Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
Often an organization may need to switch from one supplier to another. The existing supplier’s quality of service may be dipping or the technology product they’re offering no longer serves the business needs or the organization is growing and the supplier isn’t capable of scaling their services to keep up with it. Whatever be the reason, transitioning from one supplier to another is not easy. An organization should have a sourcing transition plan just as it needs a disaster recovery plan. When exiting a contract with a supplier, it is important to focus more on what the organization aims to achieve in the first place. When the goal is known, it becomes clear what the existing service provider is not able to offer. It also makes clear what the organization needs to seek in a new supplier or a new product. Ideally, a contract should take into account the changes that may come across in the organization in the future and it should prepare both parties to adapt to these changes and work together to achieve the required outcomes. But it is not always possible for the supplier to adapt and evolve. That is when a transition becomes necessary. A successful sourcing transition requires four key considerations: assessing the organization’s requirements, minimizing disruption during the transition, ensuring that any skills, knowledge, technology, or manpower lost in the transition are sufficiently replaced by the new supplier, and monitoring to ensure that the new suppliers are delivering the desired outcomes.
01. Define Business Requirements: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Transition Strategy: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Strong Governance: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Challenges Faced: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Minimizing Disruption: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Knowledge Transfer: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Monitor New Supplier: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
01. Define Business Requirements: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Transition Strategy: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Strong Governance: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Challenges Faced: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Minimizing Disruption: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Knowledge Transfer: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Monitor New Supplier: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Define Business Requirements.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Transition Strategy.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Strong Governance.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Challenges Faced.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Minimizing Disruption.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Knowledge Transfer.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Monitor New Supplier.
The process of switching from an established incumbent vendor to a new one is one of the more challenging (and frequent) challenges that procurement professionals frequently encounter. All levels of your organization will be impacted by this choice, and more often than not, a lack of compliance at one level has the power to sabotage the entire endeavor. This workshop’s goal is to show you how to anticipate these potential obstacles, respond to them, and position your business to successfully navigate this period of transformation.
Buy-In at Management’s Level:
It might be challenging to get authorisation to switch from a long-standing incumbent vendor. You’ll frequently need to give your leadership group with a solid, persuading case study. In all levels of business, the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t change it” holds true. Be prepared to offer a clear route that can result in considerable savings and advantages to the organization’s total cost of ownership if this move isn’t the result of subpar vendor performance. Gaining the support and affirmation of this group can be accomplished in large part by making a good impact on the bottom line.
It’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication and transparency during the transition once the new vendor has been accepted. In the past, keeping management at ease has been mostly accomplished by providing them with an implementation roadmap that highlights important milestones. Once the roadmap has been given, it should be thought about providing updates via biweekly (or monthly) meetings to share any revisions as vendor implementation progresses.
Buy-In at the Local Level:
Anytime a vendor transition is carried out, it’s critical to have clear and unambiguous communications because this endeavor will only be as successful as the IT team makes it. This endeavor will fall flat on its face if your local buyers and IT staff aren’t adequately instructed and trained on how to engage with the new vendor and make purchases.
First and foremost, comprehensive transparency throughout the entire process contributes to building local respect and pride. For instance, implementation is a difficult procedure that frequently encounters numerous unanticipated challenges. It will help foster ownership and teamwork at the local level to be upfront about these potential issues and to ask for input and solutions at the outset.
Structured communication channels can be used to increase transparency and encourage compliance.
For instance, doing this task successfully has been demonstrated to depend on these two processes. The dissemination of internal memoranda outlining this change is the first phase, followed by in-person meetings with account managers from the new vendor, which is the second step. In addition to establishing a clear channel of communication to help restate the main themes mentioned inside the internal memo, the face-to-face encounter will aid in building relationships.
Although there isn’t a clear-cut approach for switching vendors, these steps should assist point your team and broader project in the proper direction. Just to be clear, openness and communication will be essential to making sure that implementation is effective.
key steps to vendor transition (and exit) success
There are critical issues to take into account when switching service providers, each of which is crucial to the success of your future service delivery.
1. Determine the needs and complexity of the project or service in detail.
How well do you comprehend the business results you hope to achieve? Are they fully expressed and quantified (within reason)? Do you, on the other hand, have clarity regarding the operational facets of the service you wish to transfer to another supplier in order to attain those results?
It is crucial that you conduct a thorough analysis of how the service is currently given, monitored, and maintained when that service or project is transferred to another provider in order to fully comprehend the complicated workings of all outsourced services or complex projects. Then, to aid in clarity of interpretation and prevent internal or external misconceptions, record it using process maps and use cases.
In order to raise standards and save costs, it is crucial to evaluate how effective the current process and processes have been as well as how they might be improved. This can only be accomplished by maintaining the correct talent with adequate thoughtfulness and awareness for the workings of the organization in order to recognize what’s best for the service provided today and into the future. This is necessary to ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of the situation and to offer them the knowledge they need to encourage innovation that could lead to the creation of additional value.
It’s crucial that oversight be properly preserved after you’ve transferred responsibilities to your new service provider. Some of an organization’s technical skills should have been kept as part of an intelligent client role, however this practice has been known to occur (ICF). Instead, in order to function without the proper critical-friend challenge, they rely too heavily on their outsourced service providers. While it is not the client’s (or service users’) place to dictate to the provider “how” to run its services, it is not in the client’s best interest to allow their own internal expertise to wane to the point where management of the outsourced service becomes significantly diluted and less effective.
We would always advise a client to keep a team of ICF experts with the necessary resources on staff to maintain the necessary level of knowledge and skill.
2. Strong governance prevails.
The success of any handover depends critically on your ability to control every piece on your unique transition chessboard. It is crucial to cultivate the proper kinds of cordial connections with departing providers so that they voluntarily share knowledge that may have taken them years to accumulate and procedures that may have required a lot of trial and error to perfect. Your new staff will be able to get started right away and limit disturbance throughout the move if you can foster a collaborative environment. A strong commitment to open communication, the correct client-side staff, and a clearly defined hierarchy are necessary for this.
An Asian-headquartered chemical manufacturing organization with an 80-year history and facilities in over 20 countries wants to assess IT risks for its operations in the Americas.
The company’s American IT team attended an Info-Tech session with the express objectives of learning more about IT risk management, identifying important issues, formulating plans to decrease priority risks, and improving communication with executive leadership about IT risk issues.
Summary & Success
• Consolidated IT’s “suspicions” about risk issues into a single, concrete working document.
• Developed a substantial working list of risk mitigation opportunities.
• Helped gain team buy-in and overall organizational commitment for more intensive risk management activity going forward.
3. Analyze the resources needed for the transformation.
A service transfer to a new provider might be successful or unsuccessful depending on how well it is planned in advance. By the time the transition occurs, it is critical to have adequately resourced, gathered, and comprehended assets at the new provider’s end in the form of manpower, skills, knowledge, and technology that could be lost during the move. Complex concerns like TUPE and software licensing are two areas where the transfer may experience serious problems. Because the ripple effects of a lost resource can be unanticipated, extensive analysis and a lot of effort will be needed to complete it. Asset resourcing must begin well in advance of the transfer date, and suitable client-side personnel must be placed in order to understand the human resource and legal consequences of such a move.
