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Development of the eSCM-CL

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The eSourcing Capability Models were originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University. These efforts focused on the IT-enabled services (ITES) segment of the global sourcing market by creating capability models and qualification methods to improve sourcing relationships in the Internet-enabled economy. This kind of materials can be easily developed by professional writers from, as their experience can help solve all the issues easily. The eSourcing Capability Model for Service Providers (eSCM-SP) was developed by a consortium led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Information Technology Services Qualification Center (ITSqc). The eSCM-SP v2 contains 84 Practices that address the critical capabilities needed by IT-enabled sourcing service providers. Each version of the Model was developed and revised based on a variety of inputs: extensive literature reviews, interviews with sourcing clients and service providers, reviews of existing frameworks, pilot tests of Model and certification methods, training offerings, early adopter feedback, and technical review by a board of experts.

Motivation and Purpose

In 2003, the ITSqc began a related effort to define best practices of IT-enabled sourcing clients – the eSourcing Capability Model for Client Organizations (eSCM-CL). This effort was motivated by a premise that good sourcing outcomes require that best practices be followed by both the service providers and the clients in a relationship. Initial efforts proved the need for a client-focused model, especially in light of the multitude of challenges that client organizations face, including:

  • establishing an appropriate sourcing strategy,
  • identifying capabilities that could be sourced,
  • developing appropriate approaches for sourcing activities,
  • managing risks throughout their sourcing activities,
  • identifying, selecting, and negotiating with service providers,
  • conducting service provider governance and performance management, and
  • managing relationships with their service providers

Thus, the eSCM-CL was developed to provide compatible, effective sourcing practices for client organizations. Client organizations will use this Model to improve their:

  • establishment of a sourcing strategy and sourcing planning,
  • selection of service providers,
  • contracting practices,
  • governance, relationship, and performance management practices, as well as
  • overall sourcing performance.

Existing Frameworks Did Not Fully Address the Need

Existing quality models and standards were analyzed to understand their intent and scope, and to identify their potential applicability to the sourcing process and critical issues of sourcing. This analysis was conducted to determine the need for a sourcing model and to identify and confirm critical issues. As other frameworks are revised or introduced, their impact on the eSCM-CL is analyzed. The Table below shows the existing quality models and standards that were analyzed. As a result of this analysis, it was determined that existing frameworks do not comprehensively address the best practices needed to successfully source IT-enabled services. Preliminary investigation shows most current quality models do not:

  • address all phases of sourcing process (Analysis, Initiation, Delivery, and Completion),
  • provide sufficient focus on sourcing relationships, or
  • offer guidance about managing the organizational changes associated with sourcing.

Existing quality models and standards analyzed
  • BS15000/ITIL
  • eSCM for Service Providers
  • ISO 9001
  • CMMI®
  • SW-CMM®
  • BITS
  • BoozAllen
  • Contract Management Framework for Information Technology Projects (Province of Alberta, Canada)
  • Department of Commerce, Office of Information and Communications Technology (New South Wales, AU)
  • COPC-2000® VMO Standard for Vendor Management Organizations
  • EASI – U.S. Department of Education (US)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Company
  • Federal Financial Intuitions Examination Council
  • Financial Services Authority (UK)
  • Gartner
  • General Accounting Office (US)
  • IMPACT Programme (UK)
  • Meta
  • Office of Government Commerce - Gateway Process (UK)
  • Standards Australia (AU) [HB 240]
  • State of Texas (US)
  • CMMI® Acquisition Module (CMMI-AM)
  • Software Acquisition CMM® (SA-CMM)
  • CMMI® for Acquisition (CMMI-A)

International Development Workshops

ITSqc hosted the first eSCM-CL workshop in April 2003. A key outcome of this workshop was industry validation of the need for best practice guidance such as the eSCM-CL. Workshop participants concluded that there was need for best practices in strategic sourcing, and that the best practices model capturing these practices needed to be more comprehensive than existing frameworks. Additionally, this workshop identified key issues to be addressed by the Model.

