Lessons to be learned from March Madness Upsets

March 19th, 2012

How do you prepare for and deal with the upset factors in your sourcing projects?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing

For millions of people the past 4 days represent sports Nirvana as college basketball teams fight to become Champions.  As always happens, underdogs upset higher ranked teams and this weekend had many of those games. 

Today we are going to look into a few aspects of how these teams prepare; how they should deal with adversity; and how those things tie into your sourcing projects.

The Game Plan – Every successful team has a game plan for how they win.  These factors and processes are a big part of why they are successful and how they leverage the resources and talent in the best possible way to win.  This is just as important in a sourcing project where the goal is to find the best source of product or service based on offering, value and cost.  To achieve this, a game plan must also be established in advance so the team knows the goal and how they are going to achieve it.  Teams with bad game plans run into issues they don’t know how to overcome and are usually not happy with their results.

Communication – How a team executes their game plan and communicates with each other during the game/project is crucial.  When upsets occur many times the source begins with a breakdown in communication between team members.  Assumptions and misunderstandings lead to mistakes and missed details all because the team is not communicating well.  Creating pre-defined touch points of communication to re-establish how the project has progressed and where it is going is key.  When necessary, just like in games, call a time-out and regroup to get the game plan back on track.

Don’t Panic – Every upset begins with a momentum shift and for the team about to be upset that is usually a bad thing.  The difference between teams that win and those that lose, is that the successful teams recognize that issues will occasionally arise in every project.  Knowing this, planning for this and dealing these issues right away without panicking will turn an upset around and produce the results you are looking for.  Stick to your well-prepared plan and the project will get back on track.  If you end up needing to slow things down to get control back then make the decision and notify everyone involved early so that the “game plan” can be adjusted.

For more information on preparing your sourcing projects and planning for the things that can derail these projects, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  

We look forward to your comments.

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