4. Watch, review, and repeat.
A framework for everyone to follow is provided by knowing and being able to quantify “what good looks like,” understanding both the expected strains of transition and the resources required to assure the new team has the best chance of success. But excellent management develops an environment that will support the correct behaviors that will see the transition through and the relationship to new productivity heights while ensuring that everyone is aware of their part in the success of the transfer and post-transfer service delivery.
The construction of unambiguous contractual agreements with built-in mechanisms to assure frequent realignment to your business outcomes, the setting of clear KPIs, the monitoring of progress toward predetermined targets, and goals are all examples of creating the “appropriate environment.” To take advantage of opportunities and get the best value, you must nurture your connection with your new supplier and permit your contractual arrangement to change.
The 8 Laws of Successful Supplier Transitions
We mentioned in earlier sessions that there are several reasons why your company might decide to transfer IT vendors. Perhaps the rates or quality of your incumbent are no longer as competitive as they once were. Your current provider might not be able to scale with your firm as it has grown or keep up with new areas of your business.
However, moving isn’t always simple because it might be intimidating to transfer to a new vendor, especially given the numerous dangers involved. We mentioned in the previous session that the first stage in managing risk is identifying it, which we also addressed, and that the second step is coming up with a plan to manage the transition.
Managing the Transition
Following these 8 fundamental rules will help you stay away from the threats mentioned above:
• Before Committing, make sure your prenup is up to par.
Nobody plans to end a relationship before it ever starts, but in this case, foresight is essential. If agreements don’t have favorable termination, survivability, and exclusivity clauses, or if they don’t specify the transition support you’re entitled to in the event of a split, exiting incumbents can make things very difficult. Include these clauses in your new contract as well as all future agreements.
• At all times, stay in the driver’s seat.
Organizations too frequently let providers take charge of the implementation process. Prevent this from happening: Losing this control eliminates much of the supplier’s responsibility and is a major reason why transition timetables drag or get off track.
• Start strong by bringing the team back to the table.
At the beginning of each new project we begin with a client, we convene a kickoff meeting with all of the important players from both sides of the table. This meeting establishes expectations for the future degree and frequency of communication and helps to ensure that roles are clearly defined.
• … There is a “team,” right?
The most important implication of the aforementioned principle is that a committed team is required. Part-time committee members will always prioritize their own daily responsibilities more, leaving implementation in the supplier’s hands (remember commandment #2). Create a committed team, and make sure high management is represented.
• Consider the timing and scale of the transition.
Based on the workloads of your staff, the dates of inventory cut-in or service termination, and significant events in your company’s future, choose the optimal time to make the changeover. Also think about whether a phased implementation could be acceptable; it would extend your timeline but provide you more resource flexibility.
• Don’t jump immediately to transformation.
A transition can be kept on track by concentrating first on switching to a familiar model and gradually adding more services from a new supplier.
• Establish an implementation calendar.
All parties involved should have access to this calendar, which will serve as a reminder of crucial dates and events. With suppliers, create the calendar to make sure they are aware of and capable of meeting deadlines. Allowing for longer stretches of time during less crucial implementation components can help prevent errors and establish better relationships.
• Continue Communicating throughout the process.
Remind internal stakeholders that the transition must remain the major emphasis and that the relationship will be tested most during implementation. Externally communicate to make sure the supplier conforms to each milestone as it approaches and keeps in mind the entire scope of work and pertinent SLAs during implementation.
Following these guidelines will make your transition much easier. If you ignore them, you can experience severe headaches.
And If A Transition is Still Set to Fail
If you notice that your transition is veering off course, taking these quick and forceful moves will help you get it back on course:
• Reevaluate the project plan and timelines for the transition
What went wrong in the process, how can it be fixed, and how will the schedule need to be adjusted to account for a fix?
• Changing out key players on both sides of the table managing the transition
this may add to short term delays, but long term success. Hurt feelings always get trumped by botched implementations.
• Reengage senior managers who quietly slipped away after the contract was signed and get them involved again.
Supplier transitions can be painful — but they don’t have to be.
The most important lesson here is to never lose sight of a new deal simply because a new contract was signed; you need to put all of your resources into making sure your transition to a new supplier fulfills the potential set forth during the sourcing and contracting processes. Although it may appear uncomfortable, planning the shift helps prevent headaches from developing. Lessening the risks and turning the process into an opportunity to enhance supplier performance and quality, streamline procedures, and ultimately save money can be done by taking the proper actions early on.
Case Study: transition planning and management
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) selected Cirdan Group to provide planning and management services for a major transition from its current network management services (NMS) contract to a new five-year contract with a new operational model. MDOT needed an independent, third-party resource to plan transition activities, define the detailed schedule, identify risks and mitigation strategies, and manage the transition. To help MDOT address its need, Cirdan Group assigned a Senior Project Manager to lead NMS transition planning and execution.
For the transition core project team, the Cirdan Collection project manager put together a varied group of agency stakeholders. In order to define all transition operations, she led core team initiatives and contact with representatives from eight transportation business units. This ultimately permitted a smooth transition that did not endanger production network services. Due to the varied vendor resources, operating models, processes, and procedures, the timetable definition was extremely complicated. Through proactive and persistent coordination, communication, and schedule creation based on specific task definition, sequencing, and estimation, the Cirdan Group project manager overcome these difficulties.
The Cirdan Group Project Manager created a thorough project management plan, a master project schedule, and specific procedures for project operations, communication, status reporting, and schedule management in order to guarantee that the transition was managed successfully. Along with identifying and analyzing project risks, she collaborated with more than 20 project stakeholders to come up with and record risk mitigation methods.
After the transition planning was finished, the Cirdan Group project manager oversaw the implementation of the transition activities and made sure that the plans were carried out as intended and that risks were reduced as anticipated. The Cirdan Group Project Manager regularly reviewed schedule performance, recognized concerns, and assisted in the identification of corrective steps in order to stay on schedule and fulfill challenging deadlines. She presided over all meetings on MDOT’s behalf and frequently sent written status updates to the executive leadership of MDOT to keep them updated on the project’s progress, dangers, and problems.
The extensive and effective planning, risk mitigation, leadership, and communication of Cirdan’s project manager allowed MDOT to successfully execute the NMS transition on schedule and without experiencing any major issues.
How to Successfully Move your Outsourced Project to a New Software Vendor
You may encounter project stagnation, team demotivation, a lack of agility, and lack of progress as a business owner at any point in the development of an outsourcing project. These warning signs highlight the urgent necessity to take action and transfer the project to a different outsourcing provider. If you don’t take the necessary precautions to make it smooth and downtime-free, it may be expensive and harsh.
You may encounter project stagnation, team demotivation, a lack of agility, and lack of progress as a business owner at any point in the development of an outsourcing project. These warning signs highlight the urgent necessity to take action and transfer the project to a different outsourcing provider. If you don’t take the necessary precautions to make it smooth and downtime-free, it may be expensive and harsh.