Building on the extensive literature review [Kumar 2001] conducted in the development of the eSCM SP, an update [Khera 2007] to this literature review was begun, focusing on two key aspects: advances in best practices, and issues, perspectives, challenges, and best practices from the perspective of the client organizations. While most of the literature review was conducted during the development of eSCM-CL v1.0, literature is continued to be reviewed on an ongoing basis to inform further model development.

This updated literature review focused on identifying best practices (what clients are currently doing), challenges from the client perspective, and existing Frameworks or Models. As a second priority, it also focused on identifying case studies, organizational outcomes from sourcing, and the skills and competencies needed in a client organization to be effective at sourcing, as well as trends in sourcing activities.

A second eSCM-CL working group meeting was held in September 2003. This workshop gathered community inputs on guiding principles for the eSCM-CL and reconfirmed key issues by obtaining a better understanding of issues from both client and service provider perspectives, and the differences between these perspectives. This workshop also focused on potential scope of the proposed Model and its structure. Participants were asked to work in small teams and develop a proposed structure for the Model. Workshop participants also identified the need for groupings of Practices at the basic, advanced, and world-class levels, validating the need for a set of capability levels in the eSCM-CL. Also discussed at this second workshop were the proposed eSCM-CL product suite and the need for multiple Capability Determination methods.

Interviews with organizations actively involved in sourcing began in January 2004. Interview participants were asked to identify specific incidents which they experienced personally and which had an important effect on the final outcome [Gremler 2004, Flanagan 1964]. We sought both incidents where successful outcomes resulted, as well as those incidents that led to failures or problems. Sourcing clients and service providers identified a set of critical issues that cover the formation, management, expansion, and completion of sourcing relationships. Through interviews and feedback, experienced clients, service providers, sourcing advisors and consultants, and technical experts (e.g., security experts) provided vital information about sourcing practices.

The Table below summarizes the organizations that have been involved in the eSCM-CL development activities; whether they be workshop participation or interviews. It should be noted that some organizations participated in interviews under non-disclosure arrangements, and asked that their organizational identities not be disclosed.

Based on the working group inputs, literature reviews, interviews, and analyses of other frameworks, three dimensions were identified for the eSCM-CL Model: Phases of the Sourcing Life-cycle, Capability Areas, and Capability Levels. These dimensions are the same basic dimensions that are embodied in the eSCM SP Model [Hyder 2004a]. The Sourcing Phases represented the temporality of the Practices; some Practices were relevant to a particular Sourcing Phase, while others covered multiple Phases. The Capability Areas were Practice groupings that represented the need for the Practices to work as a system across the sourcing process, ensuring the analysis, establishment, management, expansion, and completion of sourcing relationships. Capability Levels describe an improvement path and provide a means to differentiate between Practices at the basic, advanced, and world-class levels of capability.

The eSCM-CL development team validated the proposed model framework through the third Working Group meeting in June 2004, additional meetings with Working Group participants throughout 2004, and the fourth Working Group meeting in February 2005.

The third eSCM-CL Workshop confirmed the planned/proposed product suite, as well as the proposed model architecture for eSCM-CL. One key decision regarding architecture ratified in this meeting, consistent with earlier workshop inputs and ITSqc suggestions, was that the eSCM SP architecture could be utilized for eSCM-CL with the addition of an additional Sourcing Life-cycle phase prior to the Initiation Phase. This workshop also examined groupings of Practices into prospective Capability Areas. A fourth Workshop in February 2005 focused on the definition of the Capability Areas within the model architecture. Initial Practices in each Capability Area were identified.

