This series presents nine elements of a successful vendor-management program and a checklist to help you, the privacy pro, to manage an effective program. Sometimes themes can help us remember information, so for that reason, we’ll use the solar system to guide us through this series: Picture your company as the star around which all vendors revolve—outer space was so much more appealing than an oceanic theme where sharks circle.

1. Mercury—Why Have a Vendor Management Program?
As the messenger to the gods, Mercury is a fitting representative for the laws, rules, regulations and industry standards that speak to having an effective vendor-management program.

2. Venus: The Internal Elements
Without your internal teams on board with an effective vendor-management program, your program will burn and become toxic. But when it works correctly, your internal team can be the brightest spot in your program        

3. Earth: Risk Assessment
It’s essential to evaluate vendors and their risks in the real world as well as to balance those risks, all while taking a global, holistic view.

4. Mars: Pain Points
The red planet serves a signal for danger like consultants working on-site vs. off-site or outsourcing to vendors located in countries rife with corruption.

5. The Cloud: A special segment on cloud providers from Oracle’s Pedro Pavón, CIPP/US.
Contracting with cloud providers is such a big segment of this part, we’ll consider cloud providers as one of Jupiter’s largest moons.

6. Jupiter: Contract Provisions
Perhaps the largest hurdle in our vendor management program is the contract piece.

7. Saturn: Ongoing Monitoring
We like Saturn for the rings that wrap around it, similar to the monitoring and ongoing due diligence that we must wrap around our vendors and vendor-management programs.          

8. Uranus: Data Breaches
So much of this planet reminds me of breaches: how they are discovered (accidentally sometimes), how they are addressed and how companies proceed afterward.

9. Neptune: Ending the Relationship
Like Neptune, the termination of a contractual relationship may be overlooked until the end, may happen faster than the speed of sound and be a rocky event.

10. Pluto: A Checklist
Pluto is not really a planet, but it is a good body to know.