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What Problem Are You Trying To Solve? June 20, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Organizational dynamics, strategy.
Tags: , , ,

Late last week I met with someone who was interested in my experiences managing outsourcing of software engineering services. We talked about the difficulties that organizations typically encounter when they attempt outsourcing, and the fact that many are ultimately disappointed. It occurred to me that there’s a fundamental question that probably doesn’t get answered (or asked) in many of these situations: What problem are we trying to solve? In this case outsourcing is a means to achieve some higher goal, which might be something like lower labor rates, or access to technical capabilities not present within the current organization, or something else entirely. The point is that without a clear understanding of what outsourcing is supposed to do for the organization, it’s pretty unlikely that people and processes and measures will be aligned. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there.



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