10 Commandments for Success at Outsourcing

Across the world organizations have taken to outsourcing for competitive advantage. Are there still organizations out there that question outsourcing? Here’ why you should consider outsourcing:

My main focus is on my game- Tiger Woods

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.- Tony Robbins

I have spent more than 12 years managing the complexities of outsourcing. I have seen successes and failures. Here are my 10 Commandments for Success at Outsourcing for the business leaders exploring the strategic relationships.

Commandment 1: Get you Reasons Right

One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.- Mahatma Gandhi

Answer to the question “why outsource???? is the first and the most critical element of the game. Do not outsource because everyone does. Outsource for your reasons; cost control, quality control, risk mitigation, geographic expansion, Human resources etc. Take your time to figure out the reasons.

Commandment 2: Plan the Route, Be Detailed

Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Alan Lakein

Plan the route, set the milestones and define the responsibilities. It is important to set the goals and expectations before you start to minimize surprises.

Commandment 3: Lead the change

Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.- John Naisbitt

Outsourcing is too important to implement Bottom Up in and organization. Outsourcing is a strategic move and is successful only when the Leader is convinced and committed to the cause.

Commandment 4: Build your Team, Get Process Champions

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. – Mahatma Gandhi

A leader is as effective as his trusted lieutenants.  Identify and nurture process champions in your organization and encourage them to spread the knowledge and build grow and motivate their teams.

Commandment 5: It’s all about people

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Outsourcing will impact the lives of your employees and they will certainly be apprehensive about Job Loss. Address your people concerns. Involve your people in the process.

Commandment 6: Date, Court, get Married

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without. – James C. Dobson

Outsourcing relationships are like marriages built on trust, compatibility empathy and flexibility. Spend time analyzing your partner organization’s culture, their vision and plan. Ask the right questions to find your match. Remember that the cheapest is not necessarily the best.

Commandment 7: Practice what you Preach

I try to keep in touch with the details… I also look at the product daily. That doesn’t mean you interfere, but it’s important occasionally to show the ability to be involved. It shows you understand what’s happening. – Rupert Murdoch

Your outsourcing plan will be put to test only when implemented. Lead the implementation process; get involved in the details initially. Empower the process champions with tools to take the vision forward.

Commandment 8: Process, Process, Process

We do not learn; and what we call learning is only a process of recollection. – Plato

Document your successes and failures. This documentation will be the reference points for the future. Organizations can benefit the economies of scale and outsourcing only by setting up the process and following in every time.

Commandment 9: Measure and Analyze

Round Numbers are always false. – Samuel Johnson

Measure the impact at every milestone, compare with organizational and industry benchmarks. Analyze the performance and tweak the process as needed. At times there may be no prior references, the Vision and strength of leadership is tested in such situations.

Commandment 10: Be prudent- Get the prenup in order.

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient. – Voltaire

Relationships do go wrong. Give the Outsourcing relationship a chance however; you should have a Tactical Plan B ready if things do not produce desired results initially. On the strategy front, be wise to safe guard your interest and include an opt-out and other safeguard clauses in the contract. Change outsourcing partner, in case of cultural differences and insurmountable integration challenges.

Bhaskar Thakur

Digital Transformation & Marketing Leader , Growth Enabler, Recreational Runner, Learner & Seeker. On this blog I share my perspective on Technology, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Growth, Health, Running and Biking.