Success Drivers in an Outsourcing Relationship
Managing a long-term outsourcing relationship is no easy task and establishing an outsourcing relationship that is both efficient and mutually beneficial may sometimes seem unattainable.
Missed deadlines, fixed expenses, work or finished products that don’t meet expectations are just a few of the problems that business owners can imagine when they think of outsourcing IT services to an independent contractor. Is that how many of you think of outsourcing?
The answer is “no”, if you just take note of the following tips for how to get an outsourcing relationship on the right track.
In order to minimize problems and get better results from outsourced IT projects, here are four things you should do to make the outsourcing relationship work for you:
- Identify which tasks are appropriate to outsource. Make a list of tasks that are routinely performed by you and your employees. Review the list to see which activities might be outsourced: tasks that make good candidates for outsourcing include activities you or your key personnel are doing that are routine and repetitive and taking time away from more important work and tasks that you and your staff don’t really have the expertise to do, but aren’t needed on a regular basis.
- Systematize repetitive tasks. To get good results when a repetitive task is outsourced, you need to be able to provide the contractor with details about how the work should be done. Take the time to write down the steps you take to complete the work you want done, including enough detail about the steps that need to be completed, methods to be used, recordkeeping that needs to be done, etc. so that a contractor can perform the work the way it would be done in your company.
- Research needs for projects that are beyond your area of expertise before you outsource the work. You won’t be able to choose the right contractor for a job and the contractor won’t be able to meet your expectations if your expectations aren’t reasonable and clear up front. What do you want done? What’s your budget? What results do you expect? How do you want the results achieved? What’s the time line? What deliverables will you require? Make sure you have clear answers to these questions before the tasks are outsourced.
- Locate and get to know companies and people you might want to use – ahead of time. Check out their websites, check their references, and where appropriate, give them small jobs first. If those are completed satisfactorily, then assign the contractor bigger or more important tasks.