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How to Change Your Digital Partner When Things Go Wrong

By Lisa Carolan


You have signed an agreement with a digital partner. You brought them on because you were hoping that they would help hasten the process of digital transformation. However, something does not feel right, and they keep missing important deadlines. After talking with some of your peers, you realized that your digital partner is not up to par. Therefore, you want to change.

Now you must confront a serious problem: how do you break free? You do not want to hurt your company by rapidly firing a team. You also do not want to have to spend months undoing what they have done. How do you get rid of a bad digital partner without disrupting your whole business?

Like most business plans, you need a strategy. It would be a bad idea to make decisions without knowing your options. You do have different alternatives when it comes to changing your digital transformation partner.


Phase Out

If you have been working with a digital partner for a long time, chances are they have many deep-seated procedures in the company. These procedures (e.g. how to access your digital platforms and assets) might only understood by your digital partner. This means that if they were to rapidly discharged, the details on all these procedures might be lost with them.

A planned phase out can be the best alternative. Instead of getting rid of your partner first, research a new, better partner that will and have the old partner bring the new partner up to speed. This reduces overhead and smooths the transition.


Shrink Responsibilities

Another tactic to consider is shrinking the responsibilities of your digital partner. The ultimate goal here, of course, is to remove the underperforming digital partner. However, to avoid cutting contact completely, you can reduce the scale and scope of their responsibilities. This keeps the relationship intact while reducing the negative impact of having an upset partner.

Consider this option when you are still not sure if you can operate without the digital partner, but still want to change partners (or bring on staff) when the opportunity presents itself.


Collect Data and Information

Often times the importance of collecting all the data a digital partner has in its work for your company is overlooked. When changing digital partners, a huge cost comes in the form of getting new partners or staff up to speed. To help significantly reduce cost, it may be a good idea to systematically collect all the appropriate information from your old partner and give it to the new partner.

To ensure best results, discuss creating a data brief with your old partner before you discuss transitioning to a new partner. That way, you will not have to deal with potential pushback or foul play. Then keep that information for your new digital partner to reference.

Also, don’t forget to review your existing contract or agreement between you and your digital partner. There may be a notice period or other phase-out requirements that you want to incorporate into your planning.


Work with a Second Partner

It might seem counterintuitive at first. How can one work with two partners? Will that not just create more chaos and disorganization? Although it might seem to be a bad idea, working with two partners can actually have a positive effect if executed properly.

Of course, it all depends on proper execution. Having two partners working independently and without cross-referencing their work is indeed a terrible idea. However, using two partners to push each other and verify the other one is doing the job correctly can be very helpful. As the old saying goes “competition breeds success.”

If you have a digital partner that is simply not up to par, consider bringing on an additional team to help expedite the process and keep each other accountable. It’s an extra cost, yes, but the return on this extra spending will be better performance and a smoother transition (when it comes to that).


EX2 helps choose the right partner for their digital transformation. Contact us for help in making the right choice.

Topics: Digital Partner

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