Selecting the right partner for Learning Business Process Outsourcing (LBPO), and outsourcing for the right reasons, play a crucial role in the success of the outsourcing engagement. Buyers and their service providers need to understand why the outsourcing is occurring and what is included in the outsourcing company’s top vendor selection process.
It is then imperative to deliver on those expectations with what NelsonHall calls “critical success factors.” These criteria, including change management considerations, help ensure the success of the implementation.
While the rank order of client drivers, vendor selection criteria and critical success factors are specific to each client engagement, let’s take a look at what NelsonHall has found them to be overall.
Top Reasons (drivers) Clients Implement LBPO:
- Cost effectiveness and efficiency
- Talent development to improve workforce capability and performance
- Client reinvestment in learning, including the possibility that the client no longer has a capability internally
- Improved business results, including improved productivity and faster speed to market
- Increased levels of innovation, including technology, new ideas and process improvements
Top LBPO Vendor Selection Criteria:
- Expertise, proven capability and experience, with referenceable clients
- Value proposition; better quality of services at a lower price, paying on consumption of services
- Best cultural fit and partnership
- Breadth of services, including access to talent domains beyond learning
- Global capability including delivery and transformation
- Domain expertise / technology capability
How To Make LBPO Work:
For successful implementation of LBPO, it’s all in the preparation and must be done prior to the start of the contract. The involved parties need to:
- Define ownership and responsibilities
- Involve key stake-holders across the company; from business unit and local entities; communicate often and throughout the process
- Build your business case effectively, incorporating strong due diligence
- Know your current costs and baseline metrics, e.g. time to deploy learning, speed to competence
- Scope out / understand current processes
- Determine customer requirements including those for technology
- Develop SOWs and SLAs with the people that do the work; continuously review and improve upon them
- Establish a change control process for any changes that require additional work and/or cost
- Don’t underestimate management time
- Ensure near-site presence from the supplier early on
- Establish and maintain a great relationship
- Create an effective governance process
Based on my outsourcing experience on the client side, as a service delivery manager on our governance team, I consider establishing an effective partnership with the vendor and keeping the lines of communication open the most critical factors for LBPO engagement success. What are your critical success factors?
Gary Bragar is the HR Outsourcing Research Director at NelsonHall where he has global responsibility for HRO. Gary joined NelsonHall in April 2007 after gaining extensive HR management experience at AT&T. In this key role, Gary assists both buy-side and vendor organizations in assessing the opportunities and supplier capability across HRO, including for learning, recruitment, payroll, benefits, and multi-process HRO. Gary recently completed an industry-leading analysis of opportunities and vendor capability in Learning BPO.
In his last job assignment at AT&T, Gary was a member of the AT&T governance team responsible for managing the service delivery of AT&T’s major Human Resources and Payroll services BPO contract with Aon Human Capital Services. Gary helped forge the strong partnership and as such AT&T and Aon were selected as “HRO Relationship of the Year.” Gary’s prior operational experience at AT&T included: Learning, Recruiting, Benefits Administration, Compensation, HR Transformation, HRIT and Employee Programs for AT&T International. In Learning Gary performed content development and delivery of AT&T Bell Laboratories quality curriculum. Gary is also an adjunct Professor having taught part-time in the Business Department at Bloomfield College, NJ for 17 years. Gary is certified as an online instructor and delivered courses using classroom, online and blended delivery.
Gary has published numerous articles, conducted numerous webcasts and presented at many conferences in the U.S. and Europe including co-presenting with Raytheon in Amsterdam on the benefits of Learning BPO, and in California at the 2014 Spring CLO Symposium on To Outsource or Not to Outsource Learning, a discussion from a left and right brain perspective.