Developing a strategy for an integrated blended workforce solution can often be a challenging proposition, and even more daunting to execute. However, if your approach incorporates some key building blocks and a trusted strategic partner, then what once appeared to be challenging can quickly become an exciting opportunity. According to recent research from Aberdeen Group, top concerns for implementing a blended workforce approach include collaboration among key internal units (54 percent), followed by the definition of a formal strategy (48 percent) and the automation of key processes (43 percent). Often we hear that the focus should be on people, process and technology; and while those are important elements to a successful strategy, there are additional — some would say more vital — considerations fora truly successful strategy.
These considerations include various objectives, such as:
- a defined roadmap that is consistent, yet flexible enough, to account for evolving needs and demands of the business;
- a governance model that operates over multiple work streams and is guided by executive management oversight and direction;
- a concise communication plan that proactively meets in advance with champions from the user community and asks as many questions as it does inform;
- a delivery model that meets the talent demand of today, while also being able to accommodate the future initiatives of the business;
- and support by a proper pricing model to ensure solvency, stability, scalability and maturity.
Innovation often comes from gradual improvements, so designing a roadmap that incorporates mechanisms by which initiatives, ideas and input can be received, recorded and applied is important to the growth of your solution. Having a governance model that is directed by executive management in your strategy provides the mechanism that can drive innovation and allows for the adaptability and adoption through the work streams it affects.
Integrating a blended workforce is a process that will be unique to your organization, so gaining perspectives from your user community is critical to its success. How you acquire, utilize and deploy talent is at the core of how your company progresses. Imperative in facilitating this is a concise and clear communication plan that takes into account change management and its effects on the business process, which also identifies expectations and benefits for those who will be impacted. It is important not to assume that policy and procedures are simply understood. Gaining perspectives and insight from key stakeholders will not only help tailor the messaging, but also emphasize the content that will resonate with the user community.
How the strategy is realized and delivered is vital to its success. Important to the delivery model is its ability to scale and mature. Delivering a blended workforce solution requires a vehicle that standardizes, integrates, optimizes and is easy to use. Take into account the overarching theme of the solution: to have an ability to efficiently identify, utilize and deploy the best talent at the right time. Based on these requirements, it is then important to design your delivery model in a way that incorporates automation– which is only part of the solution — with process and facilitation. Understanding what can be automated in your solution, and what requires manual intervention and overview, is the basis of how your delivery model should be designed. Ensure that those manual and automated intersects are seamless to the end user in the overall delivery.
Finally, what is often scrutinized most when designing a blended workforce model is the pricing component. While this is obviously an important element to all aspects, it is often measured against variables that are not specific to the unique needs and requirements of each organization. Comparable service offerings can be easily measured and identified, and when segmenting out services, compare apples to apples.
When approaching an undertaking such as an integrated blended workforce solution, it is important to understand that it is the sum of the parts that needs to be considered. Since this truly is a comprehensive and long-term solution that will evolve and adapt to the needs and business goals of the organization and changes in the market, it requires methodology that moves away from a tactical philosophy and reflects a consultative design and an adaptive delivery.