How to Succeed with Business Process Outsourcing


Robert DeVries

Robert DeVries is the National Director of Consulting and Outsourcing for Special Counsel. His practice focuses on consulting, outsourcing and large-scale litigation.

Business Process Outsourcing is an efficient, cost-saving solution for a variety of business challenges – if you and your service provider establish the processes appropriately. During our webinar, “Business Process Outsourcing: Pitfalls to Avoid and Recipe for Success,” we shared our insights on how to ensure success for a BPO engagement. Below are our best practice guidelines:

Scope Your Business Process Outsourcing Projects Carefully

  1. One-size-fits-all does not work. Business Process Outsourcing solutions require customization to properly meet your business challenges and needs. Identify a partner/provider that offer consultative approach and takes time to learn your company/business.
  2. Collect feedback from all stakeholders who will interface with the process.  Collecting perspectives on their needs, desired outcomes, and business priorities builds buy-in and improves outcomes.
  3. When you partner with a provider that understands your business, scope creep or mission creep transforms into efficient growth opportunities; additional work flows and processes grow together seamlessly into a comprehensive solution (large or small).

Formalize Workstreams

  • Keep it simple: Establish a clear road map and process that defines the majority of workstreams clearly. Focus on addressing that majority within the general process, allowing for outlier exceptions. Only once the primary process is formalized should you circle back and create process for outliers. Start with the majority, then address the minority.
  • Make it livable.
    • A livable outsourced business process is sustainable regardless of the players involved. If you cannot clearly describe the scope for all process owners within a single sentence, it becomes difficult to control the engagement. Clear demarcation and checkpoints prioritizing clarity and simplicity keeps BPOs easily manageable.
    • Depend on the process, not on the people. Whether they’re the right people coming in or team members require training, trust the defined process to get everyone to the level they need for the deliverable and outcome to be what you need.
  • Ownership and oversight.
    • Simple tasks fail to scale when deliverables fall to multiple stakeholders. By identifying workflows and formalizing chains and methods of communication, effective Project Managers ensure that task ownership is clearly demarcated. This also allows for easy targeting and benchmarking of staffing utilization, as there will be clear indicators where to deploy support.

Make It Iterative

You need consistent focus on improving processes.  A key to that is keeping smart people focused on inputs and outputs. Constant improvement requires constant engagement.

Custom Business Process Outsourcing Solutions

If you are considering an outsourced solution for your organization, review our service offerings and contact us to discuss unique, customized services for you and your team!

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