I wasn't overwhelmed with responses to my previous blog about professionalism in the sourcing industry, so I thought I would offer a few of my own thoughts at least.
I definitely think we need an increase in professionalism in sourcing, given this is clearly an emerging management discipline as a result of the continued expansion of external sourcing. As I often say to people...I know places where people can go to study law, finance, marketing and other such business management skills, but we're only just starting to see the possibility of universities and other educational institutions offering courses in sourcing management.
In terms of what defines professionalism in sourcing, I would argue that it's no different to what defines any other profession. For me, that is training (both at educational institutions as well as industry-based training), tracking of experience as well as certification.
I believe all of the above apply to all phases of the sourcing lifecycle including strategy, deal execution as well as ongoing management of outsourced relationships. In addition, this applies to the dimensions of various sourcing domains such as IT, business process, HR, financial services, as well as the full range of sourcing models.
While it will take time to bring all of these items to bear in the field of sourcing management, only by doing that will sourcing management truly take its place as another vital business management discipline.