Evaluating software vendors is time consuming and overwhelming unless you’ve decided to just pick one without much research (yikes!). Let’s discuss three ways GOT can guide us through.

The Lannisters have a long history of success, but she has DRAGONS!

Do you choose the “safe” bet or the new player?

Every time you talk to Cersei Lannister, she’s reminding you that when people think of the Lannisters they think success. No one would ever blame you for making such a low risk choice. Do the Targaryens have a record of success half as long? Have the dragons been road tested and proven to produce results, or are they just locked up in a cave somewhere, or worse, mere unhatched dragon eggs?

But then the hypnotic Daenerys Targaryen reminds you of your strategic initiative to innovate and separate yourselves from the competition. She is changing the game with these dragons and will lead you into the next big thing leaving your competition in ashes.

While you will secretly root for the super cool dragons to come out on top, you must emerge from under their spells and try not to lose your focus. You need to spend your time ensuring you align your criteria and objectives with the right solution. Who has what is required to attain the results you have targeted? HINT: Stop talking to Ms. Lannister and Ms. Targaryen and rely on an unbiased analysis.

When encountering White Walkers, you must be quick without hesitation.

By White Walkers I mean the leadership team. I am not insinuating that they are immortal killing machines. However, most feel they must move quickly and never show hesitation (weakness) when encountering them. The danger here is having strong feelings toward one vendor initially and prematurely announcing the likely winner to an inquiring executive. You will feel uneasy about changing direction as you move further into the analysis. Don’t be afraid to waver, but understand how to communicate effectively throughout the process.

Winter is Coming

You are living in the North drinking wine and pondering great success only to wake up and realize you have been abandoned in the harsh isolation of Winterfell! This can be what it feels like after signing up with a software vendor. The courting phase was spectacular only to find out there’s no yearlong honeymoon filled with high-fives and celebration, as promised. Instead you’ve been relegated to the vendor’s process of getting things implemented super fast with no concern for your objectives. Be in charge of what happens after the contract is signed to ensure you are popping champagne and not running for cover.