SIAM challenge No.2 – People part 2

An organisation’s culture is deeply embedded in the roots of how things get done and why. It’s wrapped into value, goals, attitudes and more. Once the roots are established it’s hard almost impossible to unlearn those values, what’s acceptable. It takes time to establish new norms, the new acceptable behaviours once the old are understood as the old. Every transformation and or change is all about the people, the culture and relationships and values cultivated within an organisation. One cannot mandate how a Culture operates, nor merely state we are now going to be an agile organisation or our operating model of choice is SIAM, okay everyone now collaborate! Let’s take a look at what the true ethos of SIAM behaviours is, the intent of SIAM. 

Core Principle behaviours of SIAM

There are many attributes that define the ethos of SIAM, typically they are about:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Cooperation
  3. Coordination

The above contribute towards a comradery of sorts. The above can be achieved through;

  • Motivation
  • Mutual Trust
  • Respect and;
  • Unbiased opinion

Let’s take a look at the 3 C’s of SIAM. 


What is collaboration, we all say we need to but how do you do this? What is true collaboration? Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit. Collaboration enables individuals to work together to produce a defined and common business purpose. Collaboration is similar to cooperation, which is confusing because most cooperate. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of command can be social within a decentralised and egalitarian group.

True collaboration is when you’re an “active member” contributing, working with others, it is in the true spirit of SIAM. So it’s not just showing up it’s being an active member, participating in conversations, meetings, interactions, workshops, walk-ups, you contribute. You have ownership in a piece of work. You own it, but there are different levels!

  • Personal Ownership
  • Group Ownership
  • Organisational Ownership

It would be great to see a lot more authentic effort with collaboration, at the customer level and the service provider level. We are not there yet as we are still so focused on contracts, deliverables, compliance. We are not collaborating well for innovation or group success. 


What is Cooperation? It is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for common, mutual, or some underlying benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish interest. Humans cooperate for the same reason as animals. This is difficult in a SIAM ecosystem, as competing service providers, vendors, 3rd parties are all there as an outsourcing capability. They are there to deliver their services to their contract. The SPs win more work at times, scope changes and each SP is vying for the customer spend, which is simple economics and it’s just business. So already everyone is at a massive disadvantage.

Don’t get me wrong, it does happen to some extent, but the SI has to pull teeth to make this happen. The Sis role is to coordinate and help drive cooperation within the multi-sourcing ecosystem. The idea is that the SI manages for the customer and orchestra’s collaboration, cooperation a seamless service experience for consumers of the services. The idea is that the SI is camouflaging the supply chain complexity for the organisation. Each organisation have different cultures, norms and expectations this is again a delicate balancing act, and the SI requires lots of different and interesting skills, capabilities to help enable the cooperative spirit, it is also the customer role to ensure the right behaviours are present. 


Noun: the organisation of the different elements of a complex body or activity to enable them to work together effectively. In an organisation, there are many individuals, groups and departments. They perform many different actions. Co-ordination means to integrate (i.e. bring together) these activities for achieving the objectives of the organisation. “Co-ordination means integration of activities.”

Coordination is done to achieve the objectives of the organisation. Co-ordination is a process. It is not fixed. It applies to group activities. It does not apply to individual activities. The managers have to make extraordinary efforts to get coordination. Coordination does not come automatically. Co-ordination leads to unity of action. Coordination encourages team spirit. It gives proper direction to the organisation. It motivates the employees. It makes effective use of all your organisations resources. Coordination affects all the functions of management. Therefore, it is also called the “Essence of Management”. Coordination means to integrate (bring together) all the activities of an organisation. It is done for achieving the goals of the organisation. There must be proper co-ordination throughout the organisation.

Skills of coordinating include the capacity to organise one’s work and to link it with the overall workflow. Coordinating includes attending to several activities simultaneously, prioritising and switching priorities as necessary. It includes interweaving your work program with the work streams of others. Phew! Coordination is the function of Management.