Is the grass greener on the other side? Why you should consider changing software development teams
Letting the prior vendor go is always a far better option than establishing a Stockholm syndrome with your vendor and compromising the advancement of your software, as the statistics shows that over a half of firms are 60%+ more satisfied after changing the previous software supplier.
If you carefully plan the project transition, taking into consideration the dangers, and effectively organize all the key processes, the change of the software development team will be successful. Primarily, you will have to take care of the onboarding of the newcomers and the development team, who will be responsible for the legacy code review.
Is changing the software supplier worth time, risks, and resources?
You must be aware that changing suppliers could be expensive and disruptive to business operations. Therefore, while choosing to switch vendors, it is important to consider the value that a possible vendor will bring, the difficulties and risks involved, as well as the overall cost of the process.
Potential benefits a new supplier could provide:
• Assist in moving to the next growth stage;
• Offer superior options, including more efficient technologies, instruments, and methods.;
• Deliver on contractual commitments, providing even more value to the project than expected.
Along with the advantages and values that come with a last-minute supplier move, you need also think about the dangers and obstacles that could arise.
hazards and difficulties you can encounter when you transfer a project to a new outsourcing partner
Business risks associated with outsourcing might increase when outsourced partners are changed. The weapon, though, is knowledge. An owner of a business can easily overcome potential obstacles and reduce potential dangers thanks to awareness.
• As a customer, you will have more difficulty describing the services in its Request for Proposals (“RFP”) or Statement of Work (“SOW”);
• Lack of transferable function, since the previous vendor has likely folded the customer’s internal function into a shared service environment that the customer cannot provide to the new supplier;
• Difficulties with a knowledge transfer;
• Problems with the termination of the existing relationships may result in additional expenses and delays.
In order to ensure a smooth transition and prevent the aforementioned difficulties, it is essential to carefully organize knowledge transfer and organizational procedures.
Key steps to take when you move a project to a new outsourcing partner
A well-thought-out plan will minimize all the aforementioned dangers and hasten and smooth the transition. The following steps are part of the planning process:
• Determine the date, when the new team takes over the responsibilities for the project
• Plan the overlap period, when previous and new team members will work on knowledge transfer, making sure all are contributing to the success of the transition;
• Ask the legal staff to analyze when it is better to give the termination notice, after finishing the previous two steps. Giving the termination notice following the current agreement within the required period is critical to terminating the existing arrangement as expected.
• Revise the NDA (non-disclosure agreement), if any confidentiality restrictions may be disclosed to prospective software development teams
• Organize the cooperation between the new development team and previous vendors for a more efficient transition.
• Determine if there are any employees of the current supplier (or its subcontractors) that it would like the new supplier to hire.
• Take care of transferring leases, licenses, and other contracts, ensuring all the documents are in full force and effect, with no defaults and no outstanding amounts.
• Ask the current team to prepare a knowledge transfer plan for the in-time transition of knowledge, including the info about the responsibilities of the current supplier, tasks for a new team, applicable milestones, and completion dates.
Many businesses are outsourcing IT services as a result of the rapid changes in the economic and legal environments today. By doing so, they may take advantage of external expertise and knowledge, cut costs, and concentrate on their core competencies.
For instance, in the UK, the upcoming IR35 legislation is forcing many purchasers to reconsider their approach: Do they turn all current contractors into full-time employees? Do the contractors actually consent to being hired on a full-time basis? Or do they contract out the whole service? A business runs the risk of working with an IT provider that doesn’t perform up to expectations if it chooses to switch to a new one.
However, switching to a new vendor could be essential for a smooth and effective operation if the difficulties with a company’s present vendor are so severe that it would be more expensive in the long run to make all contractors permanent employees or stick with its current underperforming vendor. However, it is much easier said than done to locate a perfect seller who can keep their word.
In order to accomplish this, consumers must make certain that they:
1. Understand the risks and goals related to the transition
2. Ensure service transition success
3. Build trust with the new vendor and increase performance
We will talk about the steps that make a successful shift in this workshop. Let’s first quickly touch on a few key things.
Understand the risks & goals
Starting with a transition is frequently like to building a home from the roof up; it’s an essential step, but never the first. Buyers must first comprehend where they are today and where they want to be in order to lay a solid foundation, which always begins at the needs level.
Step #1: Understand the as-is state.
The proverb “know thyself” offers more than just succinct guidance for people. Before making a decision, purchasers should reflect on their existing situation and the risks they run if they don’t make any adjustments. Ones to consider asking are:
• What percentage of the workforce are contractors?
• How much knowledge will be lost if they depart?
• How well is an existing vendor performing?
• How is their performance measured?
Conducting a comprehensive evaluation that addresses all important topics and gets the company ready for a smooth transition is the main issue here. It’s often a good idea to have a committee oversee the transition, which includes subject matter experts, service managers, agile coaches, and a project manager who oversees expenses and administers the committee. This is a complex issue that we won’t go into length on here.
It is crucial for purchasers to obtain this information early in order to reduce ad hoc expenditure during the transition phase and to ensure you choose the proper provider, even though doing so entails additional—and frequently hidden—cost.
Step #2: Articulate the to-be state.
Buyers typically have a basic idea of what their present operational models are lacking. Vendors may claim to offer cost savings or greater performance, but these claims are frequently useless unless they are made in the right situation. Better network performance, for instance, might not be as crucial for a customer seeking expedited response times for support queries.
The focus of buyers needs to change to asking the correct questions as they define a clear vision. How will the new vendor help our company provide better service to our clients can be one query. It creates selection standards that will result in a partner who can provide what a company actually requires. Once this standard has been established and stated, it can assist with internal staff onboarding and serve as a solid place for vendors to begin when customizing their strategy.
Ensure service transition success
It’s time to swap services when the vendor has been chosen. A transition is successful if it paves the way for the new vendor to surpass the outgoing one.
Step #3: Set up a governance team.
Frequently, buyers forget their own obligations in terms of change management and believe that the vendor is solely responsible for the transition. This may lead to a drawn-out transition process, problems in the production environment, and a failure to fulfill deadlines. As part of the onboarding process, buyers must add specialists from the vendor and their own team to the transition committee to reduce this risk.
A thorough readiness assessment, divorce terms, and stated expectations come in handy at this point, giving the new vendor the knowledge they need to make the right decisions.
Step #4: Transfer knowledge.
A major task that poses several coordination, communication, and cultural issues for both the buyer and the vendor is making sure that a team of engineers, analysts, and consultants fully comprehends the buyer’s organization, applications, tools, and processes.
Poor information transfer occurs for two basic causes. The first is brought on by governance teams that may meticulously plan trainings, coordinate shadowing, and produce significant documents but fail to stimulate communication or cultural alignment amongst teams. Incumbent vendors that are not motivated to work with new ones are another factor in unsuccessful transitions. Both the vendor and the buyer must exercise caution to ensure that there is open and honest communication between all parties in order to prevent a bad knowledge transfer.
Gogo, a North American market leader in in-flight connectivity, has teamed up with N-iX to expand its development capabilities. N-iX engineers started the project by initiating a knowledge transfer process that ensured speed development and high productivity of software engineers. The N-iX team has provided end-to-end software development of the cloud-based platform which collects data from more than 20 different sources and found the reasons for ill-performance and equipment failures, reducing the number of not-fault-founds by eight times.
