Number 1

Module 1: Choosing a System and Working with a Vendor or Developer

Is it better to use a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product or develop a new, customized one? Make an informed decision and translate it into action. Tools marked with an * below can be modified.


Module Introduction

This text defines terms commonly used when selecting a data system and provides in-depth descriptions of tools found within the module.

1.1 Decision Guide: Is a COTS System Right for You?*

This table of questions can help you determine whether a COTS or custom data system would better meet your program requirements. (Guide and assessment)

1.2 Scan of COTS Systems*

This tool provides a summary of commonly used COTS products, including those used by tribal and state MIECHV grantees. (Summary)

1.3 Request for Proposals – Timeline Guide

This template identifies the major activities associated with developing a request for proposals. Visit tool 1.5 for information on vendor and developer activities. (Template)

1.4 Request for Proposals – Timeline Template*

Once you’ve identified your timeline using tool 1.3, enter your dates into this customizable template to create a personalized timeline chart. You can also add columns to note staff responsibilities, additional information, etc. (Template)

1.5 Request for Proposals – Template*

This template helps teams looking to hire a system vendor or developer. Complete the template by adding dates and information from tool 1.4. (Template)

1.6 Example of a Data System Software License Agreement

This tool walks you through the key elements of software user agreements, which often contain important, non-negotiable language about vendor expectations. (Example)