IT managers who work with consultants and vendors know that negotiating a contract and tracking progress are keys to success. To help ensure success, we’ve compiled a list of downloads that can give managers insight into some of the issues important to vendors.

The following downloads originally appeared in TechRepublic’s IT Consultant Republic and should help IT managers during vendor contract negotiations.

  • ·        A contract for independent consultants: A strong relationship with an independent consultant begins with a solid agreement. The best way to form this base is to work with a consultant on a contract that explains what they are responsible for before a project begins. Modify this sample contract from IT consultant Randy Barger to fit one of your future projects.
  • ·        Track billable hours with these spreadsheets: It’s crucial to monitor a consultant’s hours. Typical desktop notes such as “One hour on development and two hours on training” are not sufficient. This download offers two real-life examples that consultants use to track their own hours. Use the templates to create your personal tracking system or ask your next consultant to embrace one of these tracking strategies.
  • ·        A service level agreement for support services: Consultants and vendors want to perform the services they’ve promised, and managers want assurance that the consultants and vendors will deliver. To aid both sides of a project, outsourcers often use service level agreements (SLAs). This download offers an actual SLA that focuses on what consultants look for in this type of agreement. Use this template to identify the specific services your consultant or vendor will provide.
  • ·        Use nondisclosure agreements to keep information sacred: A nondisclosure agreement should be part of any contract with a consultant or vendor to protect your organization’s proprietary information. Download these two examples based on actual consultant agreements.

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