The Goal: Trust in the Outsourcing Relationship

    views’s column, “Lack of trust blights outsourcing projects,” quotes from a report published by the UK-based Society of IT Management (Socitm), which focuses on public sector IT work.

    I’d truly like to read this report, but I can’t find its presence on the Socitm Web site. Here are two conclusions from the article:

    • User satisfaction generally goes down when a service gets outsourced.
    • Success in outsourcing requires building a relationship of trust with the service provider.

    Local authorities should not turn to outsourcing to get rid of a problem. "Managing a difficult issue at arm’s length is significantly more difficult than tackling it directly," the report points out.

    It also warns the procurement process can often feature "naivety and lack of honesty" on both sides, and this can introduce problems at the very beginning of the relationship.

    And too many contract or partnership management teams are defensive and are inadequately resourced, the report said: "They reach for the contract and impose penalties and service credits rather than working with the partner to solve the problem."

    Socitm found only one example of a supplier who could earn a bonus for achieving service standards above the specification, while almost every contract had penalty clauses, which it said "seems a little one-sided for a partnership style of operation".


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