You Did It! Now: Debriefing and Transitioning after a Renegotiation

Spend Matters would like to welcome a guest post from Vantage Partners. See previous posts in this series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

  • It's tempting to... hurry up and move on
  • But think about... capturing some lessons for next time, and carefully transitioning

Debriefing the renegotiation process
After a difficult renegotiation process, the last thing any¬one wants to do is a post-mortem analysis. Rather than dwelling on the challenges they have faced, buyer and provider are often tempted to just move on, knowing they have their work cut out for them to implement what they've just agreed to. Also, many times "debrie?ng" a deal feels more like figuring out who to blame for sub-par results than it does inquiring to learn lessons for going forward.

However, when renegotiation is an opportunity, learn¬ing from the experience is key to the success of the cur¬rent and future deals. Buyer and provider take the time to capture some lessons about what worked and what didn't so that their next set of negotiations will be even more productive and efficient. Generally this involves a structured debrie?ng among negotiating teams -- each side independently, and both sides together -- to assess the process used, rather than the outcome of the deal.

Ensuring careful transition post-renegotiation
Careful transition is also important, as it ensures that those responsible for making the new set of agreements a success are fully aware of key commitments and as¬sumptions. Negotiators from both sides brief key deliv¬ery and governance personnel (ideally, some of whom have been involved in the renegotiation) on the interests of both sides, what has changed, and why they arrived where they did, highlighting open issues so that they can be resolved expeditiously.

While renegotiations can pose some significant chal¬lenges, they don't have to be a threat to outsourcing rela¬tionships. Renegotiations can, and should, be leveraged as an opportunity for learning and crafting a better deal and relationship every time.

- Sara Enlow, Principal at Vantage Partners

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