Managing Outsource/Offshore Projects

Course Details
Tuition (USD): $1,495.00 • Classroom (2 days)

Outsourcing is pursued by the lure for immediate reductions in costs. With this comes a new way of doing things and this introduces risk, which often reduces the savings that were anticipated. The pursuit requires an appreciation for the phasing in of savings, and how you as the project manager have a lot to do with seeing that this happens. Outsourcing requires a continuous review of success and failure. You must be prepared to assess the situation throughout each step of the process. In this interactive workshop, you'll develop the skills and receive the tools necessary to achieve results. Case studies facilitated by your instructor will give you the practice needed to prepare for the real thing. The vast majority of outsourced projects are new development or full scope events. There are however opportunities for outsourcing to provide legacy application re-engineering, ongoing maintenance, prototyping and even limited element construction. Have we sent to much of the project offshore, when a smaller portion might have been okay? Should we initially use outsourcing as a way to learn about project dynamics and opportunity possibilities? Developing the right plan for your project while preparing for the challenges will make for project success on your outsource activities.

  • NOTE: Live Virtual Classroom course length is 3 days

Skills Gained

  • Retain outsourced project cost reductions through solid engagement control
  • Utilize cultural diversity to amplify result delivery
  • Control known outsource risks
  • Understand joint and individual project responsibilities
  • Prepare for outsourced projects - getting your business in order
  • Appreciate the true value of outsourcing through proper cost and benefit analysis
  • Manage outsourced engagement involving traditional and agile delivery models
  • Acknowledge the importance of viability when compared to capability

Who Can Benefit

This project management training course is valuable for anyone who needs to accurately understand and manage the role of diverse, remote, cross-cultural teams. Also perfect for anyone working on outsourced projects. This project management training course provides valuable assets for:

  • Management Responsible for Outsourced Engagements
  • Project Managers
  • Project Quality Managers
  • Testers
  • Information Technology Auditors
  • Business Analysts (BAs)
  • IT Managers/Directors
  • Operations Managers/Directors

Course Details

Live, In-Class Group Exercises

Bring a flash drive when you attend this class! The instructor will provide a set of useful tools you can immediately use back at the office.

  • Teams and Project Management: The exercise develops an understanding of project methods, deliverables and the work effort required in order to produce a suitable result. A consolidated solution set is produced as a bi-product and can be used as a starting point back in your organization.
  • Communications: Using a real scenario, groups will discuss how they will respond to a situation involving a missed deliverable deadline (on the part of the client) and how they will help the outsourcer to overcome the impact that it will have on the project schedule.
  • Managing Remotely: Groups will discuss and establish a structure around remote communications, balance leadership and methods that can be employed to carry out project management, in a global theater.
  • Cultural Differences: Using your colleagues the groups will discuss how their differences effect their attitudes, approach and expectations. This information will then be compared to how it influences professional roles and final interaction with people from other cultures.

I. Project Component Ownership

Ownership is a broad term that can describe responsibility to construct or work as a contributor. In the end all parties share in the presentation and content of the artifact. This chapter provides a base for understanding what needs to be done, by who and under what level of oversight.

  • Client Side Components
  • Outsourcer Provide Components
  • Joint Components (Collaboratively Constructed & Owned)

II. Project Synchronization - Establishing Balance

Projects are a dance, and while there is the potential for it to reflect an art form, they often are clumsy episodes. Early decisive actions can significantly reduce wasted effort and the resulting effects of the lack of coordination. This section explores the need for having a stable project management model and how this will be melded with the framework of the outsource service provider.

  • Client Project Management
  • Merging Your PM with Outsourced PM
  • Synchronization of Time & Delivery
  • Defining Delivery

III. Project Metrics

Metrics run the gambit from a simple question/response to elaborate long term accumulations of trend related data. Neither end of this spectrum fits well with the new method of delivering projects. Why is it that a project isn't a project, regardless of where or how it's built? Outsource projects introduce the concept of one framework with duality (or more) participation. Thus the metric's purpose shifts importance from outcome to quality/status measurement. In this chapter you will be introduced to establishing personal and joint goals and how these measures can be applied in a responsible, expeditious fashion.

  • Establishing Goals
  • Agreeing Upon Measurement Sources
  • Measurement Reconciliation and Reporting
  • Using Metrics to Support PM

IV. Project Communications - Construction/V&V/Delivery Periods

Successful Communications is the key to project life. You may have already experienced communications disconnects that have lead to misunderstanding, confusion, and conflict. Now add to this the dynamics of culture, distance and operational variations and we now have a significant challenge to overcome. In this section we will discuss how to overcome these difficulties, how not to rely solely on technology vehicles to mediate these issues, and why solid outsourcer communications can lead to rich long term rewards beyond the project engagement.

  • Understanding the Client Role
  • Define & Convey Expectations (w/Detail)
  • Ask for What You Want
  • Focus on "What" not "How" (but be inquisitive)
  • Jointly Engineered Communication Model
  • Mistakes in Communications

V. Pre- and Post-Delivery Outsourcer Tasks

We have expectations about delivery components and timeframes that the outsourcer is expected to comply with. Often issues arise in content, form, quality, and timing that results in excessive attention cycles. Each time more time is consumed that has not been planned for. In this chapter we will examine how process, timing, style and understanding play a major role in successful project delivery.

  • Project Management
  • Artifact & Component Construction/Qualification/Delivery
  • Application of Professional Expertise
  • Insure Client Input Adequacy

VI. Pre- and Post-Delivery Client Tasks

It isn't just about the outsourcer, it's also about us and how well we live up to delivery obligations. What didn't work at home, is amplified once we go outside the walls of our company and rely on a servicer to pick up where we left off. In this section we will look at the things that are expected to do, how they need to be done, and how this changes when others outside our company are involved.

  • Qualified Specifications
  • Inquiry & Dialog Availability
  • Qualification of Received Artifacts & Components
  • Timely and Complete Feedback

VII. Harmony through Touchbacks

How long do you allow someone to do work without checking-in? Are you the type that checks in too often? Striking a balance will encourage harmony and provide ample opportunities for both the outsourcer and company to be successful. In this chapter we will examine how a mutual balance of progress checking is important. Much the same as in Agile/Scrum, the concept of Sprint period delivery is a model worth examining.

  • Communication Framework Value
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Coordination of Effort
  • Real-time Visibility vs. Status Reporting
  • Asking the Question?

VIII. Recognizing Cultural & Work Differences

What makes the world a fascinating place is diversity. In the context of a project the concept of diversity is met with resistance because project models demand everyone to be in synchronization. How can we take this known condition (cultural diversity) and employ it without creating the potential for project chaos? In this section we will look at how differences require understanding and how to bond processes in such a way as to become one (while still retaining our heritage).

  • Paradigm Variances
  • How Much Do You Mandate
  • Impact on End Results
  • Utilizing Differences to Enjoy the Project Experience

IX. Managing for Success

Taking an active stand will increase the potential for project success. Leaving things to their own is apt to result in the demise of the initiative. Successful management involves compassion, understanding, and sensitivity to a fluid project culture. Everyone needs to feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment. In this final chapter we examine how to make a cohesive process that allows everyone to share in the result of solid engineering, pragmatic behavior and responsible decision making.

  • Meeting Client (your) Obligations
  • Measuring Progress
  • Maintaining Healthy Communications
  • Managing Delivery & Implementation
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