Multi-Disciplinary & Process Oriented: Program management and change leadership are critical to realizing sustainable benefits from BPO. I noted earlier that program management was a key companion discipline, but in reality business case realization is better viewed as a cornerstone process of the BPO program plan from the start.
In other words, start right and stay right trumps developing a plan and process for business case realization later, and increases the chances that the approach will be woven into the entire DNA of the initiative. If so, the activities, resources, accountability and measures for business case realization can be managed much more easily.
It should also help us understand how well get there, how were progressing and the uncertainty involved in the journey. Perhaps most importantly, it must help us to individually and collectively own that change and share the rewards, the risks and the accountability.
As an example, consider the recent impacts to market share and customer loyalty resulting from organizations outsourcing customer service. In many cases, failure to execute and follow through on core tenets of change leadership with customers, as well as partners and employees, has led to adverse consequences.
Measured: Its been stated that we get what we measure and business case realization is a prime example of that premise.
Measurement has to be meaningful relative to the anticipated benefits from BPOestablishing key performance indicators that alert the organization to success as well as the need for corrective action, and ultimately driving accountability for success.
This is another area where stakeholder commitment is crucial: You cant expect people to make the journey if they dont know the road signs and the speedometer is broken, no matter how lovely the destination. For example, outsourcing customer service processes might have some obvious indicators for success such as call abandonment and percentage of self-service. And, for some organizations, it could impact indicators such as DSO.
The key is to instrument the processes both outsourced with and connected to the BPO initiative to get a holistic view of success. Dont forget that sustaining the benefits from BPO is just as important as realizing them, and measured accountability provides a strong foundation for continuing and even optimizing benefits.
BPO investment is often biased toward a small subset of concern such as cost reduction, but its important that organizations dont develop tunnel vision. When we look broadly at leading change in the related processes, culture and organization, and apply solid program management to BPO, the benefits still dont just happen, but theyre much more likely to happen.