As reported in Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2015 Contingent Buyer Survey report, US programs are showing a keen appetite to expand globally. Of the 239 programs participating in the survey, 21% are looking to expand servcies to the Asia-Pacific region over the next four years and 16% are looking to expand services to Europe and/or South Amercia.

A common question buyers pose at our CWS conferences is “How can I make it global?” In my last article, I addressed program readiness for global expansion. This article addresses key components of a strong governance team.

A simple checklist of key governance structures includes:

  • Establish the program management framework. Ensure you have a clear design review process (commonly called “design authority team”), change control process, budgeting and cost, ramp up/ramp down and training/handover, service-level agreements, reporting, planning, issue log (with identified issue owners), risk log (with identified risk owners), program file sharing, escalation procedures, customer surveys, perform post go-implementation reviews and capture learnings, and allocate ownership for each of the above in a statement of work RACI.
  • Resource the management team. Identify team personnel and business representatives based on needs of staffing levels (percent assignment) and skills. These may include finance, legal (mainly for data protection reasons), procurement, IT and HR. The risk with many global programs is these personnel are usually expected to participate on the team in addition to their normal duties, so-called “double hatters.” Be wary of participants in this situation, as you won’t get the same level of focus, and expect a level of personnel churn. So have an onboarding process for new team members and create a kickoff day to set up the program team, which can be repeated when new members come aboard. Why not be creative and help sell your program by including some marketing and corporate communications efforts? A number of organizations have done this to help drive programs globally, such as a large petrol-chemical company whose program covers more than 100 countries. The key is to develop a simple message to managers that are managed through program campaigns to drive adoption.
  • Set up committees. Set up global, regional and country-based committees and meeting formats with clear purpose, defined agendas and rules on attendance at meetings as well as location or face-to-face meetings. Also, be clear what each committee has the right to decide. Expectations need to be set on travel budgets at the beginning of a global program from suppliers as well as buyers. Ideally, the RACI is used to determine who manages the governance in each of the governance groups, including basic tasks like who writes the minutes of the meetings and by what timeframe.

My next article will look at change and some key considerations to improve the effectiveness in a global environment.