Though starting a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) can seem like a daunting task, the truth is much simpler. As with most any undertaking, getting a SMMP started is largely dependent upon just getting started. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a SMMP.
Even if you run into obstacles along the way, the good news is that many organizations are now using SMMPs. Why is this good news? Because your network of potential people to help you troubleshoot or provide support is ever-widening. While searching online for resources is helpful in the beginning, it’s great to know someone who’s been through a similar situation who can be a mentor and guide for your program.
A study done in 2016 shows that the ubiquity of SMMPs is growing rapidly. Many organizations now see the value in operating such a program and are more likely to initiate the process and follow through on its policies. This makes it much easier for you to get buy-in if you’re just getting started and to get support if the program is already underway. Read further to glean some insight from the most notable highlights of the study.
What’s new with SMMPs?
Rapid and widespread launches. 74 percent of respondents saying their companies have fully or partially launched an SMMP. Global programs are becoming better established, too, with 46 percent of companies having launched them.
Many programs are in their infancy. More than a third of the companies surveyed said that their program was less than three-years.
Established programs have challenges, too. For companies surveyed that had programs over nine-years-old, there were still obstacles to overcome for managing their program effectively. The cost saving and cost avoidance results they are able to achieve are less dramatic with a mature program, for example. Because of this, they need other ways to show the program’s continued success. Things such as expanding to more global countries and regions, expanding the program’s scope of responsibilities and supplier management, and further refining their policies are all next steps to consider for organizations that have established programs.
Technology is a logical next step. Many established organizations are looking to do more integrations with corporate systems management technologies that other internal groups are already using. This cuts down on friction for adoption and helps everyone stay accountable.
Common Challenges for SMMPs
Here are the top five challenges SMMPs are currently facing.
The company is too decentralized. Many companies today have remote workers, multiple offices, and various subsidiaries. This can make a blanket implementation challenging.
Change management within our company is difficult. Anytime something changes, it can be difficult to get everyone on board. Not only do people have to buy into what you are doing, but they also have to be comfortable being held accountable for the program.
Lack of senior management support. Executive support is a key part of a successful SMMP. When you don’t have it, it can be a struggle. But looking for stakeholder support as an alternative is one way around it.
Lack of stakeholder support. If key people in your organization don’t support your program, it becomes challenging to hold anyone accountable. Encourage executives to implement benefits and reprimands for those who don’t follow the program.
Lack of expertise. Having someone in charge of your SMMP who doesn’t fully understand the technology stack of the process can be a challenge. Offer to help out where needed or to provide guidance.
All this information can help guide you on your next steps with your own SMMP. Whether it’s simply seeing that others are in the same boat as you or gaining insights into how they’ve addressed their challenges, looking at other organizations with SMMPs is a valuable use of your time and resources.