Daily Archives: September 2, 2011

Better Data On Its Own Will Not Ensure Success

A recent post over on the HBR Blogs by Daryl Morey that stated that Success Comes From Better Data is on the right track, but not quite right. Better data is a necessary condition for success, but not a sufficient condition. In order to make good decisions, you need:

  1. Better Data
  2. Better Tools
  3. Smarter Analysts

When Daryl says that you need raw numbers, not the people and programs that attempt to make sense of them, he’s missing the point that raw numbers need to be distilled into information through the use of good tools that can be distilled into knowledge through smarter analysts. Without the right knowledge, a business leader will not be able to make the decisions that lead to success. While it is true that real advantage comes from unique data that no one else has, this data must be transformed into knowledge. It’s a Knowledge Economy, not a Data Economy.

VMO Best Practices or General Organization Best Practices

A recent article over on SIG on How to Build A World Class Vendor Management Organization noted that the most important element of success was execution. Execution that involves the:

  • identification and allocation of appropriate resources (people)
  • identification and implementation of enabling technology
  • development of policies in collaboration with key stakeholders
  • documentation of processes and workflows for key programs
  • application of segmentation strategy to align resources
  • pilot strategy and program that supports Business Units and Suppliers
  • testing, refinement, and redesign of processes as required
  • communication, communication, and communication

This is all good, and everything that should be done in the establishment of a Vendor Management Organization, but an organization would do the exact same if it was establishing a Global Procurement Organization. Or if was establishing a Shared Services Organization. Or if was establishing a Consulting Services Organization. No matter what organization is being established, it will not be successful without:

  • people who know what they are doing
  • technology to support them
  • policies to guide them
  • processes to enable them
  • strategies to make the best use of resources available
  • support from affected Business Units (which is won through incremental wins)
  • adaptability to changing circumstances and
  • constant communication

In other words, the article contained good advice, but nothing specific to VMOs.

So what is the real key to a good VMO?

A focus on the vendor. It may take different forms, but the vendor, and its success, should come first as vendor success enables organizational success.