CI The aims of Euromethod

Euromethod (EM) has been around in draft form for some time as Version 0. but in July 19% was officially released as Version I. There were originally some misconceptions about what EM was, including that it was some kind of new analysis and design 'supcrmethod' that subsumed all the existing, well-loved, approaches such as SSADM, Information Engineering, Merise, SDM and so on. In fact, the problem that EM tries to tackle is that, within a unified European market, the existence of local standards and methods can effectively restrict the companies that can tender for contracts to dev elop systems to local organizations. Some action had already been taken so that a public body could not specify that a supplier had to use SSADM. for example, but rather had to specify 'SSADM or equivalent*. However the question remained: what exactly was equivalent to SSADM? This is one of the questions that EM attempts to answer. As the EM document states:

'In the field of information systems, an open market can only be fully achieved by removing obstacles to the mutual understanding between customers and suppliers from different countries. These obstacles stem, in pan, from the existence of a large variety of methods, each having its own concepts and vocabulary.'

EM works at a higher management level than conventional project management methodologies, but can have a decisive influence on the way that those methodologies are applied. EM's concerns are primarily at the contractual level. As such, its focus is on the customer-supplier relationship and on acquisition management, see Figure C. I.

Euromethod attempts to assist mutual understanding between customer and supplier by prov iding guidance about how their relationship should be governed. A key feature of its approach is the way its guidance is based on an analysis of the problems and risks inhea*nt in the current environment. It also attempts to provide a framework for the harmonization of terminology, although its effectiveness here is compromised by its adoption of a rather strange set of 'Eurospeak' terms.

The Version 0 EM documentation came to 800 pages. Vers»on 1 is a mere 222 pages but is not always an easy read. It is however treely available over the Web.

EM has provision for the acquisition of both products and services. In this overview we will focus on products only.

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