I'm a new manager, brought in from the outside, to manage a group of technical people who are all part of an outsourced organization.

Their company, based in India, is contracted to manage our systems 24x7x365. They have implemented an onshore/offshore model with a host of established ITIL processes.

Now, my "staff" doesn't report to me directly. They report to an outsourced team lead. They do keep me updated on all situations, but I don't directly manage them. There's no need for 1:1s, staff meetings, career development, mentoring, training, etc.. In fact, the

Where can I find helpful information about managing in an environment such as this?

Thanks in advance.


AManagerTool's picture

I have yet to find a single source of information such as this. Although, I think that you have come to one of the right places.

I am currently involved with building a new organization that "manages" contract resources such as this.

I disagree with the assertion that you don't need to manage the "Staff". Almost every outsourced department in my organization (there are tons of them) has severe problems precisely because there is NO management of those resources.

I would look at your job as being more of a contract manager than one responsible for the outsourced staff. You are there to ensure that YOUR companies needs are being met through the relationship. Your management should consist of 1v1's, staff meetings and feedback with those team leads. You should probably leave off the career management of those resources. That's your team leads job.

US41's picture

You are not a people manager in this situation. You are a vendor manager. Vendor management is fairly different. Think of yourself as the man who is responsible for managing the general contractor of a construction site. Your job is not to meet with everyone at the job site. Your job is to meet with the project manager about schedule, scope, cost, and status on all of the projects assigned. If any misbehavior comes out of that team or any solid accomplishments, give the project manager (the team lead) the feedback to pass along.

Any time your company hires another company to do something for you, whether it is software development or janitorial services, you deal with the representative of the company - you do NOT try to be a people manager to the folks that they hired to do their work for them. That's their problem.

Your job is to make it their problem.

AManagerTool's picture

HEY I just said that!

Of course, you said it better....

RMartinez's picture

Ok, so I do not manage the people, I manage the manager of the people.

I should conduct meetings, but with the team lead instead of the team. Now, since there is only one team lead, it will also be a weekly 1:1 and staff meeting consolidated into one.

The odd thing is that I feel like I am not adding value.

AManagerTool's picture

The value you add is to your organization who hired these contractors to perfrom a service. The value you add is that service. The credit that they deserve is the same credit that you deserve....good or bad.

Management = Getting results through others (even contractors) = Value

RMartinez's picture

I guess none of the tools on this site apply then, because I'm not [u]really[/u] managing anyone. I'm managing an entity, a contract, a service deliverable.

Can you direct me to a good website like this where I can find information about how to manage vendors?

Is there anything out there like "Managers Tools" for people that manage outsourced organizations?

Thanks again.


US41's picture

The tools on this site are applicable to your situation. There is more to this site than just the basics of people management. For one on ones, you can meet daily to review individual project status is issues. You can ask the team lead to host a weekly meeting where he reels in the individual leads under him to speak to their projects and any obstacles or accomplishments.

I think the assumption would be that you would have more than one vendor working for you if you are a vendor manager.

Or, you also have the option of telling the vendor you want to contact the individual project managers themselves rather than a single face-man.

You are the customer. You tell them how you want it set up and what reporting and access you want.

But feedback works with people who work for you - that includes vendors. I don't know so much about coaching, but O3's are certainly valuable. Delegation seems appropriate. Hot washes are good.

I think this site contains quite a few tools for you to call upon to leverage your situation.

If I were you, I would start contacting other vendors for bids and review contracts for weaknesses. I would want stronger contracts in the future that have accountability and discounts for missing dates or poor performance built in. I would want to ensure that I provided my company with the best vendor relationship manager I could be.

adityars's picture

I have some advice for you from my experience of being a Project Manager of a team that supports clients who outsource work

[b]Building a relationship[/b]
One of the first investment you can make is in building a relationship with your partner (O3). Having regular meetings with the entire team understanding their challenges in working with your organization and providing them practical help. Many a times you can help them only if you move things back in your office.

[b]Positive and Adjusting Feedback[/b]
As suggested in the feedback cast, giving positive or adjusting feedback means a lot to the partner team. For the partner team you are the client, anything that comes from you is taken very seriously.

[b]Being an Evangelist[/b]
You can be an evangelist of your partner in your organization, if the team is really delivering value by reducing your cost and delivering the quality you expect of them you should help them find more opportunists and help them grow. This will help your career as you are reducing the cost for your company and delivering grater value.


yazminbarajas's picture

Managing an outsourced organization is not that easy especially when you outsource offshore because you cannot actually see them you can just contact them or have a communication to them via online means so this will be very challenging for the one who will manange. It is best to arrange a plan and processes so that the things and the tasks will be very organized.


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