Contingent Workforce Management: Avengers Style

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Posted by Lou Panico

April 11, 2014

superheroesI recently took my two older daughters to see Captain America: Winter Soldier. Who am I kidding?!! That was just an excuse to see it myself. Captain America was one of my favorites as a child and even though I enjoyed the movie I kept thinking, this would be so much easier if he just used all of the Avengers instead of doing this alone.

A few days passed and the movie stuck with me but I couldn’t help drawing similarities to what we do for managed service or RPO implementations. In a managed services or contingent workforce management program implementation, the implementation manager is a critical part of the project, but behind the scenes is a team working hard to make it a success. Like the Avengers, sometimes it takes more than one superhero to save the day.

By no means are we superheroes, but implementations often take a team in order to achieve the desired success. We often use our implementation managers as the lead or face of implementation but behind the scenes there’s a whole team at work. Each role is critical and helps balance the many moving parts of an implementation from requirement gathering to design to documentation and training to launch support and transition. Doesn’t sound like much, but I assure you it is.

The implementation team is usually a company’s first experience with their service provider. This makes it extremely important for companies to not only look at the service you are buying but who you are buying it from. Of course you want a great implementation manager, but you also want a great team behind them. A company will find that the implementation team will be a reflection of the company and service that you are buying. You don’t want just one superhero, you want the Avengers.

One superhero can be great to have around but I don’t think any of us would argue that having a team of superheroes would be even better. Yes, like the Avengers. Assembling a strong project team could be the difference between getting by and having a best-in-class solution. This peace of mind comes from having team members who are experts in their given work stream and execute on their given tasks. For example, here’s how I would assemble the team:

Implementation Manager – Captain America

  • This person will lead the efforts and keep the team on track

Solution Design Manager - Iron Man

  • Who doesn’t want Tony Stark to gather requirements and design a solution?

Business Analyst – Hulk

  • “Smash” through data… a stretch, but work with me here. Plus Bruce Banner is pretty smart

Training and Communications - Thor

  • Someone with “universal” experience to translate messaging to the right audience and train users on the program

Quality / Operational Delivery – S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • This is the cast behind the scenes who work on all many of the remaining items to help deliver a project during transition.

Granted these parallels are a stretch but fun nonetheless. It still demonstrates the point that a larger team can definitely contribute to greater success. It is not unusual for companies to focus solely on the implementation process or who the implementation manager is and what experience they have. This is still very important, but few times do people ask about the team and how they contribute to that process. We have seen the impact of a quality team and the results they can produce during an implementation.

If you are in the market for a managed service, RPO or contingent workforce solution, implementation is always a key component to your decision. When researching the right solution and provider make sure to look beyond the implementation process and the implementation manager. Ask them to provide insight into the team and how they operate. Make sure you are getting the Avengers and not just Captain America. What other superheroes would you add to your project team?

Lou Panico is senior director of customer integrations for Yoh. That means he has implemented a lot of managed staffing programs over the years and could tell you stories.

Topics: RPO, Contingent Workforce Management

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