Best Practice Group

Do You Want To Make Your Strategic Vendor Partnerships Work?

71% of projects involving strategic vendors in IT, outsourcing, or shared services are delivered at double the budget and timescale. The information in this blog can help to prevent such outcomes.

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  • Improve the performance of your strategic vendor/partner
  • Get into new strategic partnerships faster and at a lower cost, but with higher levels of service outcomes
  • Build trust with your partners to drive innovation and lower costs in service delivery

Intelligent Supplier – Supporting Your Objectives (Series: 2 of 9)


Any successful complex service delivery relationship requires both sides to consistently act in the best interests of the relationship – a collaboration between ‘intelligent clients’ and ‘intelligent suppliers’. However, in our experience, backed up by numerous independent reports on the state of the market, the majority of all client/supplier relationships for complex services do unfortunately fail. We have written many articles on the attributes of an ‘Intelligent Client’. This series

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Intelligent Supplier – Understanding Your Business Strategy (Series: 1 of 9)


This article is the first of a series of nine articles dedicated to your Strategic Partner in a complex service delivery relationship: the subject of the ‘Intelligent Supplier’. Both the mindset and behaviour of your Supplier are critical to their ability to drive maximum value over the lifecycle of your relationship. With this in mind, in our experience of working with over 500 strategic supplier relationships, and our research into

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Drafting Good Behaviour into Fit-for-Purpose Contracts

good behaviour

Welcome back to our two-part series on the whys and wherefores of developing a fit-for-purpose contract. In our last instalment, we considered the foundations of why a fit-for-purpose contract is so important. It focused on the reasons why the extra time and effort to create one helps to cut the cost of services, improve the chances of achieving your objectives and reduce management time in your supplier relationships. It also

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5 Foundations To A Fit For Purpose Contract To Drive Collaborative Behaviours

What is a ‘fit for purpose contract’? And how can it really drive collaborative behaviour? When it comes to complex service delivery relationships, the aim of a fit for purpose contract is for it to provide the operating foundations to drive ‘enabling’ behaviours between client and supplier. The ultimate objective of the contract is to aid a client in their efforts to achieve a defined ‘Future State’ of service operations

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7 Reasons Why You Should Renegotiate Your Outsourcing Relationship


Outsourcing contract renegotiations are on the rise. Around 75% of all existing outsourcing relationships are renegotiated at some point during their lifetime according to Gartner Research.  And contrary to what you might think, not all of these renegotiations are down to bad performance — contracts can be renegotiated for many positive reasons. Not only that, but contract renegotiation can be triggered either by the service provider or the client. The

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10 Contract Management Tips To Drive Success In Major Projects

Contract Management

Many of our blogs refer to the importance of not only entering larger contracts in the right way but also the equal, if not greater, the importance of managing these contracts and the providers they are with, once they are in place. All too often, once signed, a contract will be consigned to a dusty shelf in a back-office filing room, forgotten, for all intents and purposes, only to be

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5 steps to make your KPIs smarter to achieve your business outcomes

Graph and personage on white background.

I know I speak for all of us when I say that delivering business outcomes using external outsourcing or technology partners is really easy… Isn’t it? After all, you simply need to explain to your provider what you want to achieve, point them in the right direction and leave them to get on with it. Right? Err… maybe in an ideal world, but, as we all know, the reality of

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9 Steps To Transition From Single Supplier To Multi-Supplier Outsourcing

Steersman on puzzle

An increasing number of organisations and institutions are exploring the benefits of moving from their large single-supplier outsourcing relationships to the multi-supplier variety. Gavin Hall has outlined that in his experience, which reflects our own, the enhanced value and specialist expertise, such as Cloud services, have strong evidence for such a move, but you need to have clear business reasons and understand the implications for all parties of such a move

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8 Questions to Determine the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

8 Questions to Define the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

To promote better productivity through more collaborative problem-solving it would be useful to shift perspectives in the outsourcing arena, so that when things go wrong people recognise that it’s not always the other person’s fault. Often issues are multifaceted, and the longer that they are allowed to build up, the more difficult it can be to establish the root cause of the problem – usually a good place to start

