Inexperienced practitioners help or hinder growth?

Sitting in a meeting last week listening to someone describe some of their sourcing challenges, I started to reflect on the impact to our industry of inexperienced practitioners.As with any growing industry, there will be a shortage of experienced people that will persist for a number of years.

Sitting in a meeting last week listening to someone describe some of their sourcing challenges, I started to reflect on the impact to our industry of inexperienced practitioners.

As with any growing industry, there will be a shortage of experienced people that will persist for a number of years. And while there are key organisations/certifications (eg. IACCM and eSCM) that work hard to increase skills, we all know the difference between a new MBA graduate and a seasoned executive.

As I was thinking about what it will take to increase the experience level in our industry, I realised that the first challenge was to understand what would be considered "experience" and I would like to try to initiate some dialogue/feedback on this.

Some of the questions I had included:

  • If someone has participated in an RFP process for one organisation, would we consider them experienced?
  • What if they ran that process rather than just participated?
  • What if they had been involved in multiple RFPs for that organisation?
  • Do we require someone to have had multiple experience in multiple organisations and perhaps even countries before we think of them as experienced?
  • Does one need experience in managing some aspect of a sourcing relationship in addition to RFP experience before we can really consider them experienced?

It is likely that somewhere on the continuum that the above questions describe the talent as we would shift from "inexperienced" to "experienced" to "expert".

What are your thoughts as to where those points would be?

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