Build trust and grow together
It’s time to prosper once the new vendor has achieved a stable stage. Vendors must be ready to either minimize delivery risks or increase cost efficiency, which can only be done with a cooperative buyer who grants authority and assistance, given that the issue most CIOs and CDOs face today is to increase time to market and deliver more with a largely flat budget.
Step #5: Increase predictability.
Since CTOs are currently dealing with smaller budgets, it is becoming more important to estimate work more correctly. Vendors can lessen uncertainty by producing better forecasts that result in cost reductions because risk and cost are directly linked to one another. The catch is that improving forecasts alone won’t be sufficient if the delivery is inconsistent.
Vendors are more likely to agree to be held accountable for specific delivery outputs if precise projections have been created and delivery is constant, making the engagement more predictable, cost-optimized, and mutually beneficial. Over time, this fosters the trust necessary for successful collaborations.
Step #6: Increase output.
Over the duration of the engagement, vendors are also expected to improve their output, which can be achieved in one of two ways. They can either provide more services while also boosting economies of scale, or they can make modest changes that add up to a more effective delivery.
Whatever choice they make, it can only be accomplished if the buyers give the vendors the freedom to take initiative and carry out their ideas (for instance, by employing output-based pricing structures). When suppliers have the guts to respectfully disagree with how their customers conduct business, the change is deemed complete and vendor transformation begins.
Beginning a transition is a lot like beginning a committed relationship. It takes self-evaluation, planning, timing, open communication, meaningful work, and trust from both parties to make it effective, and only time will tell if it was the right decision.
The pace of technological development is accelerating, sectors are being upended in a couple of years, competition is heating up, and new laws have the power to overturn established business models. Therefore, it has never been more crucial to choose the proper vendor who can adjust to and take advantage of these changes to benefit the consumer. Tomorrow’s rewards will go to those who plant the seeds of successful collaborations with the appropriate vendors today.
Chapter 1: Define Business Requirements
Business requirements are used during a sourcing transition to specify a project’s business necessity and success parameters. Business requirements outline the reasons behind a project’s necessity, the people it will help, its timing, location, and the metrics that will be used to judge it. Business needs typically do not specify how a project is to be executed, and business requirements typically do not include a project’s implementation specifics.
An analyst must first identify the important stakeholders, which will always include the business owners or project sponsors, before compiling the business requirements. They frequently include include the end user/customer and subject matter experts. BABOK 2.0 lists regulators (who might impose new regulatory requirements as a result of the project) and implementation subject matter experts as additional stakeholders from whom an analyst may elicit requirements (who may be aware of capabilities currently present in or easily added to existing systems). To fully complete a detailed discovery of business requirements, these stakeholders must be extensively screened and questioned. The project’s existing documentation must also be carefully examined.
Purchasing movie tickets will serve as an example project to further illustrate what business needs look like. Consider a chain of 400 cinemas that saw a drop in ticket sales. Numerous consumers were polled, and the results revealed that people were choosing less inconvenient forms of amusement instead of waiting in line at their ticket booths. Customers said they would prefer to rent a movie or sign up for a movie rental service rather to deal with the aggravation of standing in line for ten minutes. The chain’s business analyst suggests a method to enable customers buy their tickets online and print them in advance, saving time for customers and money for the business, following considerable discovery with a restricted group of colleagues.
The business requirements the analyst creates for this project would include (but not be limited to):
• Identification of the business problem (key objectives of the project), i.e., “Declining ticket sales require a strategy to increase the number of customers at our theaters.”
• Why the solution has been proposed (its benefits; why it will produce the desired outcome of returning ticket sales to higher levels), i.e., “Customers have overwhelmingly cited the inconvenience of standing in line as the primary reason they no longer attend our theater. We will remove this impediment by enabling customers to buy and print their theater tickets at home with just a few clicks.”
• The scope of the project. A few examples might be: “1. While the plan is to bring this project to all 400 theaters eventually, we will start with 50 theaters in the most populated metropolitan areas.”
• Rules, policies, and regulations. For example, “We will design our web site and commerce so that all FCC, SEC and other relevant governmental regulations are properly adhered to.”
• Key features of the service (without details as to how they will be implemented). A few examples might include: “1. We will provide a secure site for the user to select the number of tickets and showing they wish, and to enter their payment information. 2. We will give the user the option to store his or her card information in our system so that they do not have to re-enter it in a later session. 3. The system will accommodate credit, debit, or PayPal payment methods only.”
• Key performance features (without details as to how they will be implemented), i.e., “1. The system will be designed so that it can recover within 30 seconds of any downtime. 2. Because our peak audience has been 25,000 customers in all of our theaters on one night, the system will accommodate at least 10 times that many users at any given time without any impact on system performance.”
• Key security features (again without details), i.e., “We will devise a unique identifier for each ticket that will prohibit photocopies or counterfeits.”
• Criteria to measure the project’s success, such as: “This project will be deemed successful if ticket sales return to 2008 levels within 12 months of its launch.”
This project’s resulting business requirements would not include:
• A description of how to adhere to governmental or regulatory requirements.
• A description of how performance requirements will be implemented, such as: “The XYZ server on which customer information is stored will be backed up every five minutes using XYZ program.”
• Any description of how the unique ticket identifier would be implemented.
• Any details or specifics related to the service’s features, such as: “1. The credit card number text box will be 20 characters long and accommodate simple text. 2. If the user selects Yes (01), the information will be loaded to our XYZ storage server called.”
Business needs may contain graphs, models, or any combination of these that best serves the project, despite the fact that the examples that accompanied some of the bullet items in the above list were text-only. Strong strategic thinking, significant input from the project’s business owners, and the capacity to articulate a project’s needs in detail at a high level are all necessary for the development of effective business requirements.
As with all requirements, business requirements should be:
• Verifiable. Business requirements should not be demonstrable just because they specify business demands rather than technical requirements. Requirements that can be verified are precise and measurable. A quality assurance specialist must be able to verify, for instance, that the system supports the PayPal, debit, and credit payment methods mentioned in the business requirements. (S)he could not do so if the requirements were more vague, i.e., “The system will accommodate appropriate payment methods.” (Appropriate is subject to interpretation.)
• Unambiguous, stating precisely what problem is being solved. For example, “This project will be deemed successful if ticket sales increase sufficiently,” is probably too vague for all stakeholders to agree on its meaning at the project’s end.
• Comprehensive, covering every aspect of the business need. Business needs are definitely broad in scope, but they are broad in a very detailed way. In the aforementioned example, if the analyst had assumed that the developers would know to design a system that could accommodate many times the number of customers the theater chain had seen at one time in the past but had not explicitly stated so in the requirements, the developers might have created a system that could only support 10,000 customers at any given time without experiencing performance issues.
In a sourcing transition, keep in mind that business requirements address the whats rather than the hows, but they are painstakingly detailed in expressing those whats. Every aspect of business is covered. The business requirements should act as a systematic record of the initial business issue and the range of the proposed solution at the project’s conclusion.
