Common risks moving from contracting to execution

Common risks moving from contracting to execution

Entering into the delivery stage is exiting and critical in every outsourcing arrangement. It’s about shifting from “promise to deliver” to “deliver to promise”. It’s where risks that may have been identified in an earlier stage actually manifest. This phase holds some specific risks which, if not addressed head on, can quickly derail the new engagement.

Here are common gaps / risks to consider when moving from contracting to execution.


Frame gap
This refers to a lack of understanding of the overall deal objectives between the parties in the agreement. Without making expected outcomes expliciet in relation to overarching business objectives, there is a significant risks that the parties day-to-day behaviours and interactions are not aligned.

Expectation gap
Despite lengthy contract negotiations parties can have different expectations of the products and services to be provided. It is not enough to describe service expectations in terms of “according to market standards”. Often these standards are not explicitit resulting in misunderstandings. Outcomes should have clear parameters refering to quality, cost and time.

Organization context gap
Successful cooperation requires both partners to have the same organizational pace. It requires alignment of the governance approach, structure, process and speed for decision making, conflict resolution, work organization and organizational learning between the partners.

Confidence gap
Self-confidence allows strong personal commitments, decisiveness and personal risk taking in cooperation. A lack of or inbalance of the level of confidence makes wholehearted cooperation difficult.


Skill understanding gap
Not knowing the skills, experience, knowledge and resources each party brings to the table can result in misunderstanding and mistrust. This particularly manifests when there is a need to combine and blend skills between the partners to run integrated processes or joint product development.

Task definition gap
Not knowing which taks are to be performed, why, by whom, by when and how they are controlled, can result in misunderstanding and mistrust. When the contract is signed and the engagement moves into execution mode, it is critical that the contract properly operationalized so that everybody knows what is expected from him or her.


Information gap
For teams to effectively work together it is critical that information is shared between the partners accross functions and processes. Having information silos or not having a single source of truth will result in misunderstanings, mistrusts and eventually drive a wedge between the partners.

Time gap
The parties need to have a clear understanding of the balance of cost and benefits in perspective of time and the term of the engagement.