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The Outsourcing Handbook

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The Outsourcing Handbook

How to Implement a Successful Outsourcing Process

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Looking outward: A how-to guide that covers the basics of outsourcing.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This concise handbook offers a well-organized, comprehensive overview of the basics of outsourcing. Authors Mark J. Power, Kevin C. Desouza and Carlo Bonifazi identify the most common pitfalls in outsourcing, and offer a thorough life cycle approach to initiating, managing and terminating outsourcing engagements. Their style is pedantic in spots, but they never promised an exciting read, just a dependably solid and useful one. getAbstract finds that their brief list of outsourcing best practices deserves to be clipped and posted prominently in the office of any manager responsible for outsourcing programs, and other ongoing projects as well.


The Basics

Outsourcing means moving work outside your company and trusting it to some other business. Whenever your firm chooses to buy something instead of making it, or to contract for a service instead of performing it, that is a decision to outsource. Today, a company’s decision to transfer a project to an outside party is generally a strategic decision, not a tactical, cost-cutting move. The vendor may be onshore, near-shore or offshore. Outsourcing projects once tended to be labor-intensive manufacturing, but now they are apt to involve knowledge work instead. Many considerations may drive the decision to outsource, including access to technology or know-how, cost, and the desire to shed noncore activities and focus on core competencies. To outsource successfully, you must be able to make decisions on the basis of limited and uncertain information, manage change, negotiate, build relationships, and gather and share knowledge.

Ten Tricky Traps

Ten pitfalls waylay companies that are considering outsourcing:

  1. Weak executive resolve – Many leaders think outsourcing will cure their business problems. It won’t. Don’t outsource...

About the Authors

Mark J. Power is president and Carlo Bonifazi is vice president of an outsourcing education, process and consulting company in Chicago. Strategy consultant Kevin C. Desouza is on the faculty at the University of Washington. The authors have many years of senior executive experience in outsourcing.

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