The Draft ISO 11000 (Part 2): What’s New and Improved

26th January 2016 – Posted by Stephen Bruce at 1:11pm

Earlier this month, the draft version of the ISO 11000 “Collaborative business relationship management” standard was released on the BSI site for comments ahead of anticipated publication later this year.

In this series of articles, we’re sharing observations from our participation in the feedback and review process. Last time, we shared our overall impressions; this time, we’ll start with what’s improved and what’s been helpfully introduced – beginning with Exit Strategy:

  • Although Exit Strategy was intended to be a theme that ran through the whole of BS 11000, its position at the end of the standard made it seem like mostly a termination concern and it was otherwise often only covered in footnotes.
  • Whilst it remains as the last stage of the operational model, it has been clarified in ISO 11000 as “Exit Strategy Activation” (emphasis added), and this reflects that the development of the strategy is much more clearly and comprehensively worked into the earlier stages, e.g.:
    • ISO 11000 8.5.6 (within “Partner Selection”) introduces it into the contract negotiations.
    • ISO 11000 8.6.8 (within “Working Together”) is a mostly new section on defining the strategy upfront when commencing the relationship.
    • There is also helpful new content in ISO 11000 8.9.1 and 8.9.3 which further clarifies and expands on the concept of the strategy.

Next, and just as helpfully, improved clarity and streamlining is brought to the relationship management plan (RMP):

  • A new section (ISO 11000 7.5.4) introduces a much-needed distinction between corporate-level RMPs down to relationship-specific RMPs (although more is still needed here – see below).
  • This distinction is reflected in a new section (ISO 11000 8.5.8) which explicitly discusses initiating a joint RMP as soon as a partner has been selected.
  • Redundant additional documentation is helpfully subsumed into the RMP:
  • Separate BS 11000 clauses on “documentation”, an “implementation plan” and “initiating the RMP “ (3.8, 3.9 and 3.10) are combined in ISO 11000 8.2.8.
  • Separate BS 11000 clauses on an “implementation plan” and the RMP (4.7 and 4.8) are combined in ISO 11000 8.3.7.
  • Separate BS 11000 clauses on an “internal action plan” and the RMP (5.5 and 5.7) are combined in ISO 11000 8.4.6.

And there are other examples of helpful streamlining and improved flow, e.g.:

  • Reducing the number of times that the standard calls for the establishment, review and clarification of objectives and definitions of value, which was distractingly repetitive in BS 11000 (e.g. ISO 11000 gathers BS 11000 7.2.1-7.2.3 into one clause, BS 11000 8.4 is removed as it was adding little of value, etc).
  • Combining clauses on internal assessment and action (BS 11000 5.1.2 and 5.4) into ISO 11000 8.4.2.
  • The reduction of emphasis on sustainability within ISO 11000, which may reflect coverage of this issue in other standards.
  • The restructuring of “Working Together” in ISO 11000 8.6 is more logical and follows what would happen in practice, including now incorporating issue resolution (ISO 11000 8.6.7), rather than leaving it until later in “Staying Together”.

Finally, there are other significant changes, although the impact they’ll have remains to be seen:

  • A restructuring of the presentation of leadership in a dedicated new section (ISO 11000 5.3) and some expansion on leadership structure and roles in other sections (e.g. ISO 11000
  • A greater emphasis on behaviours (e.g. ISO 11000 4.5), although stronger links may be needed to how this will drive improvement.
  • The beginning of deeper partnering throughout the value chain (see ISO 11000 8.3.4, which has a greater emphasis on external value chain risks, and ISO 11000 8.5.4, which encourages helping to develop potential partners as part of the partner selection process).

But is it all good news?

In the next in this series of articles, we’ll be looking at what challenges and opportunities for improvement there might be with the standard.

In the meantime, that’s only our view; what do you think?