Specific skills are required to do this well; the SI role is not merely a process manager, they are much more if the Principles of SIAM are to be delivered and enacted. For more details on skills, please see the Soft skills section coming up.


All of the above attributes require comradery of sorts to work together and be an active Community. Working towards the same goal; comradery. 

Education and Awareness

Is needed to ensure there is understanding of what it is and more importantly what SIAM is not, skills and capabilities required. The potential benefits, if people all chip in and work together, all for one and one for all! It’s essential you help everyone get on the same page. However, this will not happen all at the same time. If you look at the ADKAR model, there is individual change and organisational level change. Take an agile approach to address some of the people challenges of this type of change. Mix it in with other fresh ideas and perspectives about organisational change. A wonderful consultant and colleague I have had the pleasure of working with, Karen Ferris, has a fantastic approach to change and disrupting the status quo of change. Oh yeah well send an email, a newsletter, give some training and boom! Success……… this is not organisational change. A wonderful colleague, Karen Ferris has some great content and blogs Karen has also helped many organisations and is also a well-known ITSM guru, her passion is people and change, she’s disrupting the typical change mindset. Check out her blogs/profile!

SIAM is a relatively new approach, its been around awhile, but there is theory now, but a theory is theory, it’s great we need it, but we now need practical guidance, usable information. Not details because all organisations are different, will have different needs, various problems and benefits that they seek to address. What skills and capabilities do we need?

For the SI team, it’s not just the common process…. It’s much more if you wish to be genuinely successful. Here are some of my thoughts and thinking. I have always designed bespoke training courses, and these are some I have delivered but more importantly some ideas for you to ponder. 

The above may be a stretch for many organisations but to be truly successful you have to think outside of the square, but I agree with Barbara Roberts, Agile Business consortium….

Get out of the square! 

Skillset and knowledge required, what is essential in the SI role, what do you need. Then seek to address, through training, coaching and mentoring. Unfortunately today we have Siloed thinking on skills – what you have today is not what you need for the SI mindset, skills or capability for tomorrow. The above-listed skills may be learnt via micro learning courses. I had the pleasure of doing something very similar for a client working with the SIAM program of works. The sessions were hugely successful and after a while where run on demand. So I believe the future of L&D and training will focus on:

•   Personalised learning

•   Continuous learning

Consumer, SPs HR departments and hiring managers, are still recruiting for skills they need today, and not for the capabilities of SI future. They are not thinking on basics and how to build from there…..

There is a skills shortage in cyber security, cloud, no doubt SIAM skilled.

Strategy and Process are needed but giving the people the path on what their scope of work and the execution of activities which is vital. It helps to communicate, engage, explain, and train to provide the right capabilities, the rights skills, soft skills are more critical in the future and for an SI role than your technical ability. You may not have experienced operators but give them the right tool belt and build on it. What I can say don’t set up SI to be the ivory tower: a command and control centre, please….. That does not work; people don’t work that way. The government agencies do not work that way, nor does this work in the corporate world.

For those that wish to be successful in SIAM service offering or SI partner, soft skills training is a must. The beauty regarding these sorts of courses they can short courses, they can be clustered, and of course, some gold old fashion mentoring is a bonus for your staff. If you invest in your team, then they will provide and work towards the desired results of true a true SIAM collaborative effort.

There is so much one can write about people and the human effort required in any transformation, I will write more on this topic.

One parting notes: it’s all about the people, people matter, culture matters if you want the change or transformation to work, to stick, to be successful. Part of your SIAM Strategy is the need for People Strategy for change.

Thank you for reading our little blog, do you have insights you’d like to share? We have lots too, happy to collaborate and exchange ideas. 

Check back soon, where we focus on Challenge No 3 – Governance vs Management. 

Contact us today for SIAM goodness if you need some guidance, advice. We are at your Service.

Our SIAM Challenges series – 5 core topics…