Here’s a summary and my quick take on each myth:
1. We Can Have It All
Better, faster, cheaper, pick two. Or better yet, be focused and realistic, pick one and have a chance at having a successful outsourcing project. Try to meet all the requirements of your dreams simultaneously and you’re less likely to be happy with the end result.
2. Outsourcing Services is Like Buying Commodities
There will transaction costs – new systems and management process that have to be implemented. The outsourced functions probably won’t just seamlessly plug-in to your organisation.
3. We Need an Ironclad Contract
Great point. You want and need flexibility from your outsourcing partner because your business environment is likely to change in ways that neither you nor they can anticipate. Don’t paint yourself into a corner.
4. Contracts Don’t Matter
Discussions, agreements and handshakes are great but especially if you are off-shoring, don’t forget that communications is often inefficient and fraught with misunderstanding especially when crossing borders and cultures. I might add not to forget that here in India we have a tradition of saying “yes” to every request regardless of whether we understand it or are capable of implementing the request. Try to be clear or as that great outsourcing executive Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify”.
6. It’s Not Our Headache Anymore
Outsourcing is not dumping. Ultimately you need to manage and guide the quality and success of your vendor. Don’t expect to be able to wash your hands of the outsourced functions.
7. Our First Failure Should Be Our Last Attempt
Keep trying. It’s a learning process and you’ll be better at it each time. I personally had a couple of failures (as a buyer of outsourcing) before I got it right. But once I learned the ropes it paid off brilliantly.