When conducting a Program Maturity Assessment for our CWS Council members, one of the key questions we ask is whether the program is governed by a “mandatory” sanctioned authority. Obviously, executing program management is much more reasonable when engagement managers are required to source contingent worker (CW) resources through the established program office, tool, processes and business rules. Good things happen then, from maximizing savings opportunities to realizing volume-based pricing commitments promised to staffing partners in the supply chain.

With mandatory sanctioned authority also comes a significant responsibility to deliver high-quality CW engagement support, and ultimately, the quality talent resources sought after by program stakeholders. In this program governance model, the program is part of the business’ strategic and tactical operating fabric to compete in the marketplace. The responsibility to meet the needs of program clients gets more significant if going rogue is not allowed.

So with mandatory program governance, the program needs to produce a number of fundamental results:

  1. Being a better, best sourcing model than past, alternative CW management practices. Make it easier, faster, safer, more accessible and possibly more cost effective to engage CW talent and deliver outstanding program performance results while accomplishing this.
  2. Become a talent resource partner with business stakeholders by understanding their leverage use of CW resources and support that usage as specifically as possible. Really become part of your client’s business operating fabric.
  3. Be an innovative, knowledge leader in the optimization of CW resources. Back in the day, contingent workforce innovation leverage emerged from the business and department unit domains of the organization, now that innovation needs to be led by the program office if mandatory governance is granted.

As the program manager, you’re best positioned to identify strategic opportunities to innovate the business via the program. Program management originated from a tactical agenda of process control, risk mitigation and/or cost savings. In today’s marketplace, these are becoming tactical in nature compared to the transformational opportunities to create new innovative talent resources that the organization can leverage competitively in the marketplace.

In our Program Maturity Assessments, we seek alignment evidence of program performance management to not only tactical “block and tackling” elements, but actual direct alignment to the core goals, objectives and performance of the business itself. How is the business leveraging CW resources to be competitive and create new business value in the marketplace? For those who have a mandatory governance model in place, that direct alignment to the overall business operation strategy must be readily apparent or managers will find ways to introduce rogue methods to leverage CW talent.