New BSi standard for collaborative working published – it’ll cost you though….

The BSi Group (still described incorrectly by many as the "British Standards Institute") and PSL (Partnership Sourcing Limited) have published a Collaborative Business Relationships 'British Standard BS11000'.

I can't tell you if it's any good as it costs £110 to buy and I can't quite justify that.  (The MOD have signed up to it apparently - anyone there like to lend me a copy)?   I'm also not clear how the £110 document relates to the  Supply Management / PERA / PSL "Guide to Collaborative Working" that was published last month and seems t be rleated to this new standard? (I will review that shortly).

I do struggle a little to see why I would want to have a 'standard' for relationship management- it hardly seems like the sort of repeatable business process which would lend itself to a formal standard.

And by the way.... hands up if you think BSi is some sort of official Government organisation?

I did believe that until recently, but they're not.  They are an unusual beast; as their website says, "BSI has no shareholders or other “owners”.  It is a commercial but non-profit distributing company.  Its profits are re-invested in the business.  It is not owned by and is independent of government."

Which is all fine, but just bear in mind they would seem to be as profit-focused as any private sector consulting / accreditation firm, with revenues of £200 million and profits of £20 million plus.  And their three executive directors received over £1.7 million between them last year (page 73 of the accounts), so we're not talking public  sector salaries either.  The Chairman is on £145K a year, and the last CEO got £1.4 million in 2008 (including a hefty pay-off when he resigned).  Which seems pretty good going even for a private sector firm of that size.

I think we can deduce therefore that new initiatives like this collaboration standard are not developed purely for the public good!

So work with BSi - and by all accounts they are very capable in many areas - and consider this standard, but don't think you're dealing with a nice cuddly public sector organisation if you do.  And be aware that there are competitive alternatives in many cases to their offerings.

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