Organizations involved in eSCM-CL development activities
  • COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Government Accountability Office (USA) (formerly General Accounting Office)
  • IT Services Management Forum (itSMF-UK & USA)
  • Accenture
  • BearingPoint
  • CA
  • CEI America
  • DBA Engenharia de Sistemas (DBA)
  • Deloitte
  • Dornier Consulting
  • EDS
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM Global Services
  • iGate
  • Phoenix Health Systems
  • Satyam
  • T-Systems
  • Others (under NDA)
  • American Express
  • Avon
  • Banco Nossa Caixa S.A.
  • BEA Systems, Inc.
  • Boeing
  • BP
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • CIBC
  • DaimlerChrysler
  • General Motors
  • L’Oreal
  • Marconi
  • Mellon Financial
  • PNC Bank
  • State of Texas
  • The Hartford
  • UPMC - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Others (under NDA)
  • Advisere
  • evolv partners
  • Outsourcing Institute
  • TPI (now ISG)
  • Others (under NDA)

Extensive Background Research

Throughout these data collection and validation efforts, eSCM-CL developers had begun developing a database of potential client tasks, and two researchers independently rated each task to identify those critical tasks which would become candidate Practices for eSCM. ITSqc staff developed a strawman set of best practices within the model framework, which was distributed to members of the Working Group following the fourth Workshop. These draft Practices and framework were reviewed by the Working Group. Based on feedback from the Working Group, an additional synthesis was completed to group the Practices into Capability Areas and Capability Levels that provide a conceptual structure for continuously improving organizational performance and managing service provider relationships.

This synthesis resulted in a draft version of eSCM-CL V1.0 that was reviewed by the Working Group. Following this review, members of the ITSqc Consortium also reviewed the proposed Practices and validated the eSCM-CL V1.0 Model. This completed the first round of the validation of strawman best practices, which was followed by revisions and a second round of review by Consortium and Advisory Board Members. These reviews completed the data collection and validation phase for the eSCM-CL development.

Public Review and Pilot Testing

A more formal, public review period of eSCM-CL followed. Those individuals who have expressed interest in reviewing the eSCM-CL were invited to provide constructive comments, and a public workshop was held to introduce the Model and solicit feedback.

Initial pilot testing of the eSCM-CL and Capability Determination method occurred in 2006. Valuable feedback was gathered from pilot Capability Determinations using the eSCM-CL. Pilot Capability Determinations using the Model and associated method provide insights into the use of the Practices in broad, real-world settings, and provide information that can be used to suggest further refinements to the eSCM-CL. Additional vital feedback was gathered from eSCM-CL training courses beginning in 2006. The Preview Workshop, mentioned above, was held to review and discuss the Model’s framework and Practices.

Following this review period, minor revisions were made, and the eSCM-CL Version 1.1 was released. Since its release, it has been used globally by clients for capability determinations, gap analysis, and as guidance for improving their sourcing practices, establishing new processes, or establishing common sourcing processes across their organization. Providers have recommended eSCM-CL to their customers, and improved relationships have resulted from the use of the eSCM Models by both clients and their service providers.

French Translation of the eSCM-CL Released

A translation of the eSCM-CL in French was released in May, 2014. This translation was completed by Eric Baussand and Eric Herr.

Ongoing Evolution of the Model

The eSCM-CL is a “best practices” model, and best practices evolve over time, especially in a dynamic area like IT-enabled services. The Model has evolved, and will continue to evolve as data is collected from a number of major sources. These sources include formal change requests, users groups, such as the Ae-SCM in France, User’s Workshops, pilot capability determinations, training, and improvement efforts. Based on these early learnings from use, the eSCM-CL may be revised to create a baseline model for certification purposes. The baseline eSCM-CL Model will not change for at least four years to ensure a stable baseline for certification and data collection, although the eSCM-CL is a living model that can be expected to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the sourcing community.

ITSqc Series

ITSqc, LLC   VanHaren Publishing   IAOP

The eSourcing Capability Model for Client Organizations (eSCM-CL) is published globally as a part of the ITSqc Series, in association with IAOP. The ITSqc Series is edited by Dr. Bill Hefley and published by Van Haren Publishing.

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Model Authors

The authors of the eSCM-CL are:

» Bill Hefley
» Ethel Loesche

Recent eSCM-CL Publications

eSCM-CL (in English or French)
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eSCM-SP v2.01 Errata
Errata for the eSCM-CL v1.1 (more)
PDF (0.52 M) get details

Change Request

Input from industry and government participants is vital to the improvement of the Models. To provide feedback or suggest changes to any of our publications, please use the Change Request form.

» submit a change request