Launching a first-generation MSP successfully, Part 3: Managing Your MSP Program

This article is the final installment of a three-part series where we examine how to successfully launch a first-generation MSP program to manage various sources of talent in your organization.

In part one, we examined how to select the right MSP partner and the importance of determining desired outcomes. In part two, we looked at how to implement the MSP program.

In this final installment, we’ll go through how to manage and improve the program once it goes live:

1. Manage change proactively. Implementing a first-generation MSP includes a lot of moving parts, project teams and a significant investment of time and resources. A successful program will pay for itself in the long run, but there will likely be some bumps and bruises when you’re first getting the project underway.

Your MSP partner should have a clearly defined change management lifecycle approach that works to gain acceptance and commitment for long term success. Communication is key to build understanding and program adoption. This includes not just internal contacts – hiring managers, stakeholders, executives – but also external contacts,like staffing vendors/suppliers and your non-employee workforce.

2. Structure and control communication. While communication and the appropriate dissemination of information are critical to successfully managing change,it is imperative to work with your MSP to define a communication matrix that controls both the messaging and timing of information. Sharing too much information too early or with the wrong groups can have a negative impact.

For example, a vendor approaching an executive to ask about the new MSP before she knows anything about it, or a vendor having a contract termination notice go out before a transition plan is in place, are examples of how sharing information with the wrong group at the wrong time can impede program implementation.

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3. Adoption & continuous improvement. The MSP launch – or go-live – is not the end of change management, it’s only the beginning. Continued support and sponsorship from executives and senior leadership is critical. In addition to these teams mandating the program from the top down, and sharing the achieved successes across the organization to increase adoption, your MSP partner should also be working from the bottom up.

Winning the hearts and minds of each end user throughout the process with a high-touch, white glove approach that changes perceptions in the organization is also key. Escalations will happen. Pushback is inevitable. There are individuals and groups in every organization that are resistant to change. It will take extra time and effort to convince these team members of the benefits of the MSP, and many of them may never fully buy into the initiative.

But don’t allow detractors to cause bad decisions that could easily undo the work you put in during implementation. Follow the roadmap and allow time for the program to work through stages, win over detractors and adapt through the company culture. It is important to stay the course and adjust where needed to realize the full benefits and maturity of your MSP program.

An MSP offers many benefits to companies that utilize alternative workforces, including cost savings, workforce compliance and risk mitigation, supply chain efficiency, access to top talent, flexibility and scalability, just to name a few. While the thought of implementing such a program may intimidate some talent leaders, the fact that 68% of all MSP contracts are first generation launches shows how accessible an MSP program really is for any organization.With the proper planning and consideration, any company can start the down the path towards effectively managing their total talent with the right MSP partner.

Melissa Gaitten

Melissa Gaitten
Melissa Gaitten is VP, integrated MSP at Randstad Sourceright.

Melissa Gaitten

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