Ask any outsourcing advisor doing remedial counselling: ineffective communication is at the heart of dysfunctional relationships. To bring the client and their outsourcer back into a collaborative relationship, the advisor will focus on nurturing effective communication. And process is the ideal language.

It’s a point which came up at a shared services workshop this week. Two veteran consultants observed that the language of end-to-end process can be very helpful in focussing people on what matters.

Many organizations are riven with tensions. It’s unavoidable: managers are relentlessly engaged in a re-optimization across competing priorities and objectives. But too often it becomes destructive. People hunker down in their silos and lob cross-silo missiles.

Adopting end-to-end process as the language of the organization nurtures effective communication and the right collaborative behaviors, in all sorts of ways:

  • it transcends silo thinking, focussing everyone on the complete picture and the impact on the customer
  • everyone can participate, so the enterprise draws upon the collective wisdom, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement
  • it highlights potential conflicts early on, forcing attention and decisions
  • it can help prevent back-sliding on delivering the future state after difficult decisions have been made
  • in the sourcing context, it puts the client and the outsourcer on the same page, clearly defining how they are collaborating to deliver the client’s requirements.

So – create a collaborative framework, based on end-to-end process and within a governance wrapper, and it helps get the right conversations humming across the extended enterprise.