“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
- Understand the difference between Transition and Transformation:
- Transition covers all activities that transfer control, ownership and responsibility for the day to day operation of an existing service to a different service provider.
- Transformation covers activities associated with changing or upgrading the way a part or all of a current service is delivered.
- Manage Transitions and Transformations as projects led by experienced project managers who use rigorous project management planning, tracking, control and configuration control and change management disciplines (see Project Management).
- Transition is the critical phase at the start of an outsource – always focus on people matters, on effective Knowledge Transfer, and on building an accurate and complete service, asset, supplier and subcontractor inventory for the service as is.
- Review the service as found in Transition against any previous Due Diligence findings; expect and deal with variations found promptly and definitively, engaging the client early where contractual negotiations may be needed.
- Leaders of Transition, Transformation or Exit activities should be co-located with the client wherever possible.
- Undertaking Transformation simultaneously with Transition can cause chaos creating commercial, financial, and relationship damage plus end user disappointment from the outset; avoid doing so wherever possible.
- Build robust governance mechanisms and effective multi-level client relationships in Transition; work with the client to communicate with and manage all those affected in the client’s organisation.
- Where Transition involves transfer of the client’s staff to the service provider, ensure HR professionals are engaged and that transfers are handled in accordance with relevant employment law.
- Always encourage the client from the outset to proactively address their own cultural and/or business change impact of Transition or Transformations; service providers are often wrongly blamed for a client’s own lack of attention on associated changes needed to their own operations.
- Before cutover from Transition to live service, always conduct a review to confirm that transfer of control, ownership and responsibility is complete; take swift action to address any items that are incomplete.
- Transition is only complete when the client formally accepts you have completed all the contracted obligations that relate to it; never assume it is complete until your client formally agrees the contractual obligations are fully delivered.
- Never start a Transformation project unless you have an agreed understanding of your client’s business objectives; always strive to understand how the client is approaching the impact of transformation on their own business operations.
- Always underpin a Transformation project with a detailed Controlling Specification and a detailed plan to completion agreed with the client; run Transformation activities using Project Management disciplines.
- Exit is ‘reverse Transition’ transferring service ownership back to the client or a new provider in accordance with mechanisms/terms in your contract; manage the activity as a project and always comply with the approach in the contract.
- Appoint an Exit Manager to project manage the activity and deliver the Exit outputs specified in your contract; ensure there are clear plans for Knowledge Transfer, transfer of assets, handling subcontractors and suppliers, and in-flight projects.
- Always manage staff affected by Exit, or transferring to a new provider, professionally, proactively, honestly, and according to relevant law.
- Maintain a good client relationship and aim for a smooth exit; this will maximise the potential for other business opportunities with the client in the future.