Outsourcing has become a bad word over the recent years. People feel very negative about the term as it is associated with people losing their jobs often. However smart sourcing of activities is a crucial part of economics and running a business. Whether you source activities to employee X or employee Y does matter. You are assigning activities usually based on the person’s skillset and often it also correlates to the time which the employee costs an organization.
Obviously you cannot put more tasks into the queue of an employee than they have time to complete their work items. If you need several things to happen, a manager will need to prioritize some tasks and therefore delay others. If this is not done, the overall quality of the work might suffer – or in other words, it is very likely to suffer.
Business growth is usually not a problem, no, on the contrary. Usually companies strive to grow, serve more clients and hire more staff to deliver services and create products. Yet, sometimes growth happens in a way that doesn’t justify for new teams or new staff immediately. When that’s the case it’s a good practice to smart-source some of the efforts to a service provider. For instance you don’t need a project manager for one single project on top. You can justify to hire a FTE project manager maybe at around 5-10 projects (varies dependant on complexity).
So what do you do with your project now? Give it to just someone who’s already busy and hope for the best? The more mature method would be to leverage the services of companies, which provide you with supporting staff to manage projects. If it’s a good company, you can also use their in-house developers for the project and thereby cutting complexity that would be introduced by involving a third party.
So in summary we can say that smart sourcing can greatly benefit you close any gaps in your HR and growth strategy. Of course the projects won’t be on autopilot from start to end but you could get significant help and can avoid any kind of micromanagement into the day to day activities. A good mode might be to have weekly update calls to check progress and make sure everything is still on track. Progress not going well? Turn it into a daily call and work on small iterations. Maybe even leverage the Scrum project management methodology for IT development project.
Also it is clear that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to these things. You needs to judge for yourself if it might be best to repatriate your workforce or rely on full or partial outsourcing of talent. There is no golden rule to this to solve all your problems.
I hope I could debunk some of the negativity of the sourcing dilemma. Maybe you want to share your own story or add your thoughts below in the comments section? we would love to hear your feedback on this important subject. Many thanks for reading!
Photo credit: Takuma Kimura