Regional Risk Index: The Americas, Q3 2014

Posted on November 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in Brazil, Colombia & Mexico.

APAC Infographic


Regional Risk Index: Asia Pacific, Q3 2014

Posted on October 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in India, China & the Philippines.

APAC Infographic


Regional Risk Index: EMEA, Q2 2014

Posted on September 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in Kenya, Russia & Egypt.

EMEA Infographic



Filed Under: Trends, Wisdom

Effective Governance for Global Business Services and Hybrid Delivery

Posted on August 25, 2014 by No Comments

The August IAOP Chapter Meeting on Governance Models for Global Business Services (GBS) was a valuable discussion, thanks to a detailed and informative case study by Jack Sanderson, COP, Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing & Process Transformation Office at Boston Scientific.

As the moderator for this session, I’d like to take a brief moment to provide some key highlights from this discussion.

Boston Scientific is one of the world’s largest medical device companies, with a GBS organization that leverages a mix of captive centers and vendor outsourcing to optimally deliver services. Jack offered a detailed overview of the organization’s GBS governance model, including performance management, decision-making, issue escalation & resolution, contract management and strategic alignment. He also reviewed the GBS organization’s service infrastructure and explained that the proper infrastructure is critical in order to function as a provider of services to business units.

In closing, Jack shared eight Lessons Learned from his 20+ years of experience in the industry:
1. The needs and structures of Business Unit Governance differ from those of Outsourcing Vendor Governance
2. Start Early – building effective governance is hard work
3. Conveying the value can be difficult until the organization has some real “before and after” experiences
4. Establish clear accountability for both design and run
5. Acknowledge and embrace the overlaps – intersection points across components require collaborative design
6. Don’t try to do it all at once – prioritize
7. Top-down support is critical to maintain momentum
8. Full-time resource/team required to maintain focus on build and run

In my experience working with clients, the need for solid governance model is critical to ensure the continued success of an organization’s globalization initiative.

Have something more to say on this subject? Join the conversation on the IAOP Governance Chapter LinkedIn Group and keep the dialogue going.


Filed Under: Global Work, Wisdom

Regional Risk Index: The Americas, Q2 2014

Posted on August 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in Brazil, Colombia & Mexico.

APAC Infographic


Filed Under: LatAm, Trends

Maximizing Mixed Service Delivery Models

Posted on August 7, 2014 by No Comments

“Friendship and money; oil and water.”
- Mario Puzo

Mixed service delivery models that leverage company-owned delivery centers as well as those of third-party service providers can create special challenges to manage. Fortunately, none are necessarily as sinister as those in a Puzo novel. Also fortunately, there are special opportunities for organizations that have adopted mixed models and then manage to get it right.

Hundreds of large organizations from JPMorganChase to Microsoft operate mixed models precisely because they see potential advantages to not pursuing a singe delivery strategy, particularly across a global footprint.

The Challenges:

Some of the challenges can be painfully clear. They can include:

• The propensity for managers to want to make unfair comparisons between the two – particularly when personalities or personal preference, rather than performance, wind up driving critical decision-making;
• The tendency to choose in-house versus third-party providers for certain work (or vice versa) based on the wrong factors or biases;
• Unproductive turf-wars and the lack of any clear responsibility for service integration between providers and company-owned centers;
• Financial impacts that undermine the cost intent of either model;
• Inconsistent playbooks for achieving performance
• Limited scale and learning across the model

The Opportunities:

The opportunities of a mixed model nevertheless can be great, when the decision-making and performance is properly managed. These can include:

• Continued in-house development of proprietary knowledge and competencies that can be leveraged for competitive advantage, and doing so in a low cost environment
• Optimizing between fixed and variable costs
• Providing greater opportunities for improved business continuity – but only when deliberately designed and well-executed
• Lower blended costs across the model
• Continued competition and innovation
• Inter-organizational learning opportunities enable cross-pollination of best practices between owned and partner-run units

Taking An Integrated Approach:

Optimization can only come by taking a holistic, integrated approach.

Ironically, in the Financial Services sector, banking regulators seemed to reach the same conclusion, stipulating in the past year that for risk management purposes, banks should monitor their own centers in a manner consistent with the way that they manage third-party outsourcing providers.

We have long advocated an integrated governance approach and Master Playbook for those operating mixed model Global Business Services (GBS). Such efforts should freshly examine how organizations unify the management, governance and scorecarding of their mixed service delivery models for positive and uniform delivery to their end-user clients.

For banking firms the imperative is a regulatory necessity. For firms in other industries, the implications of not optimizing cost or of dropping the ball on client service delivery is too great to ignore.

Is there a commitment of time, management attention and cost required to get mixed-model GBS environment right? Absolutely. But as another of Puzo’s characters famously said: “We are all reasonable men here.”

For a deeper discussion on this topic, don’t miss the upcoming IAOP Governance Chapter Webinar on Governance for Global Business Services and Hybrid Delivery, taking place on August 14, 2014 at 10am PDT/ Noon CDT/ 1pm EDT. Click here for more information or to register.


Regional Risk Index: Asia Pacific, Q1 2014

Posted on July 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in India, Malaysia & Vietnam.

