Dispute resolution

IT project grinding to a halt?

With the best of intentions it is all too easy for projects to 'creep' and for specifications and deliverables to change, for deadlines to become unreachable and for blame to be laid at someone's feet. This can slow or halt a project, particularly where multiple vendors / suppliers are involved. We bring an independent view to the dispute and work with all parties to understand and resolve problems. We look after your best interests so that we can get the project moving again with everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

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The challenge

You have invested a significant amount of time, money and effort in a new IT system but it just doesn't perform as you had expected and as the supplier promised. Research shows that up to 74% of IT projects are regarded as unsuccessful by those who initiated them.

Disputes with suppliers can arise for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Failure to be clear about what the business requirements are and how these will be met by the system
  • A gap between what was expected and what was delivered – often a result of failing to set deliverables in sufficient detail
  • Unreasonable and unfair contractual terms – the purchaser is often encouraged to sign up to a contract that is written to the supplier’s interests and not the client’s
  • Disregard for long term business requirements - short term solutions quickly become outgrown and short-cuts/workarounds may affect future maintenance and the ability to upgrade the system
  • Failure to effectively project manage the implementation – leading to missed deadlines and a general lack of control.
  • In the face of such problems, it can happen that the relationship between the client company and the system supplier deteriorates to the point where confidence is lost and the system is discredited - a situation from which there appears no way forward.

What this service provides

Most conflicts are settled by agreeing a course of action that is acceptable to all involved, for example, by making some compromise between what the user thought the system was to deliver and what the supplier thought was required. This may require workarounds or revised processes or may involve modifying programs, designing new reports from the system or providing more training and support. When there is a dispute that cannot be resolved by other means, it becomes important to build the case that will establish the rights of the injured or suffering party. This occurs most often where the agreement between the two sides was informal or based on good intentions and faith.

However, not all such disputes end up in court. It is almost always cheaper and is certainly more satisfactory to devise a solution to which both parties can agree. We can help you by independently evaluating your position and the evidence you have in support of your case and giving an unbiased, expert view of the situation. We can also act on your behalf in discussions or negotiations with the supplier.

If all else fails we can act as technical advisers or expert witnesses, working alongside your legal team and if required, appearing in court to present our findings.

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Why and when you might need this service

  • You bought your system some time ago and despite many promises it still doesn't do what you expected it would do
  • You have lost all faith in your supplier and need help to move forward with them
  • You need help with building a case against your supplier and establishing facts

How this service benefits your business

  • Helps to get your projects back on track as quickly as possible
  • Reduces the likelihood of the situation turning into an emotional, expensive and operationally disastrous one
  • Helps you avoid costly litigation.