Principles of Structuring a Effective Multi-Vendor Governance

Balancing large IT initiatives have their challenges in trying to implement agreements with multiple vendors. Developing a multi-vendor management discipline requires the enterprise have key competencies in place, a well defined business relationship between vendor and company will deliver improved services and performance across all areas. A well defined business objective will ensure success for a better governance life cycle and a reduction in vendor management costs.

The more communication across jobs and units required to do the work, the more need there is for “linking pin” positions. Minimize the number of communication/coordination links between positions for stability – to facilitate efficient, legitimate and timely action. Increase the number of communication links between positions, though, where maximizing creativity is a key goal and standardization of work process fosters coordination of efforts of different autonomous professional work units and employees.

  • Use task forces and standing committees to encourage cooperative action among different work units in complex organizations.
  • Emphasize performance control through specific and measurable business objectives and regular reporting and review of performance measures.
  • Specify cross-functional accountabilities and authorities in order to achieve good working relationships across the organization and avoid silos.

Multi vendor governance needs clear roles and responsibilities and specification of required work interfaces. Determine the standardized problem management, service request and change management processes.

  • Formal, shared project management methodology and consistent problem escalation and conflict resolution mechanisms.
  • Recognize clear charter and named executive sponsorship for all cross-functional teams.
  • Establishment of focal positions or units for “linking” actions of different service units.
  • Service Level Agreements with performance standards and related penalties and incentives.
  • Shared performance measurement goals and exception reports, including measurement of processes where responsibility is shared.
  • Operating Level Agreements between units, that recognize one unit’s performance impact on another’s.
  • Regular meetings of corporate governance boards (standing committees of vendor management and client business management) focused on assuring services continue to meet changing business needs.
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