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Process of the Month – SAM Process Review Process


Establishing a SAM framework can take a mammoth effort

In the final process of the month, we have a process that is all too often missed but can be as vital as the audit and reconciliation process itself, and that is the SAM Process Review Process.  Establishing a SAM framework can take a mammoth effort, and implementing it can absorb vast amounts of resource.  Equally though, maintaining a SAM Framework is no small undertaking as you may feel that your job is done once you have successfully generated your first audit and reconciliation report – not so!  Your SAM Framework is an entity that needs periodic refreshing.  Depending upon your desire to follow best practice, you could find yourself reviewing some processes on a quarterly basis, or even more frequently if your QA metrics set performance alarm bells ringing.

SAM Process Review

Primary Objective

  1. To benchmark the SAM Processes against their own internal QA metrics
  2. To ensure that the SAM Processes support the wider SAM goals and objectives as detailed in the SAM Framework

Secondary Objective

  1.  To re-engineer any shortfalls found in the SAM Processes so that they support the goals and objectives of the SAM Framework


  1. A SAM Governance Process is in place to initiate the SAM Process Review and to drive alignment between the processes and the overall goals and objectives of the SAM Framework.

Function Step Overview

1.10 The process is kicked off by a requirement within the SAM Governance Process to review all SAM Framework processes as being fit for purpose, so in the first instance the SAM Manager will sit down with the key stakeholders to review the performance metrics that have been ascribed to the processes.
1.20 Having assessed the processes against their internal QA criteria, some may require re-engineering.  As such, a Statement of Work should be created so that a clear programme of work can be submitted for approval.
1.30 Equally, many processes will be deemed to have worked within the QA constraints placed on the process and these processes will then be compared to the wider goals and objectives of the SAM Framework.  The SAM Framework is informed by a risk assessment carried out within the Corporate Governance Process itself, and so new risks might have been highlighted that the SAM Framework is now expected to answer to – this could mean that the SAM process delivers against its own QA criteria, but not those of the wider business.  Relevance to the business is vital if the SAM Framework is to stay in place.
1.40 For those processes that meet both the internal QA metrics AND SAM Governance requirements, then their review dates can be appended (typically) by one year and left in place for any or all staff to read as required.
1.50 For those processes that either failed their own internal QA metrics, or failed to uphold the loftier goals of the SAM Framework, then these processes are to be updated at step 1.50 prior to reporting back to the SAM Governance Process that the processes are in harmony once more with the SAM Framework.

Don’t let the brevity of this process disguise the volume of work that it could generate.  If you aren’t keeping up with your process housekeeping, you could find yourself with potentially huge volumes of work to undertake prior to exiting this process.

As mentioned before, this is a template – and one idea that strikes me is that you may wish to test or benchmark your improvements prior to feeding back to the Governance Process that the SAM processes are once more fit for purpose (no bad thing).  It could also be the case that time is against you, and so in mitigation you pledge to dedicate extra time and effort to overseeing the process quality once the revisions go live.

Other Process of the Month Articles:

Image Credit

The SAM Process Kit by Rory Canavan is available from

About Rory Canavan

With a technical background in business and systems analysis, Rory has a wide range of first-hand experience advising numerous companies and organisations on the best practices and principles pertaining to software asset management.

This experience has been gained in both military and civil organisations, including the Royal Navy, Compaq, HP, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and several software vendors

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