HRO Today Global Winter 2015 - 40

Market Insight
1. The planning phase. The tendency of outsource
providers is to have them manage everything. " Trust
me " is a sentence that I have heard so many times.
And here again, a lot depends on what management
is looking for. If it is a labor arbitrage where you are
turning over control, then " trust me " is a good option.
But if outsourcing is part of a true HR transformation,
then organisations need to maintain control of the
programme and the outcome.
There are some areas that the provider can manage
without organisational involvement: space, systems, and
technology. The programme manager should be engaged
in decisions around staffing ratios, labor force availability,
training, country selection, and adherence to compliance,
country legislation, and privacy requirements. A
programme manager should be fully engaged with the
project scope, delivery model, change management,
layoff strategy if any, and communications.
Two examples that come to mind about the importance
of being part of the decision-making:
* On the political front. A few years back, I was offered
to half the cost of my European BPO team if I would
move them to the Ukraine. The deal raised a red flag
for me. Years later, it proved to be the right decision.
* Communications. The team had many discussions about
external communications announcing the relationship,
but more importantly, we had many discussions about
internal communications to the employee population.
Many thought that it was a good idea to inform the
staff of the changes ahead and about the services that
are transitioning over. In the end, we didn't see any
real value in announcing the outsourcing relationship
externally. As for the staff, we planned for an increase
in quality through a seamless transition. There was
no reason to alert the entire employee population of
150,000 (at that time) to a non-issue. Both decisions
proved to be right.
A big part of the planning phase is negotiation of
governance and agreements. The documents produced
here will be the core of the relationship for years to come:
They enhance the capabilities of the BPO and create
better delivery services. The negotiations on agreements
and governance will determine whether your organisation
gives up control or is in the driver seat. I insisted that the
[40]
HRO TODAY GLOBAL
| WINTER 2015
HR team always be in a position to direct the work, define
the metrics, and define all new initiatives.
Maintaining control was a key element of the
engagement. The organisation was transitioning more
than 400 full-time employees that were supporting more
than 150,000 employees. The relationship with the rest
of the corporate HR team, regional support teams, and
country teams needed to be seamless and transparent.
It took a lot of negotiating, but the effort proved to be
extremely important years later when the population
doubled and the support needs changed.
2. Due diligence phase. An important element of due
diligence is ensuring that all line managers are on
board. Line managers are the ones that understand
the process: They know what is being delivered, what
is documented, and what is not. Metrics information
lies with them and at the end of the day, they will be
leading the team that will redesign the process and the
delivery value chain. They can influence the quality of the
process documentation that will be a critical part of the
success of the project. Going forward, they have ultimate
responsibility for interacting with the outsourcing team
and delivering the service.
This is where the involvement of the programme
manager is so critical. Working together with line
managers, it is the responsibility of the programme
manager to plot the outcome of the due diligence
against the plan. Any change, transition, and reduction
need to be carefully noted and planned for. This is
where the true validation of the plan happens. Getting
the internal and external teams to respect each other,
collaborate, and understand that there is value in
listening to each other and developing a common plan
is crucial to the success of the transformation. The
process of getting there is long, and it requires all of the
leadership and management skills that the programme
manager has to offer.
3. Knowledge transfer phase. The first pass of the
documentation is now completed and it is time to
validate the process. The traditional way of executing
knowledge transfer is by shadowing. This is done by
sending the team from the various offshore countries to
the offices of the people that they will be replacing, see
how the work is being delivered, and bit by bit take over
the work.

HRO Today Global Winter 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today Global Winter 2015

HRO Today Global Winter 2015 - 1
HRO Today Global Winter 2015 - 2
HRO Today Global Winter 2015 - 3
HRO Today Global Winter 2015 - 4
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