When embarking on a transformational programme such as this, all companies are confronted with many organisational elements which need more attention than usual – managing change, staffing, project management and execution, learning how to manage virtual teams, communication –and each of these elements have to have total focus from the leadership team for the project or projects to be successful. In light of this it is evident that the most critical factor for any successful offshoring /outsourcing programme is the buy-in of the Senior Leadership team and the subsequent total involvement of all levels of the organisation. Even those business teams not directly involved in the process under transfer will have a role to play to ensure a timely, high quality and cost effective outcome.
This ‘buy-in’ is critical for several reasons:
- These kinds of programmes, more often than not, constitute a fundamental transformation of the enterprise affecting employees at all levels – changing organisational structures and work practices, building new relationships – and it is impossible to over-estimate the impact this can have on the business. Therefore, it cannot be a ‘business-as-usual’ approach and demands full-time senior management attention to enable success.
- Often these programmes are launched as a means to reduce cost and/or improve delivery quality. These deliverables are in turn factored into future business plans which drive shareholder value. So expectations are often huge and are at risk unless the attention of all functional leaders is fully focussed on delivering the resources and support necessary to achieve the planned outcomes.
- Normally the accountability for the process being outsourced/offshored is a held by a specialist area of the organisation, be it Operations, Sales Administration, Client Service, Accounts Payable/Receivable etc. However, delivering the required results can only be achieved if the Senior Leadership is involved in driving all parts of the organisation to support the programme, through shared goal-setting, reward and recognition schemes, skills development and all other parts of the change management process. Good outcomes generally always require the total involvement of all concerned and full corporate motivation around this kind of programme is essential to its success.
- It is vital that the Senior Leadership ensure that commercial teams understand the importance and progress of the programme, and that they are able to help support the business in front of clients who may feel their service is under strain during this offshoring/outsourcing process.
- These kinds of programmes can at times produce a level of demotivation, even resentment, in the organisation whether the teams are directly or indirectly involved. Senior Leadership involvement is key to managing this and they will need to manage and control the internal messaging at all stages of the programme to keep teams focussed and motivated.
The success or failure of transformational programmes is nearly always down to the level of business leadership engagement and how that is seen and felt within the organisation. Having your teams feel comfortable about the upcoming and ongoing changes is essential. Your messaging needs to be well thought through and consistent and everybody within the organisation needs to be aware of what is being communicated both internalkly and to the client base.
We would love to talk to you about the importance of Leadership and Organisational Buy-in as a key enabler to a successful outsourcing and/or offshoring programme.
Latest version updated 16th November 2017