It\u2019s unfortunate, but many companies think once the outsourcing deal is signed, the work is done. Ah, but only if it were. In fact, the perfect parallel to this faulty logic is to think that once the wedding day has wrapped, the work is done (okay all ye who have married, you can stop snickering). Truth is, the work has only just begun.But one of the most difficult challenges companies face is that of managing their outsourcing relationships. \u00a0First, there\u2019s the transition. If you\u2019re turning over the keys to your data center, it is going to take some time for employees to move on (hopefully, for their sakes, to other, more pressing tasks within your organization). The outsourcing folk will need to be briefed and updated and groomed to your liking. Once that\u2019s done, you\u2019ll need to determine how outsourcing that function impacts all your other business processes.\u00a0 Someone else is running your data center, so what do your application developers need to differently?And there\u2019s more. You\u2019ll need to set up a service-level agreement and establish ways to determine whether or not your outsourcer is meeting those levels. You\u2019ll need to continually evaluate the services levels and the agreement. Then, of course, you\u2019ll need to regularly check in on just how healthy the outsourcing relationship you\u2019ve signed up for really is to your overall business. There\u2019s lots of ways to do this, but do do it. If you\u2019d like some guidance, why not take a relationship survey? Er, a what?Just recently, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) introduced a\u00a0diagnostic tool that\u2019s designed to help companies measure the health of their outsourcing relationships. Called the Value Health Check Survey (VHCS), the tool walks companies through a survey asking them to prioritize statements in five areas that are vital to optimizing business value in outsourcing: financial performance, service quality, capabilities, risk and compliance, and governance.Then, the tool compiles the results in order to show companies the key drivers and trends that are influencing the value they are deriving from outsourcing, and also how their relationships compare to their peer groups. In a news release, IAOP chairman Michael Corbett likened the VHCS to a regular medical checkup, and it shouldn\u2019t take much longer than a doctor\u2019s visit. The survey is designed to take about an hour (really, is an hour asking too much? It is your relationship we\u2019re talking about here). The results can be available in several weeks, according to the IAOP. The survey is being offered as a new service to IAOP members as a benefit or with discounts, depending on membership level, and is also available for purchase to non-members.So, what all do you do to invest in and improve the health\u2014and business value\u2014of your outsourcing relationship?