APAC Infographic


Filed Under: Destinations, Trends

7 Tips to Ensure Offshore Program Management Success

Posted on July 7, 2014 by No Comments

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu.

Why do some offshore programs succeed and others fail?

We often hear this question from clients who seek to achieve a smooth and successful transition of certain tasks or projects to an offshore location.

Some of the critical components of a successful globalization project take place long before the work is sent offshore. Building an optimal strategy that aligns with overall corporate objectives, choosing the appropriate global location and business model; selecting suitable third-party service provider(s) are some of the oft-discussed ones. One of the most important determining factors of the success of a globalization project takes place during the last crucial stage of the globalization journey: transition/offshore program management.

Global transition projects can be long and require consistent monitoring and tracking, which opens the door to certain common challenges. Small timeline lapses in critical-path processes can lead to major financial losses. Overlooking cultural nuances can lead to communication difficulties and strained professional relationships. Underestimating the complexity and breadth of change in business processes and communication models can have a severe impact on business operations.

The following seven simple steps go a long way in maintaining project discipline and ensuring project success:

1. Create and Abide by a Project Plan
A transition project plan is more than a list of goals and dates and timelines; it must detail the required steps to achieve key objectives and to move from one stage to another. A detailed project plan is a roadmap to success – it provides turn-by-turn instructions on how to reach a state of effective offshore program management.

2. Develop Detailed Roles and Responsibilities of Each Stakeholder
Most transition processes take time to execute and require an extensive level of detail. Establishing clarity around roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder, and obtaining buy-in from each of them, ensures transparency -and promotes accountability in executing on deliverables and meeting deadlines.

3. Set Up a Transition Program Management Office
A common challenge in large transitions is balancing transition activities with day-to-day activities for the transition managers. Often, day-to-day activities take priority over transition work, causing a lapse in transition project responsibilities. Setting up a formal Transition Program Management Office (TPMO) with regularly scheduled meetings is helpful in preventing these lapses.

4. Establish Appropriate Reporting Structure
A strict reporting structure is key to informing stakeholders of the status of the transition, and to resolve problems as and when they occur. Equally important is ensuring that the right stakeholders receive the right reports.

5. Stakeholder Education on Globalization
Incorporating an offshore project within an organization can have a big impact on business organization and processes. It also introduces cultural nuances as the onshore and offshore teams may have differing cultural norms and personal and professional etiquettes. It is important to address both the aspect of business transformation and cultural nuances to stakeholders in all global locations.

6. Foster Executive Support
An active and committed executive team promotes strong support at all levels of the organization. Leaders who are performance-oriented, take initiative and are consensus builders serve as the binding agent to a globalization project. They not only ensure proper oversight and intervene when necessary to resolve disputes in a timely manner, but also ensure that the transition process stays aligned with an effective long-term offshore strategy.

7. Build a Proactive Governance Model
A proactive governance model is critical to ensuring overall success of a globalization project, and must include an effective vendor management program as well as real-time risk monitoring. Important vendor performance metrics include those that measure leading indicators, key performance indicators, processes and learning, market data and industry trends. When establishing a monitoring program, it’s important to monitor not just SLAs but also location factors like labor pool, graduation rate, and entry of new players, as well as supplier metrics like attrition, negative news and acquisitions.


Filed Under: Global Work, Manager

Regional Risk Index: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Q1 2014

Posted on June 15, 2014 by No Comments

An overview of global sourcing Risks & Opportunities in Kenya, Russia & Egypt.

EMEA Infographic


More and More Businesses are Turning to BPO to Reduce Operational Costs

Posted on June 6, 2014 by No Comments

Change and transformation are becoming common phenomena across industries and around the world. From Media and Entertainment to Financial Services; onshore, nearshore or offshore, seems there’s nowhere to hide from evolving business models and processes. Despite some truly revolutionary developments, there is one business need that continues to be the main business driver for most offshoring decisions: reducing operational costs.

A recent study by Global Industry Analysts, Inc (GIA) suggests that businesses are increasingly turning to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to help them achieve key business objectives, including reducing operational costs. According to the study, the global market for BPO is projected to reach US$250 Billion by the end of 2020.

Why BPO? More than cost arbitrage, outsourcing certain business processes and activities to third-party providers has other tantalizing benefits such as leveraging economies of scale, standardized processes and specialized, low-cost talent.

To help capture the most value from your BPO operations, keep these three objectives in mind as you review your sourcing strategy.

1.Promote a culture of learning and awareness in your leadership team.

Encourage your leaders to maintain an intimate understanding of the sourcing landscape and stay current on state of market opportunities.

2. Maximize value from vendor relationships.

Review scope and scale of engagements, pricing model and delivery model across vendors to ensure that sourcing strategy is in line with business goals.

3. Ensure continuous improvement.

Invest in human capital, tools and technology, and ensure proper measurement and monitoring processes are created and   implemented.

We find that clients that review their portfolio and vendor relationships at an annual cycle have better outcomes. Even if your sourcing portfolio and vendor relationships are optimal today, changes in the global sourcing landscape as well as in your internal requirements require frequent analysis and assessment to ensure continued competitiveness.

Visit the News & Knowledge section of to access additional thought leadership articles and see how others are leveraging globalization.


Filed Under: Trends

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