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What is your Sourcing Strategy?

On page 118 of the Service Strategy volume Sourcing is described as follows..

Sourcing is about analysing how to most effectively source and deploy the resources and capabilities required to deliver outcomes to customers.

3.7.1 is about deciding what to source.  Any capabilities and resources that are only peripherally related to the organization’s core strategy and differentiation should be considered for outsourcing.

Table 3.20 Main Sourcing Structures – Insourcing, Outsourcing, Co-Sourcing or multi-sourcing, Partnership, Business Process Outsourcing, Application Service Provision, Knowledge Process Outsourcing, Multi-Vendor and Cloud. 

3.7.4 Service Provider Interfaces – guidelines and reference points are needed between the various service providers.

3.7.5 Sourcing Governance is a complex area,  There is a frequent misundertsanding around sourcing gevernance.  It is often mixed up with vendor management, retained staff, supplier managemnt.  Governance is none of these.

I was part of a team that developed the Big Time Consulting IT Operating Model.  At the highest level there are a set of variable things that a Service Organsiation will do to Change-the-Service and some fixed activities to Run-the-Service.

The Target Operating Model consists of six capability areas, which collectively cover all activities carried out by the Service Provider.

The Service Delivery capability is typically a Multi Tower solution with different best of breed suppliers providing services.  e.g. Vanco – Network, IBM – Hardware, Infy – AM,  In-house – AD.  This multi- vendor model requires a strong Service Integrator capability which effectively becomes the “single throat to choke” for service matters.

A review of a service providers location strategy is required every six months because location of capabilities and resources is a major  success factor.  In a global solution On, Near and Off Shore has been replaced by High or Low cost locations.


Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is a British journalist, blogger, and editor based in São Paulo, Brazil – he is the chief executive officer of research company IT Decisions.  He lectures at London South Bank University. He is a director of the UK National Outsourcing Association,  and a founding member of the British Computer Society (BCS) Working group on Offshoring.  He is on the board of the BCS ELITE group.  Tom Hickman has named his blog, one of “20 Blogs About Outsourcing Worth Subscribing To”.

Mark has written three books. “Global Services Moving to a Level Playing Field” should be on your reading list. 

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We are all in the “Service Business”

Rob England describes the basics of Service Management “whether you are in manufacturing, trades, retail, IT, public sector, or not-for-profit… in realistic pragmatic terms”  It is a quick read because the author has limited the book at 50 pages.  It talks to the fact that we are all in the “Service Business” where customers demand a “nice easy experience with added value – to be served.”

In the spirit of sharing Rob has provided some interesting links –

Rob has defined checklists for getting service management right.  Checklists are an essential tool to minimise errors and maximise efficiency when the heat is on and you need to act.  Anyone may refer to them for free or print a copy.  If you register, then the checkboxes become active – check them off as you go – and it will save your progress on the checklist for when you come back later (but you can only have one copy of any checklist, for now).

Please respect his copyright on these checklists. You may distribute them freely within your own organisation, but note that the smart thing to do is to distribute only the link and access them on demand as you need them, as we want to see these checklists improve over time through input from you the users.

Rob says – “If you don’t see what you need here, be nice and define one of your own (you will need to register first), or send the list to him and he will create a checklist for you”.  These checklists are inspired by the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

Lastly check out Tipu: a framework for service management Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – link

5 top tips for using his book.  Tip # 4

“you need to decide at what point and in what way it is more cost effective to bring in experienced and knowledgeable people instead of inventing learning it all for yourselves “ 

Sound advice for example if you work in an internal service provider and your CIO is looking to cut costs and transfer the service to a third party what should you do? 

You need to think and act like an  external service provider and deal with the low hanging fruit. 

You should also consider engaging with an outsourcing advisory firm to formulate a defender strategy.  A comprehensive guide related to outsourcing has been announced by Alsbridge Inc. Apart from understanding common terms used in outsourcing, the guide also explains the concepts used in the outsourcing industry. Anyone involved in outsourcing can learn and gain insight with this guide.  Link

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