By Jyoti Madabhushi
In any organization, the portfolio components and management processes are selected to produce specific benefits to the organization. Outsourcing portions of the project/program/operations processes is a strategic decision which is being taken by organizations of late. Outsourcing includes investment of time, money and other resources required for the work to achieve specific goals. The practice of project, program and portfolio management needs to be top driven and percolated down. Roles and responsibilities need to be in place firmly, organizations decisions should be transparent and defined processes need to be in place which are oriented towards the vision and mission statements, organization goals and objectives.
Keywords: Portfolio, organization, project, component, outsourcing
Project to Portfolio Management Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become the norm especially in Information Technology industry for more than a decade. Earlier it was only a risk management strategy but now it is an inevitable trend. To sustain competition, to fore-come insufficient in house facilities or expertise, to become strategic and use technology for long term implications, for better resource utilisation while maintaining customer satisfaction and to decrease costs are a few of the factors which led to outsourcing. Projects, programs need to be evaluated as outsourcing involves huge amount of risk and skilled staff members are required to manage the portfolio. Different knowledge areas and process groups need to be handled as part of project, program and portfolio implementation. These groups and processes are repeated during the lifecycle and are not in phases. These groups and processes are independent of the application area or industry focus and might repeat prior to component authorization.
Organisations have their own niche capabilities which lead to the decision of what to outsource and what to be retained. Cost of availing latest technologies internally vis a vis utilising it through a vendor say a cloud vendor helps in concluding the project/program/portfolio areas to be outsourced.
Strategic and transformational decisions of where to outsource especially keeping the international projects/programs wherein cross cultural interaction, cultural differences, climate change etc. need to be kept in view for decision making. Discrete parameters for vendor selection and evaluation of vendors based on the parameters need to be planned in detail. Even if it is domestic outsourcing, the financial muscle of the vendors, partners in the changing industry scenario need to be considered seriously.
Outsourcing needs to be undertaken after doing thorough background check of the prospective vendor keeping firm’s reputation, organizational structure, exposure and experience in the particular domain in view. When to outsource depends on the strategic objectives of the firm, risk status, portfolio value, level of technical expertise, competitive advantage etc.
About the Author
Jyoti Madabhushi, B.E, M.S., PMP, PfMP has more than 25 years of work experience in IT industry with more than one and a half decade experience in project management. She has worked in various capacities from being a hands on technical person to project manager, program manager, portfolio manager to Regional Strategic Business Unit Head for Information Technology Infrastructure Services. Jyoti is currently a program manager with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. in Gacchibowli, Hyderabad, India and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.