Dian Schaffhauser writes a very interesting article "Outsourcing Best Best Practices: The Sourcing Model for Clients from Carnegie Mellon" in the magazine part of this web site – http://www.sourcingmag.com/content/c060601a.asp
Dian brings out the essence of sourcing models and maturity levels in companies when it comes
to sourcing. Very useful information and right on target!
Unfortunately, models like CMM, ISO-9000 fall into a "mechanical process" approach where a vendor
gets certified for one of their processes (say, ISO-9000 for their own internal accounting)
and advertises widely as ISO-9000 certified giving you the false impression (often by design)
that their entire organization is ISO-9000 certified!
Hope the sourcing model does not fall into this process trap!
Whether it is CMM or the Sourcing Model, what is absolutely key is that the sourcing company
and the vendor have the right communication skills to pull it off successfully!
The vendor may be Level 4 CMM but still the software delivered could be way off the mark!
There is nothing wrong with the process or certification but what people have learned painfully
over the years, is that it is not technical skills or project management skills that make
sourcing arrangements successful but COMMUNICATION!
Whether it is IT sourcing or BPO sourcing, communication seems to be the one that makes or
breaks the relationship!
The sourcing company thinks it is an outstanding communicator, the vendor thinks that they have
understood what they need to understand perfectly, but the very nature of communication
Human communication is inherently fraught with distortion. The more people you have
doing the same communication the more the message gets distorted and misunderstood!
You may have the process right but if the process efficiently implements a misunderstood
requirement or implements a requirement that does not solve a business problem, guess
who gets blamed? The Vendor! No sourcing company is going to stand up and own up to
For the Sourcing model to truly reach the highest levels both for the sourcing company
and the vendor, they will have to first come up with communication mechanisms that
work well for them!
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference
between lightning and the lightning bug — Mark Twain