A Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model can mean very different things depending on the situation. It could be a scenario where a Client outsources a function or parts of a function to a Partner, or for example, where a Client want to set up a new location (domestic or abroad) but first want to do this through a Partner before building up own capability and taking on full responsibility.
In our experience, one of the key success factors that make a BOT undertaking successful for the Client is that the new Partner is fully integrated with the Client company, its values, company culture and ways of working. Another requirement is the steady and controlled transition back to the Client which includes continuous training and support to ensure a successful handover once the time comes.
During the Build phase it is imperative to get it right from the start, hence you would be looking for a Partner that makes a good fit with your company culture as you want them closely integrated with your company from the start. Depending on the scenario, you might want the Partner to work from your location or set up a new office. Furthermore, you probably have requirements on staffing, partner resources as well as ramp-up times to be operational and deliver on set requirements. In either case, please consider from start what SLAs and KPIs that are relevant for your organization to measure against depending on scenario and make sure to contract these from start.
While during the Operate phase, you want your Partner to manage the operations as smooth as possible while at the same time documenting all processes and ways of working, support with recruitment of your new staff and make sure everyone is well trained in the new processes. Again, getting the right SLAs and KPIs in place along with a solid Governance structure with your Partner will be crucial for the success of this phase.
When it comes time to Transfer back the services to the Client, please consider having the team closely integrated with the Client organization form start will facilitate the transfer phase considerably with regards to company culture, value alignment etc. HR plays an important part here of course and so does finding mechanisms and making sure that the team stays on also after transition (retention KPIs etc.). This stage is often done in phases to limit business disruption and where you want your Partner to stay on and gradually be phased out while providing coaching and support as needed throughout this phase.
A key to every successful service delivery is expectation management and in this case through well-defined and measurable SLAs and KPIs for each phase of the BOT-undertaking. Equally, a well-defined Governance structure and transparent communication will set the foundation for a well working partnership together. Because, after all, a BOT-undertaking is a close cooperation with a Partner that will become an integrated part of your business.
So, to answer the question, To BOT or not to BOT? – Of course, it’s a great way to reach a wanted result or outcome quickly while building up your own capability in parallel. However, make sure you have all the angles covered. Checker Consulting has a long and well proven experience in both guiding our Clients as well as setting up and implementing BOT-arrangements ourselves. Please reach out to us for a discussion on how we can support you in the best way to make your BOT project a success!