Chapter 2: Transition Strategy
Any time during the development process, you can find yourself in a situation where you urgently need to cancel a contract or change the software vendor for a number of factors, including geopolitical ones. Various sources claim that up to 50% of all clients who engage with software suppliers eventually need to switch suppliers.
It could also occur if you believe your expectations are not being met and the vendor is no longer able to deliver the level of service you require.
If any of the aforementioned scenarios apply to you, starting the transfer process right away is the best course of action. You will learn about the crucial details and phases of the transition process in this course manual, along with practical guidance on how to make the move go smoothly while keeping the essential business operations operational.
A serious choice, switching suppliers may result in numerous questions and uncertainty. Is it more advantageous to stick with the current vendor, or is switching to a different one a better strategic move? Is it possible for a new vendor to reduce the risks associated with the transition and guarantee that they will fulfill their obligations? Is it possible to persuade the former vendor to offer thorough support during the transition, and if so, how?
A template for a project transition plan contains the relevant information and procedures for handing off the existing project to a new team. Typically, the transition process necessitates a thorough examination and meticulous mapping of the infrastructure supporting hardware and software agreements. Service-level agreements (SLAs) must be carefully managed during the transition process to guarantee that they are taken into consideration and will support the efficient operation of the business.
Relationships between the supplier and business owner can either be strengthened and reinforced during the transition phase or broken and weakened. Applying best practices and principles with careful planning from both parties and the use of people with transition experience will boost the likelihood of a successful and smooth transition.
What is the smooth transition plan template?
You must first recognize that making a choice in the middle of a project may be challenging because it may result in higher expenses, delayed outputs, and a general issue in finding a new software source. So, in order to remain composed and act swiftly on all necessary decisions, you need to have a clear plan.
We have developed key advice and next actions that ought to be done when switching vendors.
The entire journey might be made simple and safe with the help of a solid knowledge transition plan, which would also save costs and streamline the procedure itself.
The knowledge transition plan could be put into practice in two ways:
• From client to a new vendor
• From the previous vendor to the new one
Whatever the circumstance, the tasks involved in transition planning would essentially be the same: they start with the demo and research phase and end with the environment setup, assumption of BAU, and the first successful release. And when the approach is methodical and deliberate, the knowledge transition will succeed.
Define the background information you have to collect
• Tansition of sensitive data;
• Source code ownership details;
• Termination agreement with the previous vendor.
Source code documentation:
• Repository URLs with access details;
• Description of key algorithms;
• Specification of classes and app layers.
• Project scope, project specifications, technical information relevant to the project;
• Deployment guidelines, system configuration details, operating details, troubleshooting, bug tracking data;
• Development process workflow;
• Development practices.
• Access to the current environment;
• 3rd party integrations.
Other processes documents:
• Project roadmap;
• Software architecture;
• Design of the database structure;
• Design files;
• User stories.
A One-to-One Understanding the reasoning behind the code and supplying knowledge about potential hidden traps and roadblocks within one meeting between the tech specialists will help to ensure a smoother transfer of assets. It will also make it easier for the new staff to adopt the tried-and-true, highly effective procedures.
The challenges at the organizational level must be resolved after establishing the data a business owner must gather. You should have a conversation with the delivery manager and the key department representatives in charge of carrying out the current project.
To better grasp the crucial jobs, recurrent responsibilities, and other regular chores, it is vital to discuss the concerns with the PM and all specialists on the team, such as the development team, designers, DevOps, BA, and Scrum master.
Chapter 3: Strong Governance
“Good sourcing governance serves as a key driver of behaviours that raise accountability, help restore trust and create sustainable value for stakeholders (Beulen & Rombout, 2015).”
Building sustainable value for all value chain stakeholders requires sound sourcing governance. Learn what sourcing governance is, the procedures to apply it successfully, and the success factors.
A systematic and concurrent approach to managing value generation, risk, compliance, and relationships in the sourcing and procurement lifecycle is referred to as sourcing governance. As a component of “functional governance,” sourcing governance should seek to strengthen sourcing leadership and decision-making in order to add value for various stakeholders along the value chain.
The importance of strong vendor relationships
Business success is defined by relationships. Each company occupies a central position in a network of relationships with its suppliers and clients, acquiring raw materials, products, and services at one end and adding value to make a profit at the other.
There is a lot of discussion on how to retain and cultivate relationships with customers through sales, marketing, and customer service in order to increase revenue.
Compared to supply chain management or supplier relationship management software, CRM and the software that supports it are far more integrated and developed.
The supply side is equally important, though. A business needs suppliers to supply resources for the goods and services it sells as well as resources to operate the firm itself.
The key advantage of establishing solid, mutually beneficial supplier connections is that your business will gain greater value. The more familiar you are with your suppliers and the more familiar they are with you, the more likely it is that you will obtain individualized treatment, exclusive discounts, and advantageous terms. As a result, your supply chain will operate more profitably, cost-effectively, and efficiently.
Building the Foundation for Effective Supplier Relationships
Building strong connections with new suppliers requires thinking about a sourcing transformation in terms other than the legalese of purchase agreements and contracts. The focus on supplier relationships contrasts from supply chain management’s logistical emphasis.
Rarely is the procedure as straightforward as signing a contract and then relaxing while it runs its course. The core of supplier management is people management and the added value that human parts of business may bring to your company. Maintaining this aspect of the relationship will ensure that both parties take prompt action to address issues, look for ways to improve procedures, and assist one another in realizing the partnership’s commercial advantages. The maxim “your success is my success” is the foundation of excellent supplier management.
The foundation of solid relationships requires a particular attitude since it’s essential to view the difficulty of managing supplier relationships as one of people management.
Here are the basic elements for improving supplier relationships:
Any successful business relationship relies on effective, transparent two-way communication. You won’t be able to understand enough about your suppliers to establish mutually beneficial agreements if you don’t communicate effectively with them.
Mutual respect and readiness to accept the requirements and perspectives of the other party make it easier for suppliers and buyers to work together in a way that maximizes the interests of both parties.
Being open and honest with one another is an important element of strong relationship building. Sharing information and being open about intent and plans enhances the possibility of establishing mutually beneficial agreements.
Business relationships break down when one side believes they are not getting a fair share of the deal. To make a “You scratch my back” strategy work for everyone involved, make sure all benefits are distributed evenly down the line.
All of the aforementioned lead to the building of trust. Trust is the bond that holds a successful relationship together, giving suppliers and consumers the confidence to seek out new ways to collaborate and solve problems together.
To make a relationship thrive, you must be willing to reconfigure your working methods to accommodate the other side. It is extremely unusual for two organizations to reach an immediate working panacea. Strong relationships need time and both sides’ willingness to listen, adapt and accept innovation as a way of development.
Chapter 4: Challenges Faced
Preparing For The Transition Challenges
Lack of Information and Knowledge Sharing
Every account-related detail must be given when one managed services vendor transfers responsibilities to a new provider; otherwise, the new provider risks making mistakes that could cost them money, time, and effort.
The lack of understanding could make the client question the new provider, which would make it lose confidence in performing the task at hand. To avoid any complexities that could lead to more issues, the vendors must communicate simply and clearly with one another.
