Sunday 13 February 2022

Project management – The pros and cons of outsourcing personnel

Yesterday, when i discussed with my peers, i learned that the project that was listed as a positive classic case in the first 2 months had actually become a negative model when it was discussed.

the project is a software outsourcing project, the contracting party is a non-chinese mainland customer, the project scale is about 500 people per month, the peak number of team members is 50 people, and the implementation cycle is 12 months. the project was a joint bid of 2 companies, one of which was responsible only for commercial activities and customer communication (most of the work before signing the contract) and the other for the real project implementation (most of the work after the contract was signed).

at the beginning of the project, the following problems were encountered in human resources:

1. because the business areas involved in the project are more professional, the software company responsible for the real project implementation has only a few professionals in this field, and there is only one person who is senior and understands technology.
2. due to the huge size of the project, the software company did not have so many people to invest in the project at once.

Generally for problem 1, there will be the following feasible solutions:

A. At the same time, the requirements are accurately described and understood in the requirements understanding stage, and the customers immediately ask questions and reach an agreement to understand the problems they encounter, and become familiar with the business and background by understanding the needs.

a) Prerequisites: The customer needs to be willing to send someone for training in the early stage; the company is willing to pay a certain training fee.
b) Advantages: It can cultivate a group of people who understand business and technology among the technical personnel within the company.
c) Insufficient: the personnel's understanding of the business is uncontrollable; it is necessary to reach an agreement with the customer; and there is a period of time to accompany the training work in the early stage.

B. The software company looks for industry senior personnel or senior personnel within the company to conduct business training to improve the overall business understanding of the project team. The activities of the requirements understanding phase are the same as those of Programme A.

a) Prerequisites: Senior personnel in the industry need to be available for training; and the person is familiar with the background of the project; and the company is willing to pay a certain training fee.
b) Advantages: Same as Scheme A.
c) Disadvantages: The personnel's understanding of the business is uncontrollable; the training teacher is not easy to find; the early stage needs to have a period of time to carry out the training work.

C. Hire people who understand both business and technology from human resource outsourcing companies, and let these people be the core members of the project while implementing the project and bring people who do not understand the business.
a) Prerequisites: There needs to be a corresponding software outsourcing company that can provide the right personnel.
b) Advantages: Can quickly set up a project team to start the project implementation work.
c) Disadvantages: The stability and controllability of outsourced personnel are not as high as those within the company; the long-term employment costs of personnel are high.

generally for problem 2, there will be the following feasible solutions:

i. analyze the priority of the company's current ongoing projects, and draw a part of the personnel from the low-priority projects to form a core team; at the same time, recruit and continuously supplement team members.

a) prerequisite: there are available human resources within the company.
b) advantages: personnel are internal personnel, high controllability.
c) disadvantages: recruitment is difficult; if there is no sustainable business of the same scale in the follow-up, the personnel will be idle after the project enters the closing stage, increasing the overall cost.

ii. core team member component methods such as scenario i, other team members can be supplemented by finding interns.

a) prerequisites: e.g. programme i;
b) advantages: the core team has high controllability; the intern fee is low, and the project cost is not stressful.
c) disadvantages: interns are inexperienced or inexperienced personnel, requiring technical and business training; interns have weak ability to resist pressure and have great mobility.

iii. core team members and some other team members are formed through the hiring company to rent suitable personnel, and the remaining personnel are formed through recruitment or interns.

a) prerequisite: there are outsourcing companies that can provide suitable outsourcing personnel.
b) advantages: the core team is formed quickly, the project starts as soon as possible, saving the construction period.
c) disadvantages: the core team members are outsourced, the uncontrollably is too large; the implementation period is unexpectedly delayed, the cost of personnel outsourcing is huge, and the project will be over spender.

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