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#3 change management that drives success | MSP staffing series.

a strong implementation team is the foundation.

| 6 min read |

In the previous two installments of this managed services programs (MSP) series, we examined the benefits of MSP staffing and how to build a business case for a contingent workforce management program that delivers greater business agility. After the decision is made to move ahead with your MSP talent model, that’s when the heavy lifting begins.

To ensure successful implementation and program adoption, you’ll need a strong change management strategy. You will also need a core group committed to engaging and informing every stakeholder throughout the process to secure the buy-in needed for success.

When you assemble a strong implementation team, you form the foundation for an effective MSP program. You create accountability for critical tasks such as:

  • promoting the benefits of MSP
  • leading change management efforts
  • guiding continuous improvements
  • communicating the value of the MSP
  • developing program policies
  • aggregating and validating data
  • managing the technology implementation

The importance of this team cannot be overstated; without a blend of functional and executive leaders, the roll out may be hindered and delayed. Read on to learn which individuals will best serve these roles.

selecting your MSP implementation team

An effective MSP implementation team will include executives, project sponsors and managers, and functional stakeholders. An executive sponsor will champion the MSP throughout the organization even during potentially challenging times. They will also participate in quarterly business reviews and change management activities.

Meanwhile, project sponsors and managers lead the development of policy and internal communications, and will work directly with the MSP. Together, the executive sponsors and project managers drive program adoption by demonstrating buy-in at the highest levels.

The other MSP implementation team members should include a designated project lead, hiring managers and functional stakeholders in accounting, procurement, HR, IT, legal, corporate communications and marketing. Each of these functions is not only expected to oversee their respective areas of responsibility, but to also provide support across functions when necessary.

strong relationships build solid foundations

During every implementation phase, it’s likely that unforeseen discoveries in policy, process, the supply chain and technology will occur. These challenges can affect your go-live date. It’s important for your internal team to work closely with your MSP provider to mitigate problems that arise.

At the same time, your managed service provider will also be able to recommend best practice solutions that address common issues that may arise at the outset. This is the value of working with an MSP provider. You get in-depth knowledge of all things contingent workforce management and benefit from a tested talent supply chain.

An important step in every new MSP implementation is the management of data aggregation and validation. A company’s workforce data, particularly around contingent talent, can be highly fragmented, with various departments owning discrete portions of information. The data may also reside in various systems, so the implementation team will need to work closely with your MSP provider to ensure thorough access.

Data consistency also requires that the implementation team conducts validation and updating exercises. This is especially important because it is likely that the information might have been managed differently in the past. In any case, the designated team should strive to ensure data integrity, delivered through consistent processes, as you work closely with your MSP partner.

change management that fuels MSP adoption

A fully developed change management strategy is one of the most important considerations in an MSP roll out. Identifying all MSP stakeholders affected by the program is an important first step. The most obvious are internal customers, but others (such as talent suppliers) should also be included in the plan. An effective implementation shouldn’t lead to the loss of critical talent suppliers, so make sure you invite input from all third parties.

Include your communications strategy in your change management strategy as well. This will require involvement from your marketing or internal communications department. What’s most important is helping the organization understand the:

  • benefits of the MSP program to ensure program adoption
  • process changes involved to avoid frustration
  • impact the new program will have on individual users

This requires careful management of expectations using the right messaging and channels (e.g., company intranet, emails, internal newsletter, team meetings or all of the above). Determining the audience and frequency of internal communications will be key to success and broad buy-in. Also consider whether communication should come from top down or corporate out.

User training is another important aspect of change management. Look to your MSP partner to deliver a variety of MSP training options through primarily web-based tools. On-site sessions can also be offered when it is safe to do so. A commitment to regular training will help encourage user buy-in where the MSP program is not mandated in the organization, especially as new features and functions are rolled out incrementally.

ongoing monitoring and governance

To ensure your MSP meets expectations, the implementation team will need to continuously monitor and measure performance. Some foundational metrics are typically included in every MSP program. These include customer satisfaction, fill rate and the interview-to-hire ratio, among others.

Because engagements are unique, there may also be unique metrics for your program. You may include supplier performance and talent retention, or workforce diversity goals, for example. If you’re implementing direct sourcing or managed talent pools, you’ll want to understand the direct fill rate, talent satisfaction scores or savings achieved.

Typically, a clear picture of how well the program is operating will emerge three months after implementation. This is when the program is likely to be mature and sufficient data has been collected. Comparing the results against service level agreements (SLAs) provides the operational team with insights into what is working and what needs to be adjusted.

Your managed service provider will work with you to decide what changes are needed to keep the program moving toward its goals. Technology, how services are delivered, personnel and even program scope may all change as part of the efforts to meet SLAs and create value.

As the MSP matures, expansion and improvements often follow. This won’t be possible without the proper governance and escalation processes in place. Your project team should work directly with your managed services provider to collaborate on training and communication, reviewing and processing invoices, assessing dashboards and reporting metrics, and establishing processes for business improvement.

A strong MSP governance model clarifies the roles of every individual involved in the program, both internally and externally. This is done by:

  1. defining the reporting lines
  2. identifying the decision-makers
  3. establishing escalation mechanisms
  4. setting up clear processes for oversight and mitigation steps

Every successful MSP should continuously seek innovative ways to capture additional savings, enhance access to high-quality talent, improve program visibility and compliance, and create value for the business.

a world-class contingent workforce solution

When you adopt an MSP, you are taking a big step toward improving the increasingly complex task of managing your contingent workers. The success of your new contingent talent model will largely depend on program owners and those who support them. Selecting the right MSP stakeholders at all levels and ensuring those individuals know their responsibilities will set the foundation for a successful MSP.

An effective MSP implementation ensures the program will start off in the right direction. But much more work is needed to make sure it delivers your end goals: to create a world-class contingent workforce that can lead to a competitive advantage.

read the complete MSP series: