In this series, we’ve discussed how to evaluate and align your Managed Services Program (MSP) to the changing talent and technology landscape, while also evolving the business model to take advantage of the opportunities to integrate more sophisticated business and workforce analytics, total talent metrics and value-focused KPIs.
As you transition your MSP from what could potentially be a clunky, first generation Yugo into a sleek Lamborghini, with all of the bells and whistles and latest technology, don’t forget to take into account who is driving it. How is your Project Management Office (PMO), accustomed to driving the basic model going to transition to being able to own and operate a more sophisticated MSP?
Your PMO, like the MSP they’ve run, has likely been judged in the past by two outcomes – process efficiency and cost savings. But as MSPs become capable of much more, the skills and expertise of those designing MSPs have evolved as well. To get the maximum ROI on your MSP re-design and upgrade, consider whether you have the expertise on your PMO team to handle this new, significantly increased and more strategic workload.
The new demands of the MSP call for strategic talent engagement and management, harnessing the power, experience, expertise and talent of an increasingly diverse workforce that moves beyond a set “temporary” talent pool into a wide array of freelancers, consultants, outsourcing providers and Statement of Work (SOW) consultants. These groups have different needs, are increasingly regulated and serve a function beyond just filling productivity gaps.
Today’s contingent talent can be strategic contributors, future hires and even project leaders and game changers in your organization. Your newly re-vamped MSP needs to take all of this into account, while also integrating risk management, contract assessment, big data from elsewhere in the organization and measurement programs tailored to fit your industry and unique objectives.
In short, your company’s leadership is going to be asking for more…and to give them more, your PMO team members need to be experts at delivering the strategy your MSP is capable of providing. If you are unsure of where to begin, the first step is to find the right MSP talent.
How to evaluate MSP consulting services
As with every industry, the MSP talent market itself has evolved along with the product being delivered to clients. The new level of consulting talent required for these complex projects has required an upskilling and skills transformation of those who have been in the business for years, as well as sourcing from new talent pools, such as professional and IT consulting firms.
Just like your PMO, today’s MSP leaders need to bring their A game. After all, this is the beginning of a new system that is going to deliver strategic value to the top levels of your organization. In the past, perhaps your MSP consultant relationship has been owned solely by your Procurement executives and teams. Today, these silos are breaking down and MSP consulting reaches beyond traditional business silos and talent boundaries to reach C-suite executives, HR, procurement, finance and other stakeholders.
Choosing the right MSP consulting provider
As you look to evolve your model to the next-generation MSP I’ve described in this blog series, here are a few questions to ask:
- Will this team of consultants feel comfortable leading, developing and “selling” strategy to all of the internal groups of stakeholders in my organization?
- Is this consultant an “order-taker” or can he or she deliver a game-changing strategy that adds demonstrable value to my MSP re-design?
- Are they tech-savvy? Do they stay abreast – or even ahead – of the fast-changing landscape that currently sees 400+ new HR and talent technologies per quarter?
- Can they select and explain which tech tools are worth the investment and how they will deliver a positive ROI within the first few years?
- Do they focus beyond process to talent advice and counsel, with a plan to create strategic value? Are hot hiring trends, such as employer branding for contingent talent, included in their plans?
- Is their proposal complete, addressing areas such as workforce planning initiatives, recruiting strategies, diversity, analytics and business outcome metrics?
- Does the firm have a global mindset – do they have experience and knowledge across a wide variety of geographic locations and industry sectors to help spur cross-border business growth?
- Can the firm continue to help your MSP evolve as your business evolves, with knowledge of increasingly complex regulatory environments, compliance requirements, business climates and global talent landscape, and use this knowledge to drive your business’ expansion?
Your internal “clients” are asking for a broader, more strategic MSP. Deciding who will provide this for you is a critical component of being successful in this endeavor. Selecting the right MSP consultant is the first step in maximizing the outcomes that this opportunity presents.
Whatever partner you select, make sure they view the talent challenges and opportunities in your industry through a “total talent visibility” lens, and that they are process-optimized, well-versed in risk management and compliance and 100% dedicated to delivering measurable value. This is definitely a journey that will transform your organization for the long-term, so it’s a top priority to ensure your MSP partner has a track record of sustained value delivery for its clients.
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