Any vendor should have a detailed before, during, and after plan before entering the transition period. The transition will be based entirely on the plan, so if the new service provider is not adequately prepared to take over the operations, it could cause business disruptions and confusion between the team and management.
Every team needs a manager, who will oversee, guide, and take decisive action if a service problem arises. To ensure that no crucial information or services are lost during the transfer, the new provider must collaborate with the client, the old provider, and both. In order for the entire organization of the three parties to work together smoothly, they must also be aware of their team, assign duties that are appropriate for each member, and concentrate on obtaining the skills required to complete the tasks.
Every small work must be completed on time in order to avoid delays for later tasks. Transition is more like a continuous line because each service and task depends on the one before it. There are numerous reasons why the transition may be postponed, including a malfunctioning system or the previous provider’s unwillingness to engage with the new provider because they simply do not want to lose the client’s business and financial support. In this situation, the new supplier will be under additional pressure to get things back on track, but it is achievable.
IT Service Transition: Key Risks and Mitigation
When services migrate from the current provider to a new provider, transition is a crucial phase. The current provider may be a vendor or internal staff. In the same way, the new provider can be an internal team (in the case of internal sourcing) or a different vendor.
Transition is a phase that moves quickly and is quite volatile. The knowledge of the entire echo-system must be transferred from the departing team to the arriving crew. This knowledge encompasses domain, procedures, tools, infrastructure, governance, and relationships in addition to the team’s technical expertise. All of these elements must be somewhat mastered by the new team for a successful and efficient transition so that they can deliver service in accordance with SLAs.
Recognizing and minimizing transition risks is one of the essential success criteria for any transition. To identify potential risks and create a strategy for effective risk mitigation, a thorough examination of the present environment is necessary.
While there will always be particular dangers associated with a given transition, there are some risks that are generic in nature and have a high likelihood of occurring in any transition. Seven dangers associated with frequent transitions are shown in the diagram below. Any transition manager should review these for his or her transition and prepare mitigation depending on likelihood and impact severity of occurrence.
1. Lack of Documentation: Use tools to asses and create documentation during transition. Tools like CAST can help create good amount of documentation from source code besides validating the source code quality.
2. SME Attrition: Plan optimum transition duration to minimize SME attrition. Too long transition will always have risk of SME attrition.
3. Access to Systems: Access to the IT environment for the incoming team is very critical. Plan adequate time for this activity as organization procedure may require certain minimum time before access is granted. The risk is more prominent if the incumbent service provider is an external vendor.
4. Process Harmonization: Dedicated process transition track is critical for uniformed processes to be ready in time for the new transitioned environment.
5. Cultural Gaps: Plan pre-transition cultural sensitization workshops for all stakeholders to bridge the cultural gap.
6. Organization Change Management: Organization change should not be underestimated specially in case of in-house to vendor transition scenario. Engage a professional team to manage this in case required capability is not available internally.
7. Schedule Slippage: Divide transition into different tracks and phases to bring focus to execution. Any schedule slippage should be isolated at track/phase level and impacted track/phase should be re-planned without impacting other tracks/phases much.
Chapter 5: Minimizing Disruption
Building a change management plan is essential to carrying out the changes and preventing potential interruption after businesses have decided which transition methods to use, either individually or in combination.
Companies’ current channel tactics may no longer be effective when they deal with markets that are slowing down or undergoing disruptions, such as trade disputes, budget cuts, or currency instability. The performance of MNCs’ distributors may also decline when less aggressive ones are revealed. Although altering channel partnerships or structures becomes unavoidable, doing so at such a tumultuous period can be particularly difficult due to weak demand and price sensitivity.
According to FrontierView’s Channel Benchmarking Survey, international corporations from various regions and business sectors have gone through severe channel transformations during the previous five years. Many businesses frequently make executional errors, which frequently lead to brand harm, distributor retribution, the loss of important clients, a decline in sales, and even legal issues. MNCs run the risk of sudden, poorly timed, and dysfunctional transitions that can dramatically harm market performance if they don’t have suitable execution deadlines, communication cadence, and a backup plan.
Companies must develop an effective change management plan to ensure smooth channel transitions.
Even though switching suppliers or business models can be risky and disruptive, planning ahead can assist prevent having to make adjustments when the situation is urgent and the organization is already struggling. MNC executives must create an implementation strategy that unifies all stakeholders and accounts for potential pushbacks after identifying channel capability gaps and confirming a need for change.
Companies should develop an efficient process to ensure smooth transitions in order to implement channel changes successfully and prevent disruptions to their businesses. For example, companies should prioritize which customers or geographic areas for transitions, anticipate distributor reactions to prevent brand damage and retaliation, communicate with corporate to align on the short-term and long-term impact of transitions, prepare for potential risks, and develop a plan B.
Companies that can manage the implementation of a channel transition successfully often excel in three critical steps/aspects:
1. Develop a clear execution plan: Prioritize channel transitions and carefully evaluate timing and potential resistance to create a clearly defined roadmap and workflow.
2. Ensure smooth communication: Ensure alignment among affected partners, customers and internal stakeholders.
3. Build a back-up plan: Prevent risks by including key contract details and preparing for contingency actions in advance.
Chapter 6: Knowledge Transfer
Knowledge Transfer Plan
As you work to understand the scope of a KT project, you need to get a plan started. A stakeholder management plan, communication strategy, risk register, timetable with a list of tasks and meetings, acceptance criteria, and resource management should all be included in a KT project plan. For all of this labor, hiring a project manager with planning expertise is an excellent place to start.
One of the more crucial elements will be stakeholder management. A project manager will evaluate how the current team will react to the news that they are leaving the project before taking any action. Understanding this idea is the first step in creating a risk register. Depending on how the news of offboarding is conveyed, teams may respond differently. Who will be in charge of the various activities will be another aspect of the stakeholder management plan.
The communication strategy will specify how stakeholders should communicate, list the subjects that call for meetings, and lay out the protocol for those gatherings. This will help to reduce the risk associated with stakeholder management. For instance, hold a meeting where the new staff is given a product tour before discussing the smaller concerns mentioned above. It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this high-level overview because it will enable everyone on the team to grasp the big picture. Meetings provide a fantastic setting for feedback loops to make sure that everyone is fully comprehending. If necessary, make sure to give the teams permission to hold follow-up meetings on the subject. A nice suggestion for the communication plan would be to record each KT meeting so that team members may examine them afterwards.
It might frequently take a long time to grant users access to environments, repositories, databases, and different tools with the proper permissions. Access to software will undoubtedly be necessary to begin the knowledge transfer, and access to hardware may also be necessary. As soon as you can, identify any potential obstacles, such as hardware access restrictions and per-user license fees, and add them to the risk register for monitoring and mitigation.
Any project’s acceptance criteria are a crucial component, and KT projects are no exception. Give the new team the chance to approve the documentation and overall KT of a topic when onboarding a new vendor. This will ensure that they accept responsibility for comprehending the product and will give them the authority to ask questions until they receive the necessary responses.
