Our lives are becoming increasingly complex in today’s hyper-connected and technology-driven environment. This is true as we try to execute on our strategic plans for any outsourcing of training projects.

You can compare today’s organizational challenges to a bluegrass jam session. The musicians are there for a common goal just as an assembled outsourcing project team.

Everyone in a jam session has a dual role. First, the jam member supports the singer with their instruments and vocals. Second, the musician performs a solo when called upon at the appropriate time in the song.

Outsourcing project team members also have dual roles, such as project team contributor and a departmental representative from their respective department. In order to demonstrate the similarities further, let’s think of the “five C’s” in the process: coordination, cooperation, collaboration, compromise and compliance.

These five C’ also follow a proposed sequential order in order to achieve process efficiency:

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Coordination: Just as in a jam session, it is the jam leader’s responsibility to coordinate with potential jam mates for the song. Who will participate in the jam? Who will sit out the song? Does the song call for all musicians to participate?

In an outsourcing project, a training professional should coordinate all the appropriate groups, such as legal, finance, IT and of course, procurement. Failure to identify the proper stakeholders may sabotage the successful outcome of the project by omitting a key group that may be impacted by the project outcome.

Cooperation: Once the jam members have been selected, the musicians cooperate in order to support the singer (leader) for the song. Timing is also an important consideration for a successful outcome. A musician that performs their solos late will impact the rhythm of the song.

The training professional should seek cooperation from key stakeholders for the common objective.  Again, timing should be a considered in order to allow for sufficient due diligence (cooperation).

Collaboration: There is a lot of confusion that cooperation and collaboration are the same, when in fact, they are not. You can be cooperating by fulfilling a particular request or activity. For example, when you are notified for a tax audit, you cooperate with the request. A collaborative effort requires a deeper commitment to all parties involved to “truly own the outcome”.

In a jam setting, collaboration occurs when all of the musicians “own the outcome,” and in this case, it’s the performance of the song.

In an organization, successful outcomes consist of teams that are engaged and realize the importance of the project. For example, an outsourcing project that may untimely reduce an organization’s risk would have the full support of the legal and compliance departments.

Compromise: In a jam, the musicians comprise on the performance musical solo sequences.  A musician may even choose to pass, if not ready to perform their solo.

No organization has unlimited resources, as such, the compromise process seeks the most successful outcomes balanced against organizational constraints such as budgets.

Compliance: All of the individual elements of a jam or outsourcing project should comply with the original objectives of the song and project.

In a jam, everyone starts together and musicians perform their solos in the previously agreed upon sequence.

The same objectives hold for the outsourcing team. Did the team achieve its established objectives? Was the correct supplier selected? Did the project meet the timelines and fulfill all work requirements?