The Precision of Terms - The Strategic Domain

Have you noticed just how diverse the set of phrases and terms are that people use to refer to outsourcing and offshoring? Well, a few colleagues and I decided it was time to convey the commonly-accepted meanings for many of the more popular phrases we encounter in our work.

Here we go...

  • Sourced Services: a set of defined services and service quality provided under a defined charging mechanism
  • Service User: an authorized individual or organization that receives delivery of the Sourced Services
  • Service Buyer: an organizational entity that acquires delivery of the Sourced Services
  • Service Provider: an internal or external organizational entity, distinct from the Service Buyer, that is responsible for providing Sourced Service
  • Service Delivery Strategy: the over-arching management discipline and business process of a Service Buyer for identifying, acquiring and managing the receipt of Sourced Services combining the:
    • Operating Strategy
    • Service Provider Strategy
    • Sourcing Strategy and
    • Service Management & Governance Strategy
  • Operating Strategy: the identification of a Service Buyer's potential Sourced Services and the anticipated delivery structure for those services combining as a coherent whole:
    • Operating Structures
    • Operating Types
    • Delivery locations
    • Organization model and
    • Technology model
  • Service Provider Strategy: the identification of the potential internal and/or external Service Providers across the dimensions of quantity, generalized/specialized, transformational/transactional, direct/indirect, and delivery location(s)
  • Sourcing Strategy: the approach for acquiring Sourced Services from internal and/or external Service Providers including sequencing, timing, inter-relationships, and bundling of potential Sourced Services
  • Service Management & Governance Strategy:  the functions, business processes and disciplines used by a Service Buyer to manage the receipt of Sourced Services

Did you notice that none of those terms actually mention outsourcing or offshoring? Those definitions are for a future blog. The ones I outlined here today are part of the strategic framework for sourcing that we encounter among companies looking to chart their courses. What phrases do you find missing from this list of strategic descriptors?