People, methods, and a product all play a role in the effectiveness of knowledge transfer in IT outsourcing. It is hard for a vendor to meet the client’s expectations without a thorough grasp of what the product does, how it works, and who is accountable for certain duties.
• Define the knowledge you want to acquire.
Knowing what data you need to collect is the foundation of an effective knowledge transfer plan. Here is a list of crucial knowledge topics to learn from the organizational, team, and individual viewpoints.
The individual sharing of knowledge is the most important part of the knowledge transfer process. Getting the keys to a house that you don’t know where it is or how to enter is comparable to getting an IT outsourcing assignment. The code itself constitutes an important piece of knowledge. Knowing what the code does, though, is one thing; realizing any potential landmines it may contain, however, is quite another. One-on-one conversations are necessary to fully understand the logic behind the code and certain accepted best practices when moving vendors.
• Define those who pass on and receive information.
Once you’ve determined what information you need, you’ll need to identify the people in your vendor’s organization who can give it at each level. It’s crucial to know what critical duties an individual controls, how important they are, and any potential dangers.
• Amass knowledge items.
The best way to achieve knowledge transfer isn’t to hold endless meetings and expect your new development personnel to comprehend everything. It is advisable to archive and record important information. If it’s a meeting, there need to be an agenda, meeting minutes, and possibly even more documents that you can work on afterwards. There are a number of additional knowledge transfer techniques, though, and we’ve determined which ones have proven to be the most effective in IT outsourcing.
Chapter 7: Monitor New Supplier
Why is Vendor Performance Management important?
When you put in a lot of time and effort during vendor transition to onboard the best suppliers and anticipate working with them, you need continuously assess their worth. The correct KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and regular reporting are required for vendor performance management so that you are aware of the value your vendors are delivering.
How Can Vendor Performance Be Measured?
You need well-defined plans and clever vendor management tools in order to monitor the performance of your company’s vendors. These kinds of systems enable you to divide up your vendors into groups based on your priorities, track and monitor their performance using KPIs, and present the findings in the manner that the department requires.
5 Reasons why you need a Vendor Management Software
Nowadays, it is crucial for organizations to have more effective tactics. We are thankfully outfitted with technology for all we do. Vendor management systems are extremely valuable for vendor performance management and have the power to completely alter how a firm conducts business. Such a solution can support your plans and offer vendor risk management a failsafe approach.
Here are 5 reasons, Vendor Management System is a primary need to your business:
1. To simplify the invoicing process
Receiving timely payments from vendors is one of the difficulties that each business faces. This might be particularly challenging if you are purchasing goods from many nations or if your vendors are spread out throughout the globe. When you take into account cultural differences, currency exchange rates, and language limitations, the issue is made worse. By enabling you to automate invoice processing, vendor management software makes this process simpler.
2. To manage risk
Vendor performance management software allows you to develop a comprehensive risk management system. The system allows you to monitor and evaluate the performance of suppliers at any time. This gives you better insights into the risks your business faces with regard to the quality of products and services provided by your suppliers.
3. To improve visibility
A vendor management system provides visibility into the performance of vendors by giving managers access to real-time supplier data in one single place. This allows for informed decision-making about suppliers, ensuring that you are always working with the best ones for your business needs.
4. To streamline internal processes
Vendor management systems help streamline communication between internal teams and external vendors. Such systems make it easier for companies to collaborate with their supplier community because they have easy access to relevant information on the system.
5. To improve communication
A vendor management system makes it simple to interact with vendors. Emails and letters don’t need to be sent or written. Directly from the system, you can begin communicating with your merchants. Additionally, they can contact you directly using their own accounts. Communication becomes quick and simple as a result.
The Bottom line
The fact that vendor management software gives you access to information about all facets of your business connections with vendors, is one of its main benefits. You may manage your cash flow more effectively and spend less time and money by using a competent vendor management system. It might also be a game-changer for your company by helping to automate any laborious and time-consuming steps in the vendor management procedure.
Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 15 – Sourcing Transition
- Define Business Requirements
- Transition Strategy
- Strong Governance
- Challenges Faced
- Minimizing Disruption
- Knowledge Transfer
- Monitor New Suppliers
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Leading IT Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Leading IT Transformation Specialist (ALITTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Leading IT Transformation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
12 October 2010
“Look before you leap – Managing the successful vendor transition project
Switching vendors can be quite costly and disruptive to the outsourcing company. The subject becomes more complicated in a global environment where companies do business all over the world and specific language, legal, trade and tax issues must be considered. This paper will cover the best practices for finding and securing a new vendor/supplier without alienating the current vendor, negotiating a contract that holds the vendor accountable to a certain level of performance, as well as minimizing the risks and managing the transition with minimal customer impact. The first part of this paper will cover the issues to consider before switching vendors. The second part will cover the planning activities and the third part will cover the implementation of the plan. The vendors in consideration in this paper do not provide simple outsourced services such as office supplies, but do provide major outsourced services with complex contracts.
Increasingly, organizations around the world outsource functions to vendors to help optimize business and cut costs. In the current downturned business environment, it is more important than ever to have strong contract relationships with your vendors and to optimize the value that your vendors bring to your business. When the outsourcing company, hereafter referred to as the ‘customer’, is not getting the optimum value from the current vendor, sometimes the best path is to seek out a better vendor solution.
Most of the issues and recommendations mentioned in this paper are related to the outsourcing of mission-critical business processes, but are generally applicable to all types of outsourcing.
Issues to Consider before Switching Vendors
Before making the decision to switch vendors, the customer should be careful to evaluate (1) the additional value the new vendor could provide, (2) the risks in changing vendors (3) the cost of exiting the current outsourcing contract and (4) internal costs including employee time, travel costs, legal and consulting fees, if applicable, and (5) the versatility of the current vendor to provide services to other elements of the business according to Peterson, Prinsley and Kalachman (2003).
The additional business value from the new vendor can include: (1) meeting the need to transform/improve a particular outsourced function, (2) taking advantage of superior offerings, methods or processes in a changing vendor market and/or (3) eliminating the customer dissatisfaction for breach of contract or lost financial stability (4) reducing ongoing vendor costs (p. 1).
Switching vendors has most of the risks of obtaining the initial outsourcing plus additional risks due to the fact that the functions have not been performed in house by the customer since the initial outsourcing. It will be challenging for the customer to complete the Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or Statement of Work (SOW) since there will be a lack of knowledge of the outsourced functions performed by the current vendor. The SOW with the current vendor is likely to be outdated. It is also possible that the current vendor has folded some or all of the outsourced functions into a shared service environment; in this case the new vendor will need to build this function from scratch and this could result in a greater risk of vendor transition failure. In cases where the date of business process take-over by the new vendor corresponds to the end date of the current vendor contract, there is little schedule flexibility for the project. There can be difficulties obtaining cooperation from the current vendor to transfer knowledge to the new vendor who may be a competitor. Termination at the end of the contract (or within the notification period, usually 90 days) is easier to justify to senior management, less costly (no termination fees) and minimizes the risk of degradation in service and vendor flight. Termination in the middle of contract is much more complicated, harder to justify to senior management, more costly (there could be heavy termination fees) and it also increases risks of degradation in service and vendor flight.
