When there are multiple parties in your ecosystem, it goes without saying that these parties must work together to achieve the common goals of your outsourcing. This collaboration is successful when we develop ways of bridging organizational and personal differences and working together towards that common goal.
Again, there is no “one size fits all” approach, as with the onboarding of a service provider, but also here are a number of ways and techniques you can use to achieve the objectives of collaboration between parties.
These objectives are:
- Coherent end2end service delivery, in which all parties work together towards a common goal
- Positive and effective interactions between service providers, service integrator and the customer organization
- Early identification of gaps or pain points in collaboration and service delivery
The ecosystem and the relationships between the customer organization, service integrator and service providers create a unique environment. From sourcing and contract negotiations to collaboration, governance and operational management.
There are various considerations that need to be taken into account at an early stage:
- First and foremost, the cultural aspect is extremely important. An effective ecosystem is underpinned by relationships and desired behaviour. Collaboration and trust are important elements to stimulate a positive culture.
- Collaboration is a human activity that does not just arise spontaneously. You have to think about how you see this collaboration and design it further.
- Furthermore, the quality of collaboration is difficult to evaluate objectively. It is something you have to feel. You have to shape it and support it.
In this article I highlight a number of best practices to shape and support the collaboration between your various service providers.
Unite behind a Shared Goal
The ecosystem can only be successful if all parties involved in providing the service unite behind a shared goal. That shared goal is made based on the customer’s requirements for that service.
This is not always easy, as it might happen that you are working with an external service integrator, who actually is a competitor of one of the service providers with another customer. Nevertheless, collaboration and trust are an absolute must. It is important to identify and deal with any conflict in a timely manner.
Set up coordination
Wherever there is a relationship between different parties, their activities require some form of coordination. This can include drawing up clear communication of the vision and objectives, processes, tooling, onboarding workshops, …
Defining Collaboration Agreements
You can reinforce this with collaboration agreements. In such a collaboration agreement you define:
- The objectives of collaboration
- How you are going to work together
- Who has which responsibilities
- How to measure collaboration
- Possibly which incentives you have to promote collaboration
Building collaborative teams
Finally, we have the building of collaborative teams. According to the SIAM Professional Body of Knowledge, there are eight factors that support this: