I attended a meeting for business executives last week. It was a breakfast and talk and the topic was outsourcing. I am not personally for or against outsourcing, I think it is a decision that needs to be made on a company by company (and function by function) basis. My only personal experience with outsourcing has been negative, but very limited. Recently I had a series of very bad experiences with outsourcing services that compelled me to return a new Dell Computer and make the switch to Mac.
I attended this breakfast meeting is because I recognize that this is going to become a larger management issue for US companies and I want to learn more about the pros, cons, and success factors for managers. Unfortunately I did not learn much about this as the focus of the talk (and most webpages I have found) is on the decision of WHETHER to outsource, not how to deal with it internally.
I have been thinking about how outsourcing will change managment and about whether new management skills are required to excel in an organization that has outsourced some functions.
How do functional leaders ensure that the standards of internal and outsourced units are consistent and complimentary? Do functional managers monitor outsourced teams like they do their internal teams or do they wash their hands of the accountability?
What kind of communication processes are needed to ensure that changes and ideas flow in all directions?
How should managers deal with their employees’ responses to outsourcing? What are they to say or do that will help employees continue to perform at their best?
What role will managers play in helping their outsourced units be successful? How connected is connected enough? When does outsourcing become just a foriegn division of the company?
I would welcome any thoughts and ideas you have and I will continue to share information on this topic as I find it.