(Note: Today's article is a bit off my usual Legal Project Management beat.)
Ron Friedmann this morning presents an interesting way to look at outsourcing.
His most striking point, I think, is this:
Every law firm employee, in fact, works for an outsourcing organization. In-house counsel can "make" legal services or "buy" them from law firms on an outsourced basis.
There has been lots of debate about outsourcing - and not just in the legal community. Many employees fear outsourcing, at least in part because it appears to threaten their jobs. They often couch their fears in terms of work being of lesser quality, a point Ron addresses in his post.
Ron debates whether outsourcing is a "bad word," so to speak. I want to look at a different issue - is it the wrong word?
All managers - both line managers and project managers - "outsource" most of their work. It's called delegating.
When I ran a product for Microsoft some years ago, I "outsourced" pretty much everything. Product development? I didn't do it myself, and thus I outsourced it. Sales? Ditto. Legal advice? Yup, outsourced. Product design? Outsourced. Tech support? Meeting scheduling? Office supplies? All outsourced.
Though I "outsourced" more than these jobs, I chose to list these seven functions in particular because each was outsourced in a different way:
In other words, I rarely thought about which of these "outsource" models was in play for any given task. Obviously, the model mattered when it came time to career counseling, one-on-one meetings, performance reviews, and such, but in terms of who was executing on my work day to day, the model didn't matter. Delegation? Partnering? Outsourcing? Yes, to all of the above.
At some level, they're the same thing: I am trusting someone else to deliver on work I need to be successful in my job.
Read the rest on the Lexician Blog.