When considering the costs of exiting the current outsourcing contract, be sure to analyze termination fees, legal termination transfer rights and/or obligations and dispute resolution processes in the current contract. Develop a negotiation strategy with the current vendor based on the results of this analysis. The customer’s goal is to determine the best exit strategy with the lowest termination fees. Usually there is no termination fee at the end of the contract or upon a breach of contract by the vendor (called termination for cause). On the other hand, there is usually a payment schedule for termination for convenience (when the customer cannot prove a breach of contract or would rather not go through that process). The closer the termination date is to the start date of the contract, normally the higher the termination fees. The customer and the current vendor may be willing to negotiate a lower termination for convenience fee if the decision to terminate is mutual or if facts indicate (not necessarily conclusively) that there has been a breach of contract.
As a result of the analysis of the legal termination transfer rights and/or obligations, the customer may find there is a need to purchase assets the vendor uses to provide services, take over contracts or employ resources currently providing services. According to Peterson, Prinsley and Kalachman (2003), the current vendor’s resources for the subject processes may transfer automatically to the customer or to the new vendor (in European Union countries) under the Acquired Rights Directive. It is also possible that the existing contract may require the current vendor to assist in the smooth transition to a new vendor (called termination assistance services). These services may include documenting processes and requirements for the Request for Proposal (RFP) or transferring knowledge to the new vendor. If no transfer rights have been documented, the rights may be negotiated depending on the current vendor’s interest in maintaining a good relationship with the customer with hope to gain new business (p. 4).
In reviewing the dispute resolution process with the current vendor, you may find there is a form of escalation that could provide a method that would address concerns about the current vendor and thereby possibly avoid switching vendors. In addition, you may find methods to solidify the argument that the customer is entitled to termination for cause.
To ensure optimal levels of vendor performance and clear understanding of customer expectations, it is best to have clearly documented Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as part of the contract where the expected levels of service are formally defined for the new vendor. If there are already SLAs in existence with the current vendor, now is the time to revisit them to see if they need updating and to consider providing measures to be enacted for vendor noncompliance to SLAs. According to Halvey and Melby, while most vendors agree to include service levels in the outsourcing contract, they also look for allowance during certain conditions (such as system down time, power failure, break-down of third-party equipment, etc.) The customer may also have SLAs that relate to customer satisfaction, the guarantee of productivity improvements over a period of time and the guarantee of certain cost savings over a period of time. It is also advisable to revisit the SLAs yearly during a multi-year contract with the vendor to make any necessary adjustments in light of changes in services, methodologies and customer’s changing business needs.
To avoid breaks in services due to outages and/or disasters, it is best to have clearly documented business continuity plans (BCP) and/or disaster recovery plans where the vendor clearly states their logistical plans to recover and restore the outsourced business functions in the event of a disaster. The new vendor will be expected to present the BCP and/or DRP for the outsourced services and the customer should have the plans reviewed by in-house and/or outsourced specialists.
Planning for the Transition
Once the decision is made to switch vendors, the planning for the vendor transition project includes most of the planning required for any outsourcing project plus additional activities as described in this section.
Define the Steering Committee, working project team and extended support personnel to ensure proper representation from the stakeholders. Define roles and responsibilities and complete the communication plan.
Develop the business strategy for switching vendors. Here is an example business strategy:
• Establish a scalable and stable platform for outsourcing.
• Take advantage of talent pool and low labor costs in a particular region.
• Reduce high cost associated with the current vendor.
• Improve vendor performance
Communicate effectively the reason for switching vendors through careful socialization of the business strategy with senior management, program managers, vendor managers and the subject matter experts who will be involved in the selection and transition process (such as legal, tax, trade, procurement, etc.). To prevent deterioration of current vendor performance, emphasis must be placed on the correct approach for communication with the current vendor prior to the actual selection of the new vendor. During the socialization process, it is recommended to obtain consensus on a list of potential vendors from senior management and get agreement that the current vendor will be included in the process to ensure a smooth transition.
In the project charter, clearly define the goal statement and the business outcome you hope to achieve based on the business strategy above. State the targets for the performance metrics that the new vendor will be expected to achieve. Use the opportunity statement to define what currently negative trends that will be eliminated and the advantages that will be gained.”
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October 30, 2019,
“What Happens If You Want to Switch Vendors Mid-Project? Three Things to Consider Before Making the Call
It’s time to face the facts: things with your project just aren’t going well. You brought on a vendor to help with software development or another business-critical IT task. You had a lot of optimism at first, but by this point, it’s all fallen well short of your expectations. Maybe deadlines keep slipping while costs keep rising. Maybe email after email is going unanswered, except for the occasional vague reply that always sounds like a brush off. Maybe you’ve seen the code so far, and, well, it’s terrible.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t be in this situation. You would have seen the red flags coming a mile away when you were choosing your vendor, and you would have built in an agile development approach for a better chance of success.
But, sometimes things still go wrong, even if you think you did everything right. And so, one day, you start thinking… Should you pull the plug? Is it time to switch vendors, even though the project isn’t finished yet?
Switching vendors mid-project is an incredibly complex and risk-fraught process. Before you make the call, it’s important to be sure you’re making the right decision and not just reacting in the heat of the moment to a mistake or misunderstanding.
Here are a few key points to consider when deciding how to handle a project when it’s not meeting your expectations:
1. What else can you try to repair your current relationship and get the project back on track?
The first thing to determine before switching your vendor is whether there’s still a chance your project can be saved. Given the cost, disruption and risk associated with making a switch, it should always be your last resort.
With that in mind, it’s important to ask: what else can you try to get things back on track? For the project itself, perhaps there are more project management strategies that can be deployed, from sprints to team redistributions or others.
Make sure you’ve given your vendor a fair opportunity to make things right after a mistake or major slip up. In many cases, the mistake itself is not so much a big deal as the way the vendor handles it. A working solution might still be possible, especially once any previous misunderstandings about requirements, capabilities or bugs have been cleared up. With a productive conversation, you might collaborate and find a new way to approach the problem. But if the vendor is showing a pattern of ignoring the problem, laying blame elsewhere or displaying a stubborn lack of flexibility, your problem may be bigger.
If the root of the problem is with your vendor itself, there are still strategies you can try to repair your relationship. Just as in people-to-people relationships, the key ingredients are communication and trust. Strong relationships work two ways, so make sure you’ve done all you can to communicate your goals, expectations and concerns with your vendor. And make sure you’ve given your vendor the opportunity to explain what they need from you to get back on track.
Look beyond the frustrating contract details and metrics and milestones to the bigger picture. See if there’s a chance you can still work together to set new expectations, adjust plans as necessary and revise or put in new controls to avoid future problems. In some cases, especially when the costs and risks of switching vendors are steep, pursuing an option like third-party mediation might be easier in the long run than kicking your vendor the curb entirely.
And, if you’re lucky, sometimes just the threat of switching vendors might be enough to help motivate your vendor to improve their performance.
2. What will it cost you? And is it worth it?
Let’s face it: switching vendors mid-project is going to be expensive. And even after you switch, there’s no guarantee that a new vendor will deliver to your sa