3.3 Establish Supplier Coalitions

3.3 Establish Supplier Coalitions

3.3.1 Procure Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Depending on the situation, you may or may not have at your disposal the subject matter experts necessary to develop an ISD model. For example, if your ISD delivery is currently outsourced to a third party, chances are you would not have redundant skills as this would most likely be cost-prohibitive. Or, if ISD delivery is a new requirement of your company or department, you may not yet have on staff the necessary subject matter experts required. In either case you will need to procure knowledgeable resources to staff the project team developing the ISD model and associated strategy.

As outlined inChapter 2 "Getting Started," the team's makeup should include members with the following skill sets: applications development and management, database administration, system administration, infrastructure development and management, and facilities management. You need to assess what skills you currently have available to you, what skills you can secure within your company or department, and what skills you will need to go outside the company to augment the project team. If you are required to go outside the company, insist on resources that are not only SMEs, but also have a demonstrated and proven record of delivery. This may sound obvious, however, if you do not specifically ask for this and press your supplier, you will normally get the first person coming off billable assignment instead of the person that would most likely fit your requirements.

3.3.2 Test Market for Resource Availability ”Can It Be Staffed Effectively?

You will find that one of the most challenging pieces of developing and implementing an ISD operation is the ability to understand the staffing requirements as well as the ability to staff those requirements effectively. Therefore, it is a good idea to test the market for resource availability as early as possible. The market in this case can be internal sources as well as external sources, including contracts, consultants , and "head-hunting" agencies. The real difficulty will be attempting to communicate your needs while you are still developing them. Because it is anticipated that resources will be difficult to secure, it is very important that you begin to test for availability as soon in the process as possible.

The first step to staffing effectively is to develop a detailed resource model. The resource and staffing model details the required skill sets necessary to satisfy the work breakdown structure and associated services model. The work breakdown structure, services model , and associated resource model will be covered in detail in subsequent chapters. However, I will briefly touch upon the resource since it plays an integral role in this discussion.

Without getting into much detail, essentially the staffing model gives you a quantitative and qualitative way to identify the resources necessary to successfully staff the work breakdown structure. Here in Table 3-1 is an example of a resource model:

Table  3-1. Resource Model



You will notice that the resource model is driven directly off the service model and defines the skills and effort necessary to deliver the services described. As you progress on the resource modeling you begin to get an idea of the types of resources you will require, and equally important, the quantity of those resources.

Obviously, a fully developed resource model comes well into the project and will not be available upfront. However, even though this model is not completed, it does begin to give you an idea of the types of resources you will require to successfully staff the work breakdown structure. Once you start to get a picture of the types of resources you require, you can begin to develop a skills matrix (see Table 3-2).

Table  3-2. Skills Matrix







Junio SA

Junior OSA

Junior DBA


Network Specialist

Technical Manager




Senior Clerical


Senior SA

Senior OSA

Senior DBA

Senior Manager

The skills matrix is what you will need to begin to engage resource suppliers (e.g., human resources, contract agencies, consultants, head-hunters, etc.). This is important because it will allow you to begin to test the market for resource availability. I cannot stress the importance of starting this process as early as possible. As stated earlier, staffing will be one of the most challenging exercises and the most critical. If you cannot staff with qualified competent resources you can be assured of not meeting the level of service. Staffing is a critical measure of success!

Once you develop a relationship with your resource suppliers you can pull them in as part of the extended team, and as you develop and expand the resource model and associated skills matrix they can plan and react in a timely manner to your overall requirements. It's all about establishing and building coalitions as early as possible in the cycle.

IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing
IT Services: Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (paperback) (Enterprise Computing Series)
ISBN: 0132621959
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 93

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