Prepare or consolidate the readiness of team leaders and department managers to guide their groups in the management of outsourced projects and programs, and ensure that the team has the essential capabilities to effectively manage within the infrastructure and processes of the company.


An in-house workshop for managers of teams, groups or departments with employees managing vendor relationships and delivery. Depending on needs, this can be tailored.

The workshop covers how to guide, manage and assess team members who directly manage vendors. It assumes some leadership experience, and does not teach how to manage outsourcing directly.

In addition to manager-specific content, there is a walkthrough of the training provided to vendor managers, so the leaders of those teams can support and reinforce the learning for the vendor managers.


Think180 consultants research and become familiar with the nature of the services delivered and the client base. We can also work with key internal stakeholders to determine practices and priorities, as well as issues that need to be addressed. Prior to the workshop, attendees are surveyed to gather information on their backgrounds, teams, roles, and individual needs.

The workshop is built on an established format and content, then adapted (if required) to client priorities and processes. It combines open discussion and problem-solving with experienced instruction in effectively managing teams responsible for vendor relationships and service delivery.

Style is fast-paced and highly participatory, using instruction and examination of real situations to create a practical yet instructional event. There is an emphasis on capturing ideas, agreements and actions generated, as well as items needing further attention and follow-through after the workshop.

For more information, see Think180 Training Methods.


Content presented, plus the balance of the focus of any given workshop, will be based on the type of outsourcing done by the teams, company practices, and other training provided to the managers. This content may include or touch on selected topics from the following options:

  • Understanding the transition from professional/specialist to manager
  • Helping reluctant professionals take on outsourcing
  • Managing outsourcing (vendors) versus managing employees
  • Managing former employees, now as vendor employees
  • Different roles for vendor managers - program, project, transactional, partnering
  • The power and impact of the right mindsets in a team
  • Competencies and capabilities for different roles in managing vendors
  • Planning, selecting and building teams composition using competencies
  • Handling layoffs, transitions and outsourcing
  • Partnering skills versus contract-control model
  • Managing and assessing performance in the vendor manager role
  • Team management in different forms - virtual, matrix, remote, blended, composite
  • Key areas in vendor management - engaging, terminating, change, problem-solving
  • How the business reasons for outsourcing impact how it is managed
  • Governance process, and how to work with it
  • Specific company policies, practices and requirements
  • Working with Purchasing/Sourcing, HR, Legal
  • Managing to metrics and agreements
  • The outsourcing lifecycle, and skills required for different stages
  • Think180 Outsourcing Matrix - business integration and recipients of service
  • Using vendor staff as part of in-house teams
  • Using independent contractors as contingent staff on a team with employees
  • Using contractors to manage vendors
  • Escalation processes and approaches, role in chain
  • Explaining cost and risk factors to vendor managers in team
  • Where is the locus of expertise - vendor or client? How does this change things?
  • Setting control points for reviewing outsourcing work
  • How to review vendor performance with vendor manager
  • Integrating work of multiple vendors and multiple managers
  • Managing global vendors
  • Overview of MER workshop for Vendor Managers


The binder for each participant on this workhop comprises:

  • Selected materials, adapted from workshop, "Managing External Resources"
  • Selected content from workshop, "Creating Effective Partnerships"
  • Content specifically prepared for managers of teams that manage vendors
  • Internal or customized information and topics specific to the client company
  • Exercises and discussion topics related to typical situations encountered
  • Checklists and models for adaptation and use, if appropriate
  • Option to receive full MER binder from the staff workshop


As a result of full participation in this workshop:

  • Leaders of outsourcing teams will be better able to plan and develop the capabilities of team members to get the best from vendors and partners, and to anticipate, detect and handle problems.
  • Managers from different teams across the company will have a greater shared understanding of and approach to how the company utilizes and governs outsourcing.
  • Team leaders will develop a better understanding of managing the dynamics and operations of leveraged teams utilizing external and remote resources.


In extended engagements with clients, Think180 can provide:

  • Coaching and individual follow-up or consulting to team leaders
  • Follow up meetings, activities or coaching with manager and team members
  • Support for managers to brief their own teams
  • Collaboration with HR, Sourcing/Purchasing around competencies required


Client receives a summary report of the workshop content and learning gains, reported by participants at end of workshop. As an option, 6-8 weeks after the course, client may request an impact and value summary based on participants' follow-up reports on implemented learning in their work.

PDF Version

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