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Venerdì, 09 Dicembre 2011 08:21

Best Practices: 5 Ways to Ensure Your Outsourcing Provider Adapts to Your Corporate Culture

You've worked hard to inculcate your corporate mission, vision and values in your staff and have driven their adoption in behavior and actions across teams. But aligning a new or even an existing outsourcing services provider to your corporate culture can seem daunting. Misalignment in culture between clients and providers often occur at times of significant change, usually during a significant transition in a process or capability, or significant change within a business' priorities.

To ensure your service provider "gets it," always evaluate its ability to provide the following:

  • Executive-level accountability: A provider's leadership should be held accountable for understanding the clients' core business values and culture; and developing actionable client account plans for its operations teams to execute against
  • Proactive mindset: A good provider should be able to identify and strategize in advance. However, when it does have to react to a misalignment, its account management teams should engage with you to complete an assessment and develop a measureable plan to get its operational teams tracking to your cultural direction.
  • Flexibility: An effective provider approach is to offer a wide spectrum of capabilities that aligns with the direction its clients and potential clients are moving towards. From that point, expect a good provider to work directly with you to identify your goals and strategies for your business. Working collaboratively, your provider should be able to develop the diverse capability sets into solutions that support your business goals. Disciplined transition methodologies supported by a cross functional team in each business area go a long way toward supporting this model.
    While a stringent structure is necessary to reduce risk, it needs to be complemented by flexibility. In my career I have yet to see a business that remains static in its goals and strategies, and providers need to be very fluid in their business models to act as true partners. When you share a change to one of your goals, your provider should be quickly able to look at how they need to adapt those changes to support you. Buyer-provider relationships grow when both work together to balance the rigor needed for their programs, while evolving these programs to meet the changing needs of the market.
  • Support for process standards: In the banking and financial services industry, for example, sharing a commitment to process standards is a significant element of success and often a core cultural value. These companies aggressively pursue market share while balancing sound risk management practices learned through the economic conditions of the past few years.
    The foundation of a good outsourcing model is predicated on building proven practices to support models such as ISO 9002 and the best practices needed for compliance to PCI certification to insure consistency in delivery. Documented and audited continuous improvement, corrective action and a change control process can support your provider's ability to understand your strategies and make changes to a rigorous process with agility.
  • Process for dispute resolution: Cultural misalignment can lead to communication challenges, and ultimately disputes. The steps four steps above are designed to mitigate the risk of "miscommunications" and unmet expectations. However, as an additional layer of protection, a standard process for dispute resolution helps to formally review issues and resolve them collaboratively.
    A Joint Operational Governance Committee can be the first point of contact for dispute resolution followed by escalation to a Joint Management Governance Committee. Ideally, this level of governance meets monthly and dispute resolution is a standing agenda item. As a final escalation prior to mediation or arbitration, the Joint Management Governance Committee may escalate to a third level, often called the Joint Senior Executive Governance Committee. Its meetings should occur at least quarterly and attempt to resolve any disputes without involvement from third party resources.

To balance your need to provide cultural input to and collaboration with your outsourcing partner without succumbing to the pitfalls of long-term resource engagement, plan to continuously work to share knowledge in both directions. During transition, providers should work to gain as much information as possible by "baseline-ing" processes, and by creating SOPs and training materials.

A core transition best practice is to ensure the provider is learning as much about your culture and business as possible. Through a "train the trainer" approach, providers should seek your assistance to first "learn" your corporate culture, the business and its functions and only then seek to augment those with new solutions. It is important to consider that a staged solution will allow you and your provider to work closely on a collaborative approach. This will gradually but quickly minimizethe time and resources that you require, while allowing your provider's key people to absorb your culture to the point where they can be a true extension of your enterprise.

Fonte / Source:


                Andrew Clarke  Vice President-Banking and Financial Services

                at Aditya Birla Minacs


Riferimento al Network OuNet / Relates to:


Outsourcing Network