IT teams confront the question of outsourcing more than other groups. As an IT leader you know changes are necessary to meet your organization’s growing digital demands. Yet the most resilient teams can be shaken when the topic of outsourcing comes up.
So how do you begin strategizing with your team on outsourcing without hitting a wall of resistance? According to a 2015 Forbes article, “quality of communication during 'change' is the single most important contributor to managing resistance, regardless of the change methodology used."
Below are 4 steps you can take when communicating your plan for outsourcing:
- Communicate effectively. Your team has to trust you. Have you communicated openly in the past? Is your team aware of the challenges and pressures you face? Are they aware of the broader business perspectives? Take the time to provide context to help build consensus around the need for outsourcing.
- Next you should be clear about the outcomes you expect. What are the organizational benefits you will realize in outsourcing a particular function? Will end users’ satisfaction increase? Will important projects be more successful now that certain work has been offloaded? Will the IT team have more time to focus on critical business goals instead of simply “keeping the lights on?”
- Then paint a clear picture to your team of how they will individually benefit from outsourcing. Whether it’s reduced stress, more time, or more stimulating and challenging work, help them see why this is good for them, too.
Finally establish metrics for the outsourcing partner with your team to bring clarity and specificity to the project. These metrics should tie to the goals you are looking to achieve for the organization as well as the IT team. Having agreed upon metrics will keep everyone aligned when evaluating the success of outsourcing.
Outsourcing is a sensitive subject. No one wants to feel that their job is at risk, and yet IT teams need to continually evolve to support the increasing digital demands of their business. Strong IT leaders who take the time to build trust, communicate openly and collaborate with their teams will keep team morale high while making critical moves for the future.
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