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SOAR Story #12 - Managing Non-Compliance

Back in August 2020, I posted a blog about SOAR stories. SOAR stories are a fantastic way to reflect on Situations that seemed challenging at the time because of certain Obstacles. In order to succeed, you took Action and the Result was something you can be proud of, and which contributed to who you are today. It built character.

You many think that these stories mean nothing. After all, they are just stories. However, ALL stories have a meaning; ALL stories disclose something about the characters in them. The character-traits are what keep people interested and yearning for more.

The story is only one part of what makes doing this exercise valuable. The more important part is rediscovering who you are at your core and what attributes distinguish you from others when faced with challenges.

I'd like to continue sharing some of my personal SOAR stories and the characteristics that they exhibit.

What are some of your SOAR stories? If you can't see your inner #basass, we can work together to rediscover it! I'd love to hear them and publish them on this blog!


By this time, I had been a Strategic Sourcing/Procurement Specialist for a well-known software company for many years. As required by law, every year we would be audited for legal compliance associated with the outsourcing of professional services and marketing.

Violations were uncovered during a SOX audit of the organization which I supported. These violations resulted in unnecessary spend, and The CFO and CVP not only wanted Finance to have visibility into outsourcing spend, but wanted processes put in place to correct egregious spend behaviors, and requested that those processes be governed and reported on a quarterly basis.

A look into the audit compliance failures enabled us to determine which areas needed work, and allowed us to develop rules, processes and scorecards to measure progress.

We created a Steering Committee (SteerCo), made up of executive delegates. The responsibilities of the SteerCo were to evaluate and agree upon the proposed metrics and targets of which we were measuring. They would also act as the Approver of any exceptions under their executive org.

The Vendor Mgmt. Office (VMO) reviewed each purchase order request associated to engineering services (application dev & test), operations support (tier one / two / three application and tools support) and certain work-for-hire marketing engagements. The task was to expose any potential compliance risk or rule violations and work with the project owner to make the correction before they could proceed.

The VMO created training material and held monthly sessions to review policy, procedure, and best practices.

With education and evangelism, along with the support of our SteerCo members, we increased our compliance scores from mid-40’s to > 90% across the board. In addition to the improvement in metrics, the organization saved $31.6M through driving business to approved suppliers and consolidating work to fewer suppliers. $50M in risk was averted by ensuring signatures were obtained for all work-for-hire contracts.

The VMO was nominated 3 times for the CFO award.

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