Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar iconNot recorded
Adobe PDF icon

Introduction to Outsourcing for the Project Management Professional

~ By John Reynolds

A team of people working together in a computer lab

Business globalisation, combined with the relentless change of new technology, continues to challenge our ability to adequately manage enterprise computing activities. Past efforts used to control the various aspects of system integration are no longer effective in today's diverse and complex information environments. The need for more competent project management techniques is paramount to the survival of those organisations who rely heavily on the benefits of computing technology.

Effective project management is a formidable effort, and in comparison to other IS related tasks, it is frequently shrouded with perceptions rather than viewed as a set of adjacent management principles. It is still surprising to find that many IS professionals often ignore basic concepts in an attempt to formalise a single approach that can handle the various facets associated with technical projects.

Successful delivery of most IS applications requires a solid understanding of principles which are germane to the project management process. Experienced IS professionals have learned how to apply the basic concepts regardless of the project. At the same time, it is equally important to acknowledge differences in project scope without blind adherence to the rules. The cost of ignoring sound management principles is typically disastrous, and in many cases occurs well into the schedule of a given project. Many professionals who fail at project management are either victims of rigid discipline or reckless experimentation.

A crucial component of project management is the ability to utilise human resources in meeting application goals. Historically, acquiring the skills needed to manage people had been less emphasised than having the skills to handle technical details. Although this may explain why IS professionals struggled with human relationships, it is no longer acceptable to remain as merely the technical agent. Clearly, the most successful project managers have mastered the art of working with diverse organisational types, including vendors, contractors, and consultants. These important skills are not easily acquired and often need years of experience to cultivate.

The shortages of skilled professionals, as well as the need to focus on core competencies, has prompted many, if not all, organisations to seek expertise beyond traditional boundaries. While the promises of outsourcing have been well identified, there are many issues that still require the experience of project management. Merely outsourcing technical tasks does not guarantee successful completion, nor does it automatically ensure that the best interests of the project will be accomplished. Unfortunately, some IS professionals abdicate their responsibilities when using external resources. This has caused numerous organisations to re-evaluate procedures when engaging in outsourcing activities. However, outsourcing will remain as a strong complement to internal resources needed in applications development. Understanding the appropriate risks and rewards for using outsourcing is now a mandatory part of any project management strategy.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
What is the opposite word of weak?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

The Meat of a Business Case

Abstract word cloud for Business case with related tags and terms

Writing a business case is a crucial component in the business process. This article covers the important components in a business case.

Rolling Wave Planning

Blue rolling wave

What is rolling wave planning and how does it affect the critical chain? This article by John Goodpasture provides a detailed explanation.

How to Build a High-Performance Project Team

Business people and bar graph going upwards

What makes a winning project team? Why do some teams achieve greatness while others struggle? Let's look at the factors present on winning project teams.

Project Cost Management

Pile of British one pound coins

How do we know what a project will cost? We really don't until the project is complete because we can't accurately predict the future. What we can do is create an estimate.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Duncan Haughey commented on…
Psychology for Project Managers
- Thu 22 October 5:10pm

Michael Fayamba commented on…
RACI Matrix
- Sun 18 October 6:34pm

Muhammed Ayub commented on…
Understanding the Project Management Triple Constraint
- Fri 9 October 8:54am

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Recently passed the PMP exam. Read my story https://t.co/JiLqltyM8e about 3 hours ago

General Project Management • Re: MEET – Model for Employee Engagement with connecTs https://t.co/0Dzr1kMYrr about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Why is it important to develop a product-thinking mindset? https://t.co/MDkelGWCog about 1 day ago