By Sairam Bollapragada
Transition by nature is a very collaborative exercise where the emphasis is on winning the customer confidence through sheer performance and nothing but performance. While being transparent to the customer and drawing customer into action through participative mechanisms is a very critical success factor, being prepared and planned to foster a mutually agreed agenda is also key.
Point 1: Cultural Values: Enablers for effective collaboration include: shared values and cultural fit along with wanting to ensure that both parties are successful. The corporate values on all sides play a very vital foundation role in ensuring collaboration. Unless there is a multi-party mutual acceptance of each others culture and values, Objectives will not become singular in nature. The emergence of transition as a common goal MUST happen.
Point 2: Communication: Collaboration requires a communication framework that ensures openness, honesty, and a focus on having effective discussions rather than always trying to “get it right.” Getting it right is an outcome of all the activities which has its basis as communication. All parties involved must exchange notes and treat it as a the most important factor to succeed.
Point 3: Transformation: Service provider selection criteria for a collaborative outsourcing relationship needs to include the provider’s expertise in understanding the customer scenarios and helping customers change and to drive transformation into its operations, along with the provider’s willingness to embrace challenges and take risks on the buyer’s behalf. The apathy generated would help provider behave like an extended part of the customer entity. A transition manager must have commendable emotional quotient (EQ).
Point 4: Flexible Contract: A rigid contract and governance framework that nails down all the terms and conditions, locking the parties into a certain position, will hinder the ability to be flexible through changing circumstances in any outsourcing relationship. Though the contract is critically essential, in a collaborative relationship, this rigidity can stop the flow of ideas to change for good. An established rule-based playbook would help all to play by pre-consented policies with implicitly built-in agreements providing flexibility across the relationship.
Point 5: Incentivized Relationship: Parties in a collaborative and business-transformational outsourcing relationships will benefit greatly by building an incentive arrangement (gain-sharing mechanism like bonuses, etc.) into their relationships, as it helps to ensure the parties’ interests will remain aligned over time. They also see the gains of a turbulent phase of transition where the learning is hugely exponential as transition manager has his task cut out and cannot accommodate anything else in his sight other than safe and successful cutover.