New Research: Services Procurement Spring Cleaning – 10 SOW Resolutions

Today we announced the publication of our latest Spend Matters Perspective: Services Procurement Spring Cleaning: Ten SOW Resolutions to Get Ready For a Lasting Savings Summer. Before downloading this perspective, it's worth noting that it has already been a long, hot, early summer here for much of the northern hemisphere. Many of us have quickly come out of hibernation from the winter, having eaten too much (and consumed too many single malts) in the months prior. This has led, of course, to expanding waistlines and pounds to be shed before hitting the beach in the latter parts of the summer. And we're sorry to say, many of our New Year's resolutions (for the most part) have gone unimplemented. Here at Spend Matters, we're no different than most folks who have personal (and actual) leftover spring-cleaning to do.

Recently, we've thought about how challenging it can be to keep professional resolutions and plans, in large part because we're not the only ones responsible for carrying them out -- or being 100% accountable for the company's overall performance in our areas of focus and determination. After all, in many cases, even the best systems and policies we may put in place will not necessarily compel or change behaviors if we don't back them up with the right means of persuasion, influence and training.

Still, for those who have leadership roles in procurement in particular, laying out a set of goals to measure one's self is absolutely essential given how our roles can quickly devolve into fighting a constant set of fires.

Having a list of self-selected resolutions mapping to your own professional goals and objectives for impacting positive change is arguably more important for your own development and standing than even HR-driven MBOs (major business objectives) or other corporate measurement tools. So in this spirit, we set out to write -- with significant input from IQNavigator -- ten statement of work (SOW) resolutions to get ready for a lasting savings summer. In this Spend Matters Perspective, Services Procurement Spring Cleaning: Ten SOW Resolutions to Get Ready For a Lasting Savings Summer, we explore the following resolutions in detail:

  1. Make a commitment to answer this following question for your enterprise: "What does good SOW spend management look like?
  2. Set a program goal not to run SOW programs and complex categories by the seat of your pants. Measure, measure, measure
  3. Make a concerted effort to identify the right executive sponsor (or sponsors) who will serve as advocates for your cause – and provide teeth to program implementation and adherence
  4. Make a resolution to go big game hunting -- or at least to kill a sacred cow or two
  5. Find a way to engage a group of project managers "upstream" when they are considering sourcing a project
  6. Repeat after us: we will identify and implement the best set of technologies or make better use of what is already available to manage our SOW spending needs
  7. Don't ignore the strategic sourcing basics around applying common sense to SOW spending
  8. Codify the benefits of managing SOW better for your organization to start proselytizing the budget owners
  9. Start collecting the initial desired results and the end business results achieved for completed SOW projects to "connect the dots" on supplier performance and SOW business impact
  10. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to process and contract templates -- after all, each SOW is unique by definition

If you're involved in services procurement activities for your organization, we have no doubt that you'll learn from our services procurement belated spring cleaning resolutions (which we're still trying to complete before the leaves start to change). Qualified practitioners can download Services Procurement Spring Cleaning: Ten SOW Resolutions to Get Ready For a Lasting Savings Summer after becoming free members of the Spend Matters Research Library.

- Jason Busch

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