Supplier Software Development
A group responsible for supporting and accepting strategic equipment from suppliers decided to use the commitment-based approach. After holding a joint team planning meeting to clarify deliverables, the software acceptance team held weekly reviews where both the supplier team and the acceptance team reported on due and upcoming deliverables using the reporting groundrules recommended in “No Surprises Project Management”. After both teams were unprepared in the first review meeting, the acceptance team leader challenged her team to absolutely follow the groundrules so that the supplier could be held accountable. This strategy paid off, and 85% of all the deliverables were ready on or before their scheduled dates (the others were recovered quickly). The supplier was also pleased with the result. They said it was the first time that the software team had beaten the hardware team on a major product delivery.
A participative meeting was used to develop a commitment-based plan (and deliverables matrix for tracking progress). Two levels of regular work review meetings were set up to make sure that progress and risk were monitored appropriately and that any potential slips would be identified in time to respond. Each project subteam used performance systems to make sure they met their own commitments. Below are the results of essentially the same team developing essentially the same product before and after the commitment-based intervention. The product had record setting time to money (break-even time) performance and the team was recognized for their excellent performance.