Yet again another article, well two actually, on Outsourcing (Computer Weekly 10 July 2007) and neither mention a key ingredient to the success in negotiating and managing outsource agreements, namely the Contract Manager.
Andy Troder in his piece (Recognise what you bring to the deal) mentions the use of Lawyers and HR, but makes no reference to the contract professional. It is not uncommon for the terms and conditions of an outsourcing arrangement to exceed 1,000 pages, however only 10–15% of the contract is ‘pure’ law that you need the lawyer for and typically less than 5% of the same covers HR / TUPE issues, yet the remaining 80% or so of the contract concerns the ‘meat in the sandwich’ i.e. the business terms, the scope of the services to be provided, the service levels etc.
Contract Managers are naturally commercially minded; they understand change and are a better conduit into the technical community than lawyers which results in a better understanding of the technical solution. City lawyers are currently bragging about their fees breaking through the £1,000 per hour ceiling, an amount you could hire in a solid contract management consultant for to provide his expertise for an entire day.
Paul Carter Hemlin
Director – Blake Newport