Better Benchmarking: Is it Success or Perceived Success?

05 Oct 2010 View Comments
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Perception: Are performance and perception aligned?

This is the sixth in a series of seven brief blogs on the subject of Value Assurance – best defined as an effective route to maximising value in a long term outsourcing agreement, through aligning service expectations, perceptions and realities. A Value Assurance exercise typically involves a review of both service provider and client in equal measure. It takes a more holistic view than benchmarking alone and includes and assesses 6 ‘Ps’. The fifth of which, ‘Perception’, is discussed in this blog.

If you’re currently managing an outsourcing relationship, analysing the ‘6P’ areas of a relationship is an excellent way to move the performance of the contract towards an optimal state – typically, but not always, this means from a transactional to a true partnership relationship. Organisations I have advised have found the process beneficial regardless of whether they’re at the beginning, middle or nearing the end of a contract.

‘Perception’

The perception of the relationship within both your service provider’s organisation and your own should be carefully managed. There should be a clear alignment between the perception of performance, the actual performance being delivered and the expectations of what is to be delivered within the contract. This perception should be proactively managed at all levels. It’s not uncommon for the actual performance and the perception of performance to vary greatly – and this needs to be addressed.
To look at how the ‘Perception’ of performance compares to the actual performance in your contract, consider:

Perception management: Is the perception of the performance of the outsourcing contract being actively managed across all stakeholders within your organisation and the service provider’s?

Perception measurement: Is the perception of stakeholders being measured? This may not seem an obvious candidate for measurement, but is incredibly valuable.

Communication: Is clear communication taking place to accurately establish what the current perception is across the various stakeholders?
Next will be a blog on ‘People & Governance’– this will be the final blog in this series, looking at issues such as governance staffing, decision making and purpose.

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