Building Teams and Changing Behavior with Managed Services

on Dec 9th, 2013 in Change Management, Managed Services, | Comments Off on Building Teams and Changing Behavior with Managed Services

In previous blogs, I outlined key requirements that I feel are critical to building out a Managed Services framework. These include building out defining documents and tailored governance models that enable the team to follow the framework though the use of a shared site (like SharePoint) using repeatable processes.

Building Teams and Changing Behavior with Managed Services

Building Teams

As we build teams through a balanced approach of rebadging, attracting new resources, and leveraging existing leadership talent we need to focus on the cultural shift prior to transition start and throughout the transition phase into steady state.  Rather than focusing on just allocated time for resources, the team must now focus on building repeatable processes, from on-boarding checklists to metrics planning and service delivery procedures. Reporting shifts from hourly accounting to service support based on Service Levels Agreements (SLA’s) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

Changing Behavior

Driving a behavioral change does not come easy. However, the effort to work with clients to change the behavior must come quickly. Communication should be more formal and predictable to help achieve organizational alignment and transparency of service performance and service priority. Changing the behavior starts with reducing what I would call “drive by” requests and focusing on the use of tools to capture and document all service requests. Working with clients and the delivery team to implement the right combination of tools enable optimized work flow that removes delays in support processes and requires both parties to manage change proactively.

Collaborating on an organizational change management program to manage the effect of change is a best practice and includes a communication plan, risk mitigation plans, timelines, and goals.  A partner’s goal is to provide their client with the best service for the defined scope, as efficiently as possible. Clearly understanding the service levels and being committed to exceeding these levels over the life of the relationship must be a common goal that both parties share as they work through changing procedures and evolve the engagement over time.

Creating Timely Status Reporting

on Oct 7th, 2013 in Managed Services, | Comments Off on Creating Timely Status Reporting

It is the fall season and the leaves are changing color.  As year end approaches, maybe it is time to take a cue from the changing colors and consider changing your Status Reporting.  Most outsourcing companies provide monthly status reports on mutually agreed to Service Level Requirements (SLRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In most cases the data gathered is already stale and provides a view of the past month with some trending metrics which would satisfy the contractual SLAs and KPIs.

By keeping metrics current and cutting lag time to a minimum, clients have data and trends in real time.  Tracking trends in real time allows clients to identify issues, create a variety of solutions and take action on the best solution.

Ciber’s Managed Services provides real time reporting that incorporates daily, and in some case,  hourly metrics reporting into a customized dashboard.  The dashboard drills down in to the data, providing details on how the metrics are currently trending rather than waiting for the monthly report to be created.   This reduces response time on negative trends and allows the client to make correction actions immediately.

Listening to our customers and thinking out of the box has once again allowed Ciber to raise the bar on service quality. Providing capabilities that help our clients make proactive decisions and identify continuous improvement opportunities based on real time information is a Ciber differentiator that can quickly bring value to your organization.

To learn more about the Ciber Managed Services dashboard and how we can help you improve your operations through updated SLA’s and KPI’s, call us for a demo.

Managed Services Transition Journey: Transition Work Plan (3 of 3)

on Sep 3rd, 2013 in Managed Services, Project Management, | Comments Off on Managed Services Transition Journey: Transition Work Plan (3 of 3)

This is the third blog in a series that will take us through the phases of the Managed Services Transition Journey as it relates to IT outsourcing. Previously I discussed Definition and Preparation of the Transition.

Over the last decade I have worked with numerous clients and completed many large complex outsourcing transitions. One thing for certain is that each transition requires a custom approach depending on the goals of the transition.  Having a solid, repeatable managed services methodology in place with a pre-defined framework is critical and essential to reduce transition costs and timelines.  Knowing how to utilize the framework comes down to experience and clearly understanding the contractual documents and client needs.

What are some of the most important requirements when building out a Transition plan?

Essential requirements for building out the transition

  • Understanding the Master Service Agreement (MSA) and Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Building out a commitment log to foster a collaborative focus
  • Transition Plan
    • Transition objectives
    • Transition overview
    • Transition management
    • Transition plans and tools
    • Transition approach and methodologies
    • Exit criteria
    • Transition work plan
      • Timeline
      • Key milestones
      • Key deliverables
      • Balanced resource plan

As mentioned in my earlier Preparation Blog, building out the governance plan is a critical step before moving into the transition planning phase. Having the right leadership identified and the team structure in place will enable the success of building out the transition and work plans.

