Technology Adoption – An Expert’s View: Iasta (2)

Posted by Andrew Bartolini on October 10th, 2011
Stored in Articles, General, Solution Providers, Technology

As part of our ongoing Technology Adoption series, we thought it would be helpful to capture and share the perspectives from a few industry leaders who face the challenge of technology adoption on a daily basis. Today we are pleased to share part two of a contribution from Iasta on the subject. Part One which includes the first 4 elements is found here.

8 Elements to Drive Value through Sustainable User Adoption (Part 2)

Element 5: Establish a Metrics-based Scorecard
Scorecards are often referred to as key performance metrics (KPMs). Scorecards help teams establish and track priorities. Furthermore, both the team and individuals need visibility into where they are and where they need to go. The metrics must be numeric-based, objective and easily collected.

It is important to establish scorecard metrics from the very beginning. Sample Scorecard metrics include:

  • number of users with userIDs / number of users using eSourcing software to manage projects/ percentage of users using eSourcing software to manage projects
  • number of completed projects
  • number of projects per buyer / number of buyers trained
  • number of projects in pipeline / number of projects completed
  • identified savings overall (or cost avoidance) either by dollar amount or percent saved
  • identified savings per project
  • cycle time per project
  • total spend under management vs. total corporate spend
  • amount of spend managed per buyer
  • stakeholder feedback scores

The metrics and scorecards can evolve over time as the team matures and objectives adjust. For example, during the earlier stages of eSourcing, a team may track number of eSourcing projects vs. traditional projects. As they evolve, a more important metric might be contract compliance ratios.

A consistent scorecard vocabulary is critical. You should establish regular as a Steering Team to make sure everyone is collecting and reporting information in a uniform way. As your organization continues with eSourcing and processes mature, so should the scorecard and metrics. Review the scorecard to make sure it contains metrics that are consistent with the overall company’s goals.

Element 6: Kickoff the eSourcing Initiative
Celebrate the start of your eSourcing initiative. Formally schedule a kickoff meeting that includes the Steering Team, sourcing project leads, key stakeholders, vendor-partners and the executive sponsor. During the kickoff meeting review goals and objectives, introduce team members, discuss sourcing projects and review the Rollout schedule. People thrive on information, so be open and fact-based. Tell the team how they will get support, information or help manage their suppliers and stakeholders. Get the team excited about participating in the maiden eSourcing initiative – make it a big deal. After a group session, break-off into project-specific teams and start developing timelines and a list of deliverables.

Element 7: Communicate and Evangelize across the Entire Organization
Launch the communication plan and follow through. Promote and educate beyond the sourcing team. Stakeholders at every level in the organization are important for the long-term success of the eSourcing program. Successful communication strategies help people understand the benefits of eSourcing. Success is contagious and people want to work on successful projects. With increased exposure, people will bring projects to the sourcing team. This step is not a one-time event; it is something that occurs as a normal part of sourcing. Active communication facilitates knowledge transfer. With an effective way to disseminate knowledge, people know where to get answers and how to apply new strategies. In turn, they will work more effectively.

Element 8: Monitor Progress
Now that there is an infrastructure in place, it will be easier to manage eSourcing across the organization. To keep itself healthy, the Steering Team must monitor progress and make adjustments. Organizations constantly change through external factors (like acquisitions or legislation) or internal factors (change in personnel or leadership). It is easier to adjust to these changes when there is a system in place to monitor and adapt. A healthy eSourcing system drives results and contributes to the bottom-line. The Steering Team should do the following as part of their ongoing monitoring process:

A) Schedule regular meetings to anticipate, discuss and resolve issues. The Steering Team should aggregate user issues to see if there are trends. Perhaps a particular region has training needs, or another group bristles over some of the buyer rules.
B) Make adjustments to processes and templates, review new functionality to further aid the sourcing team, evaluate the possibility of including outside SMEs or consultants to expedite goal obtainment. By incorporating overall learnings into new sourcing templates, training sessions or business processes, the Steering Team facilitates knowledge transfer. People thrive on information. They want to know how to do their jobs better.
C) Review the scorecard, create appropriate action plans to address problem areas.
D) Conduct an ongoing spend analysis and project prioritization initiative that reviews compliance and new projects.

As Mabel Newcomber states, “It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.” Building a successful eSourcing program takes commitment of thought and time. You can quickly launch an eSourcing program by purchasing a software tool, issuing userIDs and running a few projects. But it will not overcome the resistance of the stakeholder community as they fight to retain their incumbent suppliers. “Yeah, but my supplier came through for me when…” You can run lots of projects, identify high cost savings, but unless you have implemented those savings, you have gained nothing. By taking a little more time upfront to think through your approach, you can successfully rollout an eSourcing program (or any other program) with high adoption rates in very little time relative to the scope of the overall program.

We wish you luck with your initiative. Also, we would be interested in hearing about your own experiences so we can expand on the Rollout Roadmap. You can contact Iasta directly at

Founded in 2000, Iasta helps companies strengthen their supply bases, increase sourcing efficiency, and drive hard-dollar savings.

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