After undergoing numerous sourcing projects with a client and beginning to look at the next wave of projects, it is always important to reflect on why projects were a success and what lessons can be learned to improve processes and inefficiencies in the engagement. Below is a list of five sourcing best practices that should be established before initiating a new round of projects.

1.      Align with Corporate Sponsorship – Ensure that the projects selected align with your stakeholder and that the timing of the project plans align with the corporate initiatives. The stakeholder might want to better understand why certain projects were identified, the timing around them, and the strategy that will be undergone to complete the project. This is an opportunity for you to also express lessons learned about the first wave of projects and ensure that you understand the scope, decision makers, etc.

2.      Confirm the Main Point of Contact for Each Project – While having a stakeholder from corporate involved in all the projects is crucial, it is also important to have a main point of contact specific to each project. This person will be your escalation prior to the corporate stakeholder and will advocate on your behalf if any obstacles arise. This project POC will also better understand the project stakeholders’ involvement, concerns and will understand the category as a whole.

3.      Conduct Initial Call with Corporate Sponsor, Project Point of Contact, and Any Additional Project Stakeholders – This initial kickoff call is important in order to discuss strategy, potential difficulties, opportunities, and confirm the specific stakeholders for each project. Ironing out the strategy, goals, and potential roadblocks will help ensure the success of your project. This call is also to go over roles and responsibilities. Specifically, which stakeholders will be involved in specific steps of the process and the level of engagement from each.

4.      Finalize Stakeholder Calls and Conduct Supplier Introductions – Once you have conducted an initial call informing your stakeholders about the upcoming initiatives, it is important to conduct individual calls with these stakeholders in order to understand the supplier relationship from their perspective and to gain a better understanding about the initiative and the goals they want to accomplish. These stakeholders will then provide you with the contact information for the supplier they utilize in that category, which will allow you to validate the information and data they provided to you. Conducting a call with the suppliers is also crucial to the success of the initiative because you will hear another side of the story and gain a true understanding of the relationship and understand what needs to be modified or improvement.

5.      Internal Kickoff Meeting – In tandem to coordinating communication with your stakeholders, it is also important to keep your team abreast of your lessons learned from the first wave of projects and to inform any new team members about the best practices and important aspects of the account. Putting together a short slide deck and setting up an internal kickoff meeting allows you to convey the key criteria about the account, establish internal processes, and improve any obstacles discovered during the first wave of projects. 

     By following these 5 best practices, you will ensure success in your second round of sourcing projects. Incorporating the lessons you learned will only improve the communication and relationship you have with your stakeholders. It shows that you understand what was done well and what could be improved. And, but utilizing these best practices, you are sure to help your team see the project success to fruition. 
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