Quick tips to handle soft issues during transition

TipsSoft issues – like communication and cross cultural issues – are the most overlooked and hardest ones to deal while transitioning the services to an offshore IT service provider. These issues create communication challenges, breeds misunderstanding/mistrust, increases the overall risk level and jeopardize the entire engagement.

Here are few quick tips to effectively deal with these issues:

  • Cultural training
    • Arrange cross cultural training for both vendor and customer teams. This should be done in the initial stages of the transition itself to lessen the risk and reap more benefits.
  • Right team mix
    • Transition phase has huge learning curve and is a heavy pulling exercise. The team need to have more heavy weights(read senior persons with the right skills) to ensure smooth sailing in this phase.
    • Availability of the business analyst as part of the team is a must at this stage of the project.
    • Apart from the technical skillsets, ensure the team has people that have prior transition experience. At the manager and tech lead levels, people need to have international experience and direct customer facing experiece.
  • Team building
    • Conduct regular team building activities to foster better understanding, open communication and working relationship. Most of the transition engagements have varied degree of hostility from the incumbent team. Open communication of the future plans and team building measures would help to reduce “they vs Us” and help to build effective and unified “one team”.
  • Focus on knowledge management
    • Encourage more documentation and better knowledge management practices
  • Perform reviews diligently
    • Ensure review/inspection is done regularly at each stage of the transition
  • Make it interactive
    • Don’t make the transition a one way street where the incumbent team is the only one sharing knowledge. Encourage the tranistion-in team to share their learnings at regular intervals to gauge how effective the learning process is. These playback sessions may include the transition-in team making a presentation explaining the application, business processes and flows, use cases, operations etc. The team can use PPT’s and/or walkthrough the application screens/reports/data objects during the presentation to make it more useful and effective.

2 Responses to “Quick tips to handle soft issues during transition”

  1. 1 Kesavan July 14, 2009 at 4:39 am

    As there will be genuine concern from incumbent team like losing job, it is important to involve the entire team from the begining to get their full support for the transition process. It is much better if alternate positions are identified up front to lower the anxiety levels and make the incumbent team comfortable in sharing the knowledge.

  2. 2 Dhandapani Ammasai July 14, 2009 at 4:49 am

    If suitable altervative positions are given to the incumbent team within the organization, it greatly helps to boost the morale of the incumbant team, lessens their anxiety levels and improves participation levels. It greats a win-win situation for the both the transition-in and transition-out team thus minimizing the risks and helping higher success ratio.

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© Dhandapani Ammasai, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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