Outtasking: A new trend in project management? Current outcomes of our study

Outtasking: A new trend in project management?

Current outcomes of our study

By Rüdiger Geist, Gerhard Ortner,  Iris Schirl and Tibor Stockinger

Zurich, Switzerland

Vienna, Austria



Competitiveness, customer satisfaction and access to better knowledge and technology are driving factors for organizations to partially outsource their processes. Especially big organizations more and more are tending to also outsource parts of their project management activities.
However some project management staff is skeptical. Hence it has to be clarified to which extent such an approach is useful respectively which aspects of project management are outsourceable at all.

Fundamentals of outsourcing

The basic element of outsourcing is the division of labor, which always includes the aspect of collaboration. i

The three fundamental theoretical approaches in conjunction with outsourcing are:

  1. Transaction Cost Theory
  2. Resource-Based View
  3. Competence-Based View

The Transaction Cost Theory (TCT) from R.H. Coase pursues the goal to identify the conditions which lead to outsourcing decisions, where typically one of the main factors is cost ii. The cost for shifting (transaction) shouldn’t be higher than the cost reduction for the organization iii.

The Resource-Based View (RBV) supposes that companies do have advantages in competition which are sustainable iv, where own resources are prerequisites for the creation of these sustainable advantages in competition. Companies should concentrate on their core competences and competence lacks should be filled-up through acquisition of external resources.

The Competence-Based View (CBV), which is based on the RBV view, refers also to external resources as a possible source of generating advantages in competition.


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About the Authors

Rüdiger Geist


Rüdiger Geist, PMP, IPMA Level B is the Managing Director of [email protected] GmbH, a Swiss-based consultancy specializing in coaching, consulting, outsourcing and training in the areas of Project, Programme and Project Portfolio Management.  He actually is also Associate Professor of Project Management at Kalaidos Fachhochschule (Zurich). In the past he also lectured for the International Institute of Management (Fribourg) and IFA AG (Zurich).  He was Managing Director for Agora Associates GmbH during 2007-2008, where he was engaged in consulting, coaching and training in project, program and portfolio management.  He was previously lead PM coach, project manager and project portfolio manager for Credit Suisse; senior project manager, coach and portfolio manager for SPOL AG; assistant CFO, contract manager, project manager, and coach for CSC Switzerland; project designer, manager and coach for CSC PLOENZKE AG in Wiesbaden, Germany; and information systems developer for BVV Versicherungsverein des Bankgewerbes AG, Freie University and others in Berlin.  Rüdiger has a Diploma in Political Science from Freie University Berlin (1988) and in Informationsorganisator from Siemens/Nixdorf, Berlin.  He is also a CMMI and SPICE certified assessor. Rüdiger holds an IPMA Level B project management certification and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®), as well as the PMOS (CSC) and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University (GWU) in the USA.  Rüdiger has authored papers and presentations at IPMA and PMI conferences and sat on the board of the PMI Switzerland Chapter as Vice President Education & Certification.  Fluent in English and German, Rüdiger is based in Zurich and can be contacted at [email protected].

Gerhard Ortner


Gerhard Ortner, IPMA Level C, is professor in the bachelor’s program “Project Management and Information Technology” and the master’s program “Project Management and Organization” at the University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna, Austria. He holds a PhD degree from the University of Technology Vienna, where he worked for more than 10 years in the department of industrial organization and has several years of experience in project management with specific regard to organizational and technological topics. Recently he published a German book on Project Management Offices.

Iris Schirl


Iris Schirl is director of a bachelor programme‚ ‚Project Management and IT’ and a master programme ‚Project Management and Organisation’ at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna in Austria. Before, she was responsible for the coordination of EU-funded projects at this institution. Iris studied Sociology and European Studies – Management of EU projects’. Her research interests are in the fields of higher education research and project management research. The University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna has a research focus on ‚Management of project-oriented enterprises’ and conducts applied research.  Iris can be contacted at [email protected].

Tibor Stockinger


Tibor Stockinger is Project and Service Portfolio Manager of Sika Informationssystems AG in Switzerland. He is also associate Professor of Project Management at Kalaidos Fachhochschule (Zurich) and senior lecturer at Wirtschaftsinformatik Schule Schweiz and IFA AG (Zurich); responsible expert in Project Management at Wirtschaftsinformatik Schule Schweiz as well. He served as an expert examiner for diplomas in higher education of Project Management at the Federal Office of Switzerland and authored diploma exams for more than 15 years. He was Managing Director for Stockinger Networks 2000-2010, where he was engaged in consulting, coaching and training in project management.

Tibor was Senior Project Manager for global front products at Credit Suisse; Executive Project Manager and coach at Swisscom AG; Projectmanager and Key Account Manager at Ascom AG. Tibor has a Diploma in Executive Master of Business Analysis from University of Bern and MAS in Business Analysis from Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Furthermore he holds federally certified Diplomas in Commercial Information Technology and Information Technology Project Manager. He is also a PMI certified assessor and holds an IPMA Level B project management certification. Tibor is based near Zürich and can be contacted in English or German at [email protected]