Your vendor management program has two primary goals:
- Properly identify the risks associated with using different third-party vendors, then manage those risks appropriately and,
- Build a team of vendors that position your institution for stability and success.
Unfortunately, due to the complex and burdensome nature of the vendor management process, the end goal often shifts to: simply getting things done prior to an exam.
Many of our customers find that focusing on task management improves their process and ultimately moves them back into a position where they can acheive their real goals.
Below are 3 ways that a proper task management strategy improves the vendor management process:
- Make vendor management an ongoing process, rather than a static, 'stop-and-go' activity. This way, specific jobs get the attention they deserve and will be performed correctly. Otherwise taks are jumbled together and worked in a hurried state. Moreover, by repeating similar projects in different areas, you will reduce confusion and the time spent trying to remember a specific process. You will also more readily know where to find the information you need. You will undoubtedly be more efficient if you regularly work on something rather than once per year.
- The adage that, 'many hands make light work' definitely applies here. Spread the work around and let those with specific expertise handle related tasks. Someone with intimate knowledge of a network security vendor is much more capable to perform specific assessment tasks than someone with no knowledge of IT security or that identified vendor. It is also unlikely that an individual, or even a small team, can perform all of the work necessary to assess and review all third-parties that your institution works with. Lastly, if multiple people have knowledge of your vendor management process, losing a key person involved is not as disruptive to your institution.
- Incorporating the two strategies above will help you 'catch more' in the process and ultimately make your vendor program more accurate. By working consistently throughout the year, rather than sporadically, you will continue to learn and likely go back to make incremental improvements in areas you worked on recently. These new habits will also spread to new areas you are about to work on. Additionally, by working with a tue vendor management team, and refusing to let areas of the program become silo'd, you will discover improved ways of doing things from others.
At Supernal, we see higher levels of success with customers who employ a commitment to task management strategies. Those who follow this path steadily move from simply not getting the work done; to getting more work done; to eventually getting control of third party risks and relationships.
The task management concept is not magic. It is simply a method of organization and measurement that is tailored for vendor management activities. But when properly applied, it may seem a bit like magic when you see the results.
Task management is a critical component of Vendor Manager, the vendor management package found inScout, Supernal's risk management software suite. More than 1,500 risk and compliance management specialists rely on Scout to help them guide and protect their financial institutions.