MSA (Master Service Agreement) should include? These are 5 of the most significant points:

  • Criteria of needed resources and the way of provider verification (SAP specialists with 5+ years of experience, middleware engineers etc.). Inclusion of a process solving problems related to all the changes taking place among the providers’ management staff is also a good idea;
  • Project infrastructure – such as licenses, computers, access to the company’s resources (definitions of safety rules and their verification) and BCP (Business Continuity Plan) which should be launched due to critical situations. The last one may seem a little useless, but recent difficulties of one of the leading IT service providers confirmed that it’s necessary to remember about it;
  • Definition of legal terms of information privacy, intellectual property and data security (it’s really substantial to give some information about 95/46/EC directives);
  • Warranty of the service delivery and the way of error corrections. It makes the procedures for all the external contracts standardized, and – as a result – it makes the later operative phase much easier;
  • Additionally the forms of project funding and the stage appraises (what includes backtracking from the agreement and penalties applying to that).

I will focus on the content of SoW (Statement of Work) in the following post.

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by Piotr

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