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What's Inside the Outsourcing Management Policy

As a single outsourcer, you're in complete control of how your project is outsourced. But what about when you're part of an outsourcing team, or when you're outsourcing on behalf of a company? In the latter case, you'll not only be responsible for monitoring an outsourced project, you'll additionally be responsible for how it's supposed to be monitored. An outsourcing management policy helps accomplish several key management tasks.

First, Why You'll Even Need One

Writing an outsourcing management policy, that is, a description of how an outsourced project will be managed, helps keep you and everyone you have to report to abreast of what's going on. It serves as a map toward sources of problems and their solutions. And if you're the 'go-between' in the middle of a company and a team of service providers, you're going to want one of these to answer some pressing questions when things get intense.

What's Inside

Similar to the status report that service providers submit on a regular basis, an outsourcing management policy explains:

  • Who's responsible for what (including contact info).
  • When each party should be updated.
  • Meeting dates, times, and agendas.
  • Current issues and how they're being addressed (see Risk Management Strategies).
  • Required attachments (progress reports, completed works, etc.)
  • Further instructions (obtained from meetings)

Outsourcing Management Tools

Designing a tool to document your management activities can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Really! Even if your role demands reporting to numerous parties, KISS. You don't need to use a 100MB Microsoft Access database just because you work for a corporation (unless the boss demands it). A simple spreadsheet may suffice just as well.

The more complicated an outsourced project, the more you'll appreciate keeping its management a low-maintenance, non-pain in the neck.