Last month I wrote about 13 game changers for successful outsourcing relationships. Today, I want to emphasize the importance for game changer No.1 \u2013 alignment with the organization's strategy.\nAlthough well thought upfront, the alignment of an organization\u2019s strategy with its decision to outsource tends to be focused on short-term attainment of the organization\u2019s bottom line and cost reduction targets.\nHowever, there are seven steps an organization may wish to follow to ensure the alignment with its strategy materializes after the organization decides to outsource:\nStep 1 \u2013 strategy is much more than brainstorming: a recent article published on the Harvard Business Review by Ken Favaro from consulting firm Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) clearly defines three types of strategies for an organization:\n\nCorporate strategy - related to the organization\u2019s capabilities, competitive advantages and business it is in.\nBusiness unit strategy - related to target markets, products and services provided to its clients.\nImplementation strategy - consists of all of the decision and activities an organization needs to execute in order to achieve the organization\u2019s corporate and business units strategies.\n\nWhen an organization is able to align all of the elements above, outsourcing makes more sense. As a reference, there are great books out there like the well-known and celebrated Good to Great from Jim Collins in which real examples of organizations being able to turn dreams into reality are provided.\nStep 2 \u2013 are quick wins achievable? Having quick wins mapped and well executed will definitely boost the organization\u2019s confidence throughout all of its strategic decisions and milestones. Like in any change, having reassurance of the organization\u2019s strategic decisions materialized into outcomes will help to generate the much needed momentum and stamina required in order to promote a complex change like outsourcing. Therefore, quick wins should be a top priority within the first 90 days.\nStep 3 \u2013 are lessons learned being leveraged? Throughout a complex change like outsourcing, an organization may make mistakes along the way. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, a suggestion is to turn those into effective lessons for the organization\u2019s team \u2013 as you want to continue to generate momentum and demonstrate support throughout the entire sourcing lifecycle. Another benefit is the \u201cbond\u201d it generates within the organization\u2019s team involved. If an organization is able to quickly address\/resolve issues, the benefits of outsourcing tend to be visible in spite of any challenges.\nStep 4 \u2013 are you tracking progress and promoting adjustments in a timely manner? Changes to an original plan might be required in order to attain the desirable outcomes. Organizations may face the challenge on what is their real progress within their strategy \u2013 and whether or not their initial timeline still holds. In case it does not, a potential reassessment of the timelines adjustments against benefits and risks might be useful to determine the net impact of any changes required. Most importantly, an organization should have a clear guideline for risk management. For example, if an organization\u2019s business unit strategy is poorly managed and somewhat contrary to outsourcing, it will be very hard to manage\/attain success.\nStep 5 \u2013 are you attaining the desirable outcomes for the organization? Another consideration is to be clear about the outcomes managed to date and consider if those are representative of the organization\u2019s strategy. Although time consuming, one should ensure that things such as the organization\u2019s vision\/values as well as costs are accounted for. Furthermore, organizations should not underestimate what it takes to make outsourcing a successful value proposition, and manage expectations within their teams and accordingly.\nStep 6 \u2013 are you monitoring external factors related to your decision? In today\u2019s global economy, organizations should be monitoring potential external factors that may impact their decision to outsource. For example, currency risks and inflation levels on developing countries where service providers have delivery centers. Although indirectly related, external factors can lead to reputational risks, which may impact to the organization\u2019s brand and strategy. Once the outsourcing agreement is in place, the ongoing monitoring of those external factors should continue.\nStep 7 \u2013 are you ready to execute?\u00a0 The right balance between a company\u2019s vision and reality should be attained in order to succeed. Organizations that do not have the right approach to manage such a complex change tend to suffer the consequences of a poorly managed implementation strategy. Furthermore, it will lead to a misconception that outsourcing does not suit the organization's corporate and business strategies. Although it is hard to be in that position, a turnaround is achievable so long as the above steps are being considered going forward.\nAt the end of day, you are not alone if you thought outsourcing is harder than it looks. The above steps are outsourcing enablers, as those can let you assess the outsourcing alignment with the organization\u2019s strategy.\nLastly, for those interested to know more about the latest trends in the marketplace, The Outsourcing Institute is hosting its well known Wall St Technology Conference in NYC on June 2, 2015. Below are some of the reasons why you may want to consider attending this years\u2019 conference:\n\nThe event is free for outsourcing buyers\nThe conference\u2019s agenda covers all of the hot topics in today\u2019s marketplace\nThe conference is only a day\u2019s commitment \u2013 the value you will get for a single day is well worth the time\nThe amazing opportunity to network with colleagues within the industry\n\nFurther details can be found at The Outsourcing Institute site. \u00a0As I am personally involved with the Outsourcing Institute and part of this year\u2019s conference advisory board, I look forward to seeing some of you there.