Establish Communication Channels

Step 1: Establish Communication Channels

Communication is vital when dealing with an outsourcing relationship.  Frequent and effective communication will be very important in this turn-around process.

A few things to consider:

Balance informal and formal meetings.  Neither is sufficient by without the other.  Not all issues can be solved over lunch nor can they be sorted in a formal meeting with many attendees.

Review meeting agendas to make sure that the issues discussed are relevant to the overall problem.

Work with people that you feel work productively.  However, these people must command respect from their colleagues and have the authority to make important decisions.

Set up meetings to analyze issues, develop an appropriate action plan, and to monitor progress.  Emphasize solutions to problems and service improvement.  These are not meetings to point fingers.  Instead, take a positive and constructive approach to problem solving.

Remember:  It is easy to forget the need to communicate, but without effective communications, you will not be able to keep and build good relationships.

Step 2: Review the Contractual Arrangements

Investigate the exact nature of your contractual agreement carefully.  It’s a bad idea to rely on your memory or opinions from others.  You actually need to review the contract.  This will ensure that you don’t have situations where proper procedures were not followed.

Make sure you check the contract for the following points:

Is the contract properly signed by both parties?

Is the contract regularly updated and did both parties sign the latest version?

Are the performance standards defined adequately and are they being met daily?

If you find that the contract is not adequate, you will at least know where your organization stands and can avoid groundless claims and unwarranted threats.

Beyond definitions spelled out in your contract and communicating with the other party, there should be a well documented Service Delivery Plan.  This plan gives you a roadmap of services that will be performed, and can be administered through advanced Janitorial Software or CMMS Software to make tracking progress simple & effective.

In part three, we will review steps 3 and 4 of Challenging Failure.  Step 3 covers researching problems and perceptions of problems.  Step 4 covers informal discussions with both parties.