Companies of all types and sizes outsource IT projects to trusted vendors. While there are several benefits to outsourcing, such as reduced operating costs, gained expertise, and additional resources for difficult or lengthy projects, there are operational challenges as well. Among these challenges are negatively impacted morale, additional levels of oversight, and loss of control. Before engaging with external resources to help with upcoming projects, ensure you have a good grasp of potential pitfalls.

CIO online recently posted a great article providing five key tips for outsourcing success. Here is a summary of the five things CIOs are looking for when considering outsourcing:

  1. Role clarity – Implications must be known and communicated to the CIO with a clearly presented business case for each project. This information should also be shared with internal and outsourced teams so everyone is on the same page.

  2. Big picture – How does the outsourced project integrate with all other tools and products in the company portfolio? If you don’t take into account company flows and processes, this can lead to integration challenges, or worse, project failure.

  3. Planning – Before starting your project, work closely with your customers to understand their pain points and top priorities. This ensures that time and energy is spent on projects that will help solve problems for your customers. Milestones need to be planned out in advance so things don’t go off the rails mid project. However, there is a balance and you need to be agile enough to deal with any obstacles that arise.

  4. Trusted partner – Include trusted partners in the planning phase to assist with developing a detailed roadmap. Leverage their expertise to help avoid any potential pitfalls. Make your desired outcomes very clear to all parties from the beginning so everyone is working toward the same goal.

  5. Implied communication – When presenting your business plan to your CIO or communicating goals, implications, or next steps with outsourced teams be very detailed in your communication, make no assumptions. Make unique aspects of your business and specific processes clear to all. While it’s hard to iron out all the details, regular reporting will help ensure the scope of the project is properly understood by all of the stakeholders.

The bottom line - if you decide to outsource, whether it’s a single project or an entire process, everyone must be aligned with the goals of the project as well as the goals of the business. Proper planning and clear, structured, frequent communication is needed to avoid the risk of a failed project. Trusted advisors, with valuable industry insights and years of experience, will always help. Contact us here for assistance developing a roadmap for your next IT project.