The pandemic, which turned our lives upside down, has had a significant impact on contingent workforce programs, ushering in a transformative wave of change for CW program management. What does this mean?

Put simply, a transformation is a dramatic change. A transformative initiative will impact many, if not all, of a CW program’s stakeholders and is defined as comprehensive in its impact to the CW program’s value, effectiveness and overall mission.

Adaptative Approach

An adaptative initiative is different from transformative in that adaptation is more mild, an action or process of alteration, modification or adjustment.

It’s important to not mix the two initiative approaches because doing so will add to the risk of failure to the planned initiative. SIA has a methodology called the CW Optimization Roadmap that inventories and articulates the difference between these two types of initiatives by listing out the minimum steps to execute either effectively.

With an adaptative initiative, one needs to be able to execute with speed so the modification can have immediate and lasting impact without being burdened by over-analysis and unnecessary delay. Define an initiative wisely and then optimize your execution to deliver the targeted value/adoption impact.

Experts have it that the pandemic challenged contingent workforce programs to accelerate the implementation of future models of engagement, in a simple phrase, “remote work.” Though there will continue to be challenges and opportunities with using a transformative engagement model of remote service delivery, the opportunities that “remote” delivery is offering can’t be denied, such as cost-effectiveness, access to enhanced talent quality globally and overall operational efficiency for all major stakeholders.

So what does transformative change involve and need?

Transformative change requires a significant strategy and design plan as well as a comprehensive change management plan. It also requires:

  • Data and visibility to the transformative change that is being executed/targeted.
  • Clear ROI targets of the investments of change being effected.
  • Prioritization of the most impactful change opportunities versus those that are not so transformative — one can’t do everything all at the same time.
  • Supportive strategic alignment with organizational operational mission and directives.
  • Precise targeting of key stakeholders’ wants and needs.
  • Leveraging management technology to optimize the impact of the change.
  • A strong, impactful change management practice to ensure comprehensive adoption.

Tech and Supplier Management

Meanwhile, aiding the transformative change is the unending march of technology. It’s creating new levels of competitive advantage for CW program thought-leaders who optimize the value these technologies deliver by leveraging business intelligence tools, enhanced talent sourcing channel technology and direct engagement curation technology and resulting talent access methods, to name a few.

SIA’s annual buyer surveys continue to show progress in the transformative capability growth of core management-enabling technologies/services and workforce strategies being engaged by today’s standard CW programs. As organizations leverage more and more  contingent talent in their basic business strategies and operating models, the demand of the maturity requirements in today’s CW program continues to increase substantially. See some recent survey results on standard CW program maturity (capability) leverages and future plans for expansion in these two key buyer management strategy areas.

There is a lot of change in the marketplace with CW program management and leadership, and it is happening rapidly. Some of it is focused on adapting or upgrading current processes, policy rules and/or management-enabling technology systems. But as the new world of work evolves rapidly, we are also seeing transformational change in contingent workforce programs keeping up with the plethora of new tech tools and CW talent sourcing management models.

Is your program adopting an adaptative or transformational initiative? Share your story with me at the email address below.