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Outcome-Based Pricing Model in Strategic Service Delivery

quantifying outcomes

While the theory behind outcome-based pricing models is nothing new, the penchant for establishing relationships specifically based on driving true added value is certainly growing in popularity with both vendors and clients. The reasons for this are simple. With suppliers utilising their own resources and best practices, they have an opportunity to (a) bring some much needed fresh thinking to client service delivery innovation and options, (b) reduce the on-going

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Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Last week we revealed how all too many cloud computing contracts (and more specifically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) agreements) result in completely unacceptable outcomes for the buying organisation. The key issue is typically a fatal misalignment between the buyer’s desired business outcomes and the terms of the agreement. You expect a system that can fulfill your specific business outcomes, but the vendor is tasked with providing infrastructure. That in itself

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Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Procurement Fails

Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service Procurement Fails

We all know that cloud computing is becoming more and more relevant to public and private organisations. For most enterprises, the potential cost savings of moving infrastructure to the cloud are too big to ignore. However, as a relatively new form of outsourcing, cloud computing is not without its potential pitfalls. This is especially the case when it comes to procuring Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Many companies have found

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NAO’s Report on Transition and Termination Issues in Commercial Contracts

transition termination contract

This is the final article in a series of seven that reviewed the twenty issues highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO) in their latest report on emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. Our articles have grouped these issues under the same seven headings as the NAO report – Commercial Strategy, Commercial Capability, Market Management and Sourcing, Contract Approach, Contract Management, Contract Lifecycle, and Transition and Termination. This

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Strategic Partnership Collaboration – 10 Lessons To Get What You Want

Benefits of Collaboration

One of the imperatives of modern service delivery is to partner with people who can do things for you better and more cost effectively than you can do them yourself. The public and private sectors are using more innovative forms of governance and management through partnerships with others,  yet, research shows that high numbers (nearly 50% in fact) of strategic partnerships fail to achieve their objectives. Why is this? Having

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Early Stage Contract Lifecycle Issues brought to light by the NAO Emerging Best Practices Report

contract start

Contract Lifecycle is the sixth article in our series of seven covering the key principles highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO) in its report on emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. 140 projects were reviewed in its production; practitioners and stakeholders offered their views in discussions, interviews and workshops, and the end result is a well considered and insightful read, should you choose to do so. We

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How to Renegotiate a Contract with Your Strategic Partner (in 5 Steps)

outsourcing renegotiation

There are many reasons as to why one would want to renegotiate a contract with their strategic partner but the thought of the uphill challenge puts many off. In this week’s blog, we will offer up tips for a positive resolution with the kind assistance of David Barrett from PROCURiSOURCE. By following the below steps you can effectively renegotiate an existing contract with a strategic partner in such a way

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Contract Management Issues & Emerging Best Practice – NAO Report

contract management

The National Audit Office’s 2016 report on commercial and contract management in the public sector offers up a ‘gold mine’ of useful information for organisations across the public-private spectrum. Its segmentation of all the issues they identified into seven key principles offers an excellent overview of weaknesses that all companies suffer from to some degree, which is why we have dedicated an article to each. This being the fifth in

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Outsourcing: 5 Mistakes You Must Avoid Before Choosing a Provider

Outsourcing Mistakes

Outsourcing is a tempting proposition for any company that feels the strain of a bloated workforce and high service delivery costs. After all, the theoretical arguments in favour of outsourcing are compelling – you leverage the expertise of an external party, who are better qualified to deliver a more efficient (and less costly) service. Unfortunately, a theoretical benefit does not always translate well into reality. At Best Practice Group, we

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Intelligent Client Function: The 8 best team skills to drive maximum value in complex vendor relationships

2013-08-19 Intelligent Capability - 160 x 216

This will not come as a surprise to many out there, but complex vendor relationships are, well, complex in nature and, therefore, will naturally be difficult to manage. If you have ever been involved in a sizeable client/vendor relationship that starts to veer out of control, you’ll know how difficult it can be for all parties to recover lost commercial trust and confidence. This is why it is so vitally

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Contract Approach: NAO Insights & Emerging Best Practices

Contract Management

If you are looking for ways in which to improve your commercial and contract management, then you are in good company. The National Audit Office (NAO) has spent years reviewing the public sector market to identify where weaknesses in processes and implementation exist with the aim of creating a more robust and widely adopted practice to improve performance, value for money, and the potential for outcome achievement. This research culminated

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