CEO of HBC
We are fully loaded with to-dos and over committed for IT development projects. We get orders to contract out some of the work but it's such a pain to be in the middle, working with them and the end user. Usually they overpromise and under deliver within the assigned small budget and generally it would be easier to just do it in house. If only we had the time and manpower. Any thoughts?
Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor
Posted Monday 23rd September 2013 04:14:00 AM
Dear Beck The growth in the outsourcing industry is continuing everywhere. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. Outsourcing decisions are driven by a combination of two drivers – external and internal. External drivers include shortening of product or service lifecycles, changes in external environment. Internal drivers include cost saving, resources constraints and to some extent, a strategic intent to focus on their own core competitive advantage. The situation of your company is very common. There has been an increasing demand on IT expertise. Unfortunately, some of IT colleagues lack business technology skills and the ability to understand business solutions. Over 50% of the IT outsourced projects failed due to communication breakdown. The ability to understand the scope of the user requirement is critical. Like most of the salespeople, outsourcers tend to overpromise and under deliver because they want to secure the business. It is imperative that the buyers should conduct prudent due diligence and to ensure the scope, approach and outcomes are clear with quantitative measures and milestones. So there are two things that you can do. Firstly, you need to understand that you will never have enough time and manpower to do all the projects. However, you can prioritize them based on business priorities – not yours. This calls for excellent communication skills with business analysis capabilities. If you don’t have these skills, attend training to get you up to speed. Secondly, you need to manage your suppliers with clear Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Both of you should agree upon the governance model and learn to support each other as partners and not just a supplier-customer relationship. Organizations that outsource must have the competency of outsourcing management – some organizations have an outsourcing manager to manage the outsourced environment. Key skills of this manager/director include outsourcing project management, financial case and pricing, contracting and negotiating, managing transition, governance, risk management, vendor selection, performance management etc. Lastly, as a technology professional, you need to demonstrate your value by being an internal consultant to your internal customers. The best internal consultants are change masters. They provide guidance, solutions, project management and team effectiveness. Your customers rely on your expertise to give them advice on how technology enables simplicity and quality outcomes. You may also consider attending a program that leads you to become a Certified Outsourcing Professional.