By April 15, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Outsourcing Success – The Stay-Back-Team’s Role

Outsourcing Success – The Stay-Back-Team’s Role

Skill sets

Since the role of the stay back team members is often a significant shift from their current roles within the organization, it requires a careful matching of skill sets and even culture. Your staff will need to move beyond their day-to-day operations rolwes and assume the role of an owner representative with strategic planning responsibilities.

There are usually a variety of roles within the stay back team, and each of them will require a different mix of skill sets and qualities. Some roles may be very similar to the ones that exist while others will be new roles that require a different mix of skill sets that may not currently exist in your organization.

With a focus on contract management/administration as well as a significant focus on asset management in the new role, there are a number of skill sets that should be present in the stay back team, particularly within its leadership. Keep in mind that it is often very hard to change culture if everything else stays the same, and the most critical position will be the stay back team leader, who will set the tone for everyone.

For roles closer to the operational activities, such as in-house services, the focus is more on knowledge and expertise related to the function, while at higher levels, the ability to change culture, strategically plan, consensus build and effectively manage the new relationships to meet the corporation’s goals is critical.

In most cases, many of the stay back team positions are filled by internal resources, so it is very important to assess their skills and abilities in the new context to ensure they will be successful, and consider whether new resources from outside the organization should be included. As well, additional training in relationship management, contract management, performance management and, strategic planning and asset management, for instance, will be valuable to ensure each stay back team member has the tools they need to be successful.

There are some basic elements that need to be present within the stay back team for a successful transition from an internally provided service to an outsourced service. These include:

Effective linkages

The stay back team needs to be able to link the activities of the service provider and other in-house services with those of the corporation and it’s core business. This requires a broad knowledge of the services being provided and sufficient knowledge of the corporation and its core business. The stay back team leadership must have the ability and the status necessary to interface with other groups within the corporations core business in order to have influence and be effective at managing the linkages.

Cultural change

The outsourcing initiative itself is a cultural change that needs to be effectively supported by people who can adapt themselves to the new culture, and can also lead others through the cultural change. It is important when selecting the stay back team members that they fully support the initiative, and can work in the new environment. The stay back team leaders in particular must be capable of influencing a significant change in the culture.

A critical mass of internal knowledge and expertise

The stay back team needs to have a critical mass of knowledge related to the services being outsourced as well as the services that continue to be provided in-house. This knowledge should include that of the core business as well, if possible. Detailed historical knowledge is also very useful, however many of the staff with this type of knowledge will be retained anyway through the service provider and both the personnel and the records will be accessible.

The importance of establishing the stay back team early in the process was discussed above, however there is another equally important reason for selecting the team early– to retain them until the transition occurs. During the process of outsourcing, there is significant uncertainty, and some of your staff may look for other opportunities. If you have not established the stay back team and appointed staff to the roles early enough, you may lose your most suitable candidates.

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