Launching a first-generation MSP successfully Part 2: Implementing Your MSP Program

In part one of this series on launching a successful first-generation MSP program, I examined how to select the right MSP partner and vendor management system and the importance of setting your desired outcomes upfront.

Here, I look at how to implement the program, including how to use data to manage the program, assembling your project team and the importance of getting buy-in across the organization.

Once your MSP partner is in place, and the scope of the project is determined, it is important to plan for the future and put your team in place:

1. Develop a future state roadmap. While defining what’s in scope for your program is an important step, establishing a roadmap of future enhancements is equally as important. The benefits of an MSP increase as more services are rolled into the program; however,trying to tackle everything you want to be in scope all at once could weaken your ability to manage change across the organization.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and this road map should be customized specifically for your organization. Your MSP partner should be able to work with you to clearly map recommended phases to your program based on your drivers, current state and adoption.

This can range from decisions about the inclusion and timing for expanding outside of the U.S., management of 1099’s, incorporating modules to manage statement of work (SOW)/services procurement, leveraging a Freelance Management System (FMS), direct hire under the MSP,and even considering the current trend of blending MSP and RPO services into a single program (which makes up 12% of all MSPs).

2. Explore your current state. One of first tasks – after consulting, selecting and contracting with your MSP – will likely be an in-depth discovery session and implementation kick off to determine who owns what tasks.

While your MSP will project plan and pick up a lot of heavy lifting, there will be tasks, especially around the gathering and reporting of data, which will be an important step for your organization.

Some of this data will be core to your business, i.e., hierarchy, cost centers, department or billing information, and other information that is likely tracked in another system already. However, other data like tracking your staffing vendors, contracts or active contingent workers and consultants in each department, is something some companies may not have readily available.

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The MSP will help to gather detailed information on workers and engage directly with vendors, so knowing who all your vendors are and the points of contact for each can help accelerate your project timeline. And you will also need to leverage other resources, as follows:

  • IT will likely have lists of workers that are tagged as non-employees that have system access.
  • AP should be able to pull what vendors are being paid.
  • Legal or supply chain will have insights on vendor contracts.

3. Assemble your team. Implementing a MSP successfully requires the involvement of resources across the organization, including those from different departments with their own projects and priorities.

Bringing these resources into the fold early in the process for proper planning and resourcing will aid in program adoption and overall project success.

Your project team will likely look like this, with the factors impacting your core and extended project team being driven by the overall solution design.

If you determine with your MSP partner that integrations are in in scope for your HRIS (Workday/ADP/SuccessFactors) or your ERP (NetSuite, SAP, Oracle), resources from your IT, Finance and HRIS teams become more critical.

4. Executive sponsorship. HR and other human capital procurement executives must win buy-in across the organization, especially from senior leadership, when adopting an MSP.

This can be achieved by defining and sharing the key drivers and expected outcomes of implementing this type of program (which we discussed in part 1 [link]).

Tying these to the overall goals of the organization and their departments’ objectives will help garner this essential support. Having this support and understanding from executives from the beginning will make the program more successful in both the short term and long run.

In part three of this series, I’ll examine how to successfully manage your MSP program after launch.

Melissa Gaitten

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

Melissa Gaitten

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