Over the last few years, Staffing Industry Analysts has been conducting abridged assessments for CWS Council members to evaluate their contingent workforce programs’ capabilities and maturity across key dimensions.

This program maturity assessment is accomplished by cross-referencing five capability dimensions (comprehensive, strategic, governed, measurable and sustainable) with five levels of capability assessment ranging from informal and decentralized (least mature) to competitive differentiator (most mature).

Click image to enlarge.
MAture_assessConducting these assessments has given us a front-row seat to the maturation of the contingent workforce program management practice. Three years ago, most participants found their capability evaluations within Levels I and II (most notably for comprehensive, strategic and measurable dimensions) with governed and sustainable sometimes falling in Level III. This was when CW program management was beginning to more broadly exercise professional empowerment to take proactive control of the CW activity/spend within their organizations and add significant, incremental value in the leverage of contingent work. At the time, the core focus of the CW program’s management was operating safe, cost-effective engagements and worrying about global/classification management reach, executive alignment and enterprisewide visibility later down the road.

Today, most programs’ dimension capabilities fall within Level III, with some reaching Level IV for a dimension or two. Some programs still fall in the Level II area, but, on average, capability assessment results have increased across the marketplace. In short, CW program management is creating significant, differentiating value in the talent management area for organizations.

Restraint. And having witnessed this trend toward maturity, I think it’s time to urge a bit of caution.

Many of today’s programs strive to achieve Levels IV or V, but those levels are not always necessary to produce the service management performance required for an organization. In other words, as a matter of investment priorities, it may be a waste of resources and effort to reach Level IV or V if the organization is not strategically aligned to take advantage of the program management services available as a result. Sometimes, a Level III is just what the organization needs. For example, if an organization is not interested in hiring CW talent to full-time roles (and a few organizations prohibit this), then creating a total talent acquisition capability in the CW program is over-investment and a waste of both resources and focus — something key to consider when defining a CW program’s strategic mission and purpose.

[SIA’s Program Maturity Assessment model is based on Brightfield Strategies’ Program Maturity consulting model. It is an abridged self-assessment available to SIA’s Contingent Workforce Strategies Council members.

SIA is revising its abridged, Program Maturity Assessment assessment model in order to increase value to our CWS Council membership. Contact me for more information or questions about SIA’s PMA capability assessments at the email listed below.]