A Situation Target Proposal (or STP) statement is a succinct summary of why you believe there is a problem to resolve or an opportunity to forgive (the Situation); what you hope to achieve from it (the Target); and how you suggest going about it (the Proposal). These are all important requirements for developing a breakthrough procurement sourcing strategy.
The first key step for writing an effective STP is to establish the facts and describe the current situation. Sometimes opinions or guesses masquerade as facts so you need to provide the evidence. Ask yourself these questions: –
- How can I describe this situation?
- What do I know about it? Use the key words "what, who, why, where, when and how" to create single sentence descriptions.
- Are these facts, opinions or guesses?
- What data do I need to collect to validate the facts and turn opinions and guesses into facts?
- How urgent is it?
You will then be in a position to accurately define the current situation in a way that is specific and actionable. A vague situation that can not be resolved will only lead to frustration and abandonment of the souring project.
The second key step is to set your target. A good way to do this is to use the previous step as a starting point and then describe what a future and better situation would look like. Questions you can use for this step include the following: –
- How do I describe success?
- What are the key differences with the situation today?
- What does this suggest my goals should be?
- Do any of these goals conflict?
- How will I measure these goals?
- What data do I need to collect to produce the measurements?
- What will my initial targets be for these measures?
This last bullet point gives you the targets for your STP statement.
The third key step is to define your proposal for how you will achieve your target and so secure the opportunity or solve the problem that you defined in the statement step. Good questions for this step are: –
- What are the specific actions that need to be done?
- Who will do them?
- By when?
- What will they need to make it happen?
- What constraints need to be recognized?
- Does any of this change our description of the situation or alter our targets?