Outsourcing Management is in the Details

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    Frank Casale and his gang at The Outsourcing Institute put on some one-day roadshows last year about outsourcing. Mike Perkowski recently wrote up a summary of an account of the event in New York, which has some useful tidbits from some of the presenters it featured.

    Have a set meeting time when managers from the client and service provider get together to discuss the issues and the work. That comes from Richard Raysman, partner of New York-based law firm Brown, Raysman, Millstein, Felder & Steiner, LLP. That’s a sure way to foster better relationship management. The write-up doesn’t suggest a schedule , but I’d say it better be more frequent at the beginning of the effort (say, weekly) and less frequently as the effort matures (monthly).

    Expect to use a different set of managers for managing the relationship then you use for negotiating the deal. This advice comes from Geoff Peters, director of collaborative procurement at Sears, Roebuck & Co. (This was hosted, obviously, *before* Sears severed its ties to CSC.) The people who do the deal usually aren't the right people to manage the relationship going forward. Managing the relationship so it works for both sides is a different set of skills than negotiating and closing a deal.”

    Last, I’ll share this wisdom from Susan Ganz, vice-president of Merrill Lynch's Technology Vendor Management Group: “Often, a program's progress can be impeded — and the relationship's potential unrealized — by the most basic personnel issues.” In her case, an offshore coordinator didn’t arrive onsite until the final week of a six-week program to do QA testing. That gummed up the works for a “smooth knowledge transfer.”

    Read the article for more.

    While you’re on the site, check out the brief piece on “Perfecting the RFP.” It includes seven elements to keep in mind as you develop and write the request for proposal. Here’s one solid piece of advice it includes:

    An RFP must include contract terms, or at least the most important ones, and require the provider to either accept or reject the terms. For any rejections, a provider should be required to provide precise details of its proposed terms. Answering a question with another question and giving responses such as “for further discussion” should not be acceptable.

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