Suggestions 5 through 8By David Strom | Posted 2010-12-21 Email Print
Here are eight suggestions to help make certain that your next outsourcing project will be successful.
5 Allow your outsourcer to fail often and quickly. Part of this process involves putting in place checkpoints that are frequent enough to evaluate progress, and ensuring that the outsourcing team is on the right track. “Make sure you can learn from your failures, too,” says Google’s Chanezon.
“When we were building the test for our Checkout API with Globant, they could have done a very lengthy design process of a few months. Instead, we had daily discussions, and it took them just a week to put together a basic prototype of the testing framework that we could build every day. Since we could detect failures early, we got further ahead and were able to explore a lot of different areas.”
When P&G hired Xerox to manage its enterprise printers, Xerox was in the process of building its Enterprise Print Services management tool so that any employee could print a document to any printer across the enterprise. “Xerox assumed that all our printers had to be on the same physical network, but we pushed them to make their tool work across multiple networks,” says Kehling. Since implementing this tool, P&G has printed 8 million fewer pages and cut costs by 21 percent by replacing desktop printers with more efficient workgroup printers.
DAI also has frequent checkpoints with its outsourcer, Navisite. “My team does weekly status meetings with them to make sure that the right things are happening, and there are daily e-mails and phone calls,” says Campbell.
6 Find the win-win. “We have to make the entire pie bigger, but not at the expense of my outsourcing partner,” says P&G’s Kehling. “You don’t get a win-win without thinking of your outsourcer as a partner.”
7 Is the A-team in place? Do you have your best people managing the outsourcer, and do they have the outsourcer’s best team working on your project? “Four years ago, we had some issues with our outsourcer,” says FCI USA’s McDonald. “They were losing about a third of the team supporting us each year.
“We couldn’t attract and keep the talent. We kept 10 or so from the beginning, but the rest of the organization was turning over rapidly. We couldn’t develop them quickly enough, and, by the time we finally did, they would leave and go elsewhere.”
8 Don’t choose an offshore outsourcer that is too far or too many time zones away. One of the issues with having Oracle On Demand as an outsourcer for DAI was that the company offered a “follow the sun strategy for their support,” Campbell recalls. “We were never talking to the same person twice when we called with a problem.
“Now, with Navisite, we deal with the same people, and they know our history, so we have a lot of continuity. We save a lot of time by not having to repeatedly review our situation.”
One of the reasons Google went with Globant was because it was in South America and had working hours that coincided better with Google’s headquarters staff.
Managing outsourcing involves a delicate balance among various factors, including personnel, costs, geography and culture. By using some of these suggestions, you should be able to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.