Manage the service rather than individuals

Most of the IT sourcing managers and project managers have used one or more models of outsourcing. Adding contract staff for the temporary work and/or for the special skills that is not available internally is one of the common prevalent practice. In these “staff augmentation” engagements, managers focus on getting the best skilled resources onboard and managing the individuals deliver to the project plan.

Unfortunately, in most cases the same “staff augmention management” mindset is applied to manage projects under other sourcing models as well. For e.g. where the entire project or service is outsourced to a third party vendor.

What’s wrong with this approach? You have hired the vendor for a speific service with a well defined service levels. Let the vendor manage the resources and deliver the service as per the agreed plan and service levels.

Attrition rates in IT industry are one of the highest. Especially in India, the annualized attrition rate hovers around 15% to 20%. The average longevity of an Indian IT professional is around 2 years in an organization. Given these scenarios, managers need to focus on defining service levels and making vendor deliver to the adhered service levels. Also, one needs to ensure sound knowledge management practices are institutionalized along with well defined knowledge transition approach. The trick is to foster a holistic approach to leverage on vendor’s full strength to bear on the service delivery – including resources, process, infrastructure and past experience. Focusing on resources alone is myopic and ill-served.

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1 Response to “Manage the service rather than individuals”


  1. 1 Kesavan February 9, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Well said!!

    Even though individuals play a major role in any activity, as an organization, establishing processes to reduce the dependency on individual will definitely help it grow!!


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© Dhandapani Ammasai, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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