#3 change management strategy that drives success | MSP series.

January 2, 2020

a strong implementation team is the foundation.

a strong implementation team is the foundation

In the previous two installments of this series on managed services programs (MSP), we examined the benefits of MSP and how to build a business case for your new contingent workforce management program. After the decision is made to move ahead with an MSP talent model, that’s when the heavy lifting begins.

To ensure successful implementation and adoption, you’ll need a strong change management strategy. You will also need a core group committed to engaging and informing every stakeholder throughout the process to secure the buy-in needed for success.

Assembling a strong implementation team forms the foundation for an effective MSP program. This group will perform critical tasks from evangelizing the benefits of MSP to leading change management efforts and guiding continuous improvements. They will also be responsible for communicating the value of the MSP, developing program policies, aggregating and validating data, and managing the technology implementation. The importance of this team cannot be overstated; without a blend of functional and executive leaders, the roll out may be hindered and delayed. Read on to learn which individuals will best serve these roles.

selecting your MSP implementation team.

An effective MSP implementation team will include executives, project sponsors and managers, and functional stakeholders. An executive sponsor will champion the MSP throughout the organization even during potentially challenging times, and participate in quarterly business reviews and change management activities. Meanwhile, project sponsors and managers lead the development of
policy and internal communications and will work directly with the MSP. Together, the executive sponsors and project managers drive adoption by demonstrating buy-in at the highest levels.

The other MSP implementation team members should include a designated project lead, hiring managers and functional stakeholders in accounting, procurement and HR. Each of these functions is not only expected to oversee their respective areas of responsibility, but to also provide support across functions when necessary.

strong relationships build solid foundations.

During every implementation phase, it’s likely that unforeseen discoveries in policy, process, the supply chain and technology will occur, and these challenges can affect your go-live date. It’s important for your internal team to work closely with your MSP provider to mitigate problems that arise. At the same time, your service provider will also be able to address common issues that may arise at the outset and recommend best practice solutions. This is the value of working with an MSP provider: their in-depth knowledge of all contingent workforce matters and the supply chain is tested through experience.

An important step in every new MSP implementation is the management of data aggregation and validation. A company’s workforce data, particularly around contingent talent, can be highly fragmented, with various departments owning discrete portions of information. The data may also reside in various systems, so the implementation team will need to work closely with your MSP provider to ensure thorough access.

Data consistency also requires that the implementation team conducts validation and updating exercises. This is especially important because it is likely that the information might have been managed differently in the past. In any case, the designated team should strive to ensure data integrity, delivered through consistent processes, as you work closely with your MSP partner.

change management that fuels adoption.

A fully developed change management strategy is one of the most important considerations in an MSP roll out, and identifying all stakeholders affected by the program is an important first step. The most obvious are internal customers, but others (such as suppliers) should also be included in the plan. An effective implementation shouldn’t lead to the loss of critical talent suppliers, so make sure to invite input from all third parties.

Your communications strategy should be in your change management strategy as well, which will likely require involvement from your marketing or internal communications department. What’s most important is helping the organization understand the benefits of the MSP program to ensure adoption, the process changes involved to avoid frustration, and the impact the new program will have on individual users.

This requires careful management of expectations using the right messaging and channels (e.g., company intranet, emails, internal newsletters, team meetings or all of the above). Determining the audience and frequency of internal communications will be key to success and broad buy-in. Also consider whether communication should come from top down or corporate out.

User training is another important aspect of change management. Look to your MSP partner to deliver a variety of training options through web-based tools and/or on-site sessions. A commitment to regular training will help encourage user buy-in where the MSP program is not mandated in the organization, especially as new features and functions are rolled out incrementally.

ongoing monitoring and governance.

To ensure the MSP meets expectations, the implementation team will need to continuously monitor and measure performance. Some foundational metrics are typically included in every MSP program, including customer satisfaction, fill rate and the interview-to-hire ratio. Because some engagements are unique, there may be unique metrics, around supplier performance and talent retention, for example. At the outset, these metrics will help navigate the MSP down the right direction, you should carefully consider what to measure.

Typically, a clear picture of how well the program is operating will emerge three months after implementation. This is when the program is likely to be mature and sufficient data has been collected. Comparing the results against service level agreements (SLAs) provides the operational team with insights into what is working and what’s not.

At this point, the MSP and the client decide on the changes needed to keep the program moving toward its goals. Technology, how services are delivered, personnel and even program scope may all change as part of the efforts to meet SLAs and create value.

As the MSP matures, expansion and improvements are often the next steps. This isn’t possible without the proper governance and escalation processes. Your project team should work directly with your managed services provider to collaborate on training and communication, reviewing and processing invoices, assessing dashboards and reporting metrics, and establishing processes for business improvement. Every successful MSP should continuously seek innovative ways to capture additional savings, enhance access to talent, improve program visibility and compliance, and create value.

The governance model clarifies the roles of every individual involved in the program, both internally and externally. This is done by:

  • defining the reporting lines
  • identifying the decision-makers
  • establishing escalation mechanisms
  • setting up clear processes for oversight and
  • mitigation steps

The governance model ensures program stakeholders receive the necessary feedback to determine whether actual practices conform to the governance framework and where changes may be needed.

a world-class contingent workforce solution.

When you adopt an MSP, you are taking a big step toward improving the increasingly complex task of managing your contingent workers. The success of your new contingent talent model will largely depend on program owners and those who support them. Selecting the right stakeholders at all levels and ensuring those individuals know their responsibilities will set the foundation for a successful MSP.

An effective implementation ensures the program will start off in the right direction, but much more work is needed to make sure it delivers your end goals: to create a world-class contingent workforce that can lead to a competitive advantage.

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Find out how you can best work with your MSP partner to maximize the value of your contingent talent solution in our MSP Playbook.

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