The requisite motivation for a business owner to hire advisory or subject matter expertise – commonly known as outsourcing – is typically a growing awareness by the owner(s) of a problem that must be urgently resolved, one that can no longer be relegated to “it will get better soon.” That assessment is usually coupled with the determination that the company’s resources of expertise, experience or time inside the management team are found to be wanting or need to be augmented. The “problem” may be predominately internal to business processes, practices, products or its people, or it may be significantly external in nature, driven by market changes or possibly new competition.
Regardless of the problem’s origin or nature, in some instances the necessary motivation to hire outside “consultants” is hard to find. We surmise the motivational challenge – significantly more prevalent in smaller businesses – is frequently centered in a past experience or two where the desired outcome or deliverable from the consultant fell somewhat short of the defined scope of work and the value promised. It’s more than being lean. A project initiative that failed to meet its expectations can happen, but why and how can outsourcing be more effective, more valuable to the company?
Let’s consider how the project’s Scope of Work (SOW) is determined.