How to avoid marriage guidance in outsourcing
Damn those pesky royals. It looks like 2011 will see a royal fanfare in the form of nuptials between wistful William and squeaky-clean Kate. Under normal circumstances, I’d be filled with glee at the thought of a good old British knees-up but not when it encroaches on my own territory. Because – you heard it here first – your very own Inside Source might well be tying the knot this year. How can I possibly compete with the Windsors? Tshhhh. But anyway, I digress from the point. All this talk of weddings has got me thinking of outsourcing relationships. When the champagne cork flies on the signing of an outsourcing agreement, it feels like a marriage made in heaven…”I, the honourable outsource provider, do solemnly take you, the all-deserving client, in an outsourcing arrangement till death do us part”. But then the lights come on, the hangover kicks in, and the cracks begin to appear.
So how do you avoid marriage guidance (AKA outsourcing advisory support) in your outsourcing relationship?
- Remember that business drivers change. A deal you signed three years ago may be irrelevant to your business needs today, so try and ensure flexibility where you can from the start.
- Focus on investment and never assume that things will be fine if left to take their course. Effective ongoing governance is essential to this.
- Be realistic and clear about what the relationship can be deliver. SLAs and schedules should articulate the expectations of all parties in the hope of avoiding misunderstandings or disagreements further down the line.
- Communication is key. The reason most outsourcing deals fail is due to communication issues, not supplier inability to deliver in a technical sense.
So to avoid the impending doom that some provider-client couples feel after their own honeymoon period, take my advice: outsourcing relationships are two-way and need working at from both sides.