Being in the outsourcing business we are witness to relationships between subject matter experts (providers) and organisations needing help. Time and again we see that the best outcomes for organisations using outsourcing as a resourcing strategy are achieved when they follow these five steps:
- Clearly define what needs to be done, and why. In plain terms, the scope of the task, precise outcomes and the standards you expect need to be stated. Don’t be shy in letting the provider know the outcome that will delight you.
- Show the same diligence in searching and selecting a provider as if it was a permanent recruitment. The provider should have a positive impact on your Cause, otherwise why are you hiring them? Make sure you select a person with the necessary skills and experience capable of creating this positive impact.
- Select on quality, not price. This is a big call for many cash-strapped organisations but a decision that must be confronted. Often it is wiser to not outsource at all if quality needs to be sacrificed on the altar of cost. Also, we find that providers, at least those associated with Cause & Effective, will do all they can to accommodate price constraints so be flexible and ready to negotiate.
- Agree in writing. Nothing is truer than the saying “a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on”. Please make sure your relationship with a provider is formally documented. If you source an expert from Cause & Effective we insist on this before commencing an assignment. It is so important – for both parties!
- Understand and honour your responsibilities in the relationship. If it was agreed that the provider would be given access to information, data, facilities etc., make sure it happens. Also, after engagement, don’t ignore their presence but treat them as fully fledged members of your team.
Outsourcing can be a positive way to either directly or indirectly assist your Cause. But it takes thought, time and effort to reap the real benefits – following the steps above will certainly help you in realising this.
By Chris Gandy – Chris is the Founder & Principal of Cause & Effective. We provide subject matter experts with Cause-based organisations