In today’s constantly changing market, it is hard to get a bearing for where your contingent labor program should be focused. One helpful way to set your program’s course for the future is to build a roadmap. Specifically, a contingent workforce program roadmap is a guide or plan for what initiatives to prioritize and when. Planning your program’s future initiatives strategically will help to build the stepping stones to your program’s ultimate design.

Many programs have adopted the road-mapping process to help them deliver the best possible value to their businesses. Roadmaps will enable your organization to be proactive in determining what is important. A good mindset to have while creating your roadmaps is VICA, which stands for value, investment, capability and authority. This decision-making methodology will help to plan for the investment of resources required, the capabilities of the program and who will have the final authority while also understanding and projecting the potential value of the initiative for your business.

It is easy for programs to fall into a tactical routine when there are plenty of day-to-day challenges that consume the majority of our time. But building a roadmap can help your program step back from the operational challenges to make plans to address the root cause of program issues instead of the individual symptoms. A well-designed roadmap will also help to translate the demands of the business into practical solutions that help deliver on the ongoing pressures to continually improve. One way to ensure your tactical efforts align with a long-term strategy is to separate your roadmaps into operational and strategic components.

Strategic. A strategic roadmap should look three to five years into the future. This component of your roadmap should be a longer-term vision of where the program should go. This is the projection of an ideal contingent workforce program or at least a realistic view of how close you think you can get to that image. The strategic roadmap should be a guidepost for all initiatives the program takes on and should project the expected value of this future state where quantifiable. Some items to consider in this roadmap include your total talent strategy, ideal technology stack and specific areas needing additional maturity like statement-of-work consultants or independent contractors.

Operational. An operational roadmap should look at the upcoming year and break down all of the tactical components of the projects needing to be completed. These are often low- to moderate-difficulty initiatives that have the highest potential impact to your organization. The operational roadmap will help to plan your resources demand, budget where required and position your external partners where you will expect to need their support. The objective of the operational roadmap is to design the initiatives that will not only return value to the organization, but also steer the contingent workforce program towards the strategic vision of our strategic roadmap.

While this planning effort may not be required by your organization, you should consider taking the time to make road-mapping an ongoing component of your program to help your program become more strategic about how it does work. A roadmap can give your organization a vision and help to get the buy-in you need to be successful.