Attributes of a good transition work plan

Initiation Phase

  • Due diligence activities
  • Due diligence outcome reviewed with client
  • MSA approved
  • SOW approved
  • Service Level Requests (SLR) defined
  • Key deliverables defined
  • Key milestones defined

When developing transition work plans close collaboration with the client is crucial to identify critical milestones and deliverables and build out an agreed exit strategy for all phases of the transition. Having defined these activities in the initiation phase of transition will define the timeline and ultimately build a robust transition work plan.

I look forward to your comments on defining your transition work plan!

Managed Services Transition Journey: Preparation (2 of 3)

on Aug 1st, 2013 in Managed Services, | Comments Off on Managed Services Transition Journey: Preparation (2 of 3)

This is the second blog in a series that will take us through the phases of the Managed Services transition journey as it relates to IT outsourcing.

When I embarked on my first transition almost a decades ago, I picked up a book that provided me “Real Life stories” that provided me guidance on how to establish the right team from a book written by John P, Kotter and Dan S. Cohen in 2002 titled, The Heart of Change – Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. In it, John talks about how to build the guiding team.

Finding the right people

  • Selecting a single individual that has the urgency will pull in the right team, a leader that has the energy and skills to build out the team
  • The right combination of capabilities, relevant knowledge, credibility – connections within the organization
  • Defining the executive and leadership committees – individuals that can remove roadblocks.

To learn more about how to build a guiding team I highly recommend that you pick up this short read.

As the Managed Services journey begins, we need to build out the governance structure. Building a team that clearly understands the scope of the transition and is motivated to ensure that as the transition plan is developed they will take a personnel interest to guide the other team members. This leadership team will assist in removing obstacles and are high enough in the organization to ensure that the transition is communicated to the entire organization.

Attributes of a good Transition Governance team

  • Leaders that have enthusiasm and commitment
  • Leaders that can quickly build trust
  • Straight forward Governance structure (not complex)
  • Not relying on a single individual that will slow the transition down
  • Great communication skills, understands what people are feeling
  • Use of technologies to help people see the vision
  • Finding individuals with change experience

When developing a transition governance structure we work with our clients to help them to look internally to identify these key leaders with the attributes that we defined above. In some cases our customers look for us to build the transition team; in either case it’s critical that the customer prepares their internal team before a structure is established.

Once the governance team is established we can jointly work on a transition plan, timeline and communication plan that achieves the goals and vision of our client. Being flexible and providing a rigorous Managed Services governance structure is key to supporting such a critical transformation journey.

I look forward to your comments – how would you define your organization’s transformation maturity?

Managed Services Transition Journey: Defining (1 of 3)

on May 23rd, 2013 in Managed Services, | Comments Off on Managed Services Transition Journey: Defining (1 of 3)

Defining the Managed Services Transition Journey

This is the first blog in a series that will take us through the phases of the Managed Services transition journey as it relates to IT Outsourcing.

When I started my career as a change agent almost two decades ago, I learned a great deal from a book written by William Bridges in 1991 titled, Managing Transitions – Making the most of Change by William Bridges. In it, Bridges talks about change and how that differs from transitions:

Change is not the same as Transition

  • Change is situational: like a new boss or new policy – change is external
  • Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation – transitions are internal.

To learn more about transition and change I highly recommend that you pick up this short read.

Before any Managed Services journey can begin, we need to understand the motivators that are driving organizations to transform so we can build the ground work for this transition.

  • Key Drivers for Transformation
    • Merger and acquisition
    • Supporting ever changing business needs
    • Reducing costs
    • Availability of resource skills
    • Defining and building a more solid support structured
    • Clearing a focus to move to new technologies like cloud or big data

When preparing for the Managed Services transition journey we work with clients to help them to look internally to identify key attributes that will define this journey:

  • Key Attributes for Transformation
    • How will you manage and measure success?
    • What are the defining elements of your company culture?
    • Is your management team ready for transformation?
    • Is your knowledge management up to date?
    • What tools and data are available?

Most customers look to a partner to provide them direction on IT outsourcing, but it’s critical that the customer prepares their internal team before a partner is chosen. This will define the journey and reduce the time and effort required.

Once the key drivers and attributes have been identified internally, is time to start the journey with an experienced partner that has a proven transition methodology.  The Managed Services partner must commit to support the journey no matter what the size (small, medium or large). Being flexible and providing a rigorous Managed Services structure is key to supporting such a critical transformation journey.

I look forward to your comments – how would you define your organization’s transformation maturity?

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