Mission-critical software development challenges
Organizations that are confronted to mission-critical software development projects have not always the possibility to correctly staff internally the project, be it because of a lack of resources, skills,…
At the same time, some projects are considered so much core-business for organizations that outsourcing and thereby some loss of knowledge and control is not an option.
Typically, an organization may want to address new technologies or methodologies and does not have the required knowledge internally.
The project manager cannot afford the risk that is inherent to such situations. Therefore, additional help is needed.
Traditionally, external resources could be employed on a time and materials basis. However, most of the risk will still be on the side of the customer. Moreover, efficient knowledge transfer is still the responsibility of the customer and the project manager. External resources supplier do not really get involved in the project and in its risk management.
Co-Sourcing strategic projects
There is a way to address this kind of situations: Co-Sourcing.
Co-Sourcing means that the tasks needed to implement the project will be executed by a mixed team in concert with the customer.
Both the customers and SAGA Consulting will be responsible for the results of the project. Meaning that both parties will be involved in the project guidance and execution in a context of shared responsibilities.
Co-Sourcing is the most appropriate way of conducting projects when the ICT department needs to remain in the driver’s seat while using external help from a supplier which commits on certain deliverables.
How a Co-Sourced project can be planned ?
SAGA Consulting uses a standard methodology for addressing Co-Sourced projects. This methodology is customized to the needs of the project or the ICT department.
As there are different drivers for Co-Sourcing (lack of resources, lack of skills,…), there will be different types of services provided by SAGA Consulting: professional services, coaching, training, skills assessment, consulting, reporting,…
A very first step will be, for SAGA Consulting, to make an investigation of the project, including the objectives of the project and of the organization. The investigation will allow to determine the best way to collaborate, including the services delivered, the governance and possible planning.
The investigation will be followed by definition of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These will be dependent on the services provided (for instance respect of planning, training evaluation, coaching,…).
Common workforce definition
A key point will then be to define the workforce that will participate on the project (workforce from both SAGA Consulting and the customer). This will be done either for the whole project, or, for larger project, iteration per iteration if an iterated project methodology is used.
The workforce will be dependent on the desired services (training, coaching,…).
Depending on the needs, workforce planned by SAGA Consulting may vary according to the project phase.
This also is a key advantage of Co-Sourced projects where SAGA Consulting can staff the needed resources for the different phases of the project in a much more optimized way than traditional time and materials.
During the execution of the project, it is important that a strict governance is followed. Since both parties share responsibilities for the success of the project, the governance will include coordination and steering meetings allowing SAGA Consulting and the customer project manager to share information on the project execution.
The workforce will be reviewed on a regular basis (for instance every 3 months) in order to optimize resources allocation in respect with the project budget.
Formal Service Level Reporting (SLR) will be organized in order to verify the correct execution of the services according to the defined SLAs.
It is normal, when the Co-Sourced project includes training and coaching, that SAGA Consulting workforce decreases with time and that the customer workforce becomes more and more productive.
Co-Sourcing projects can be the best way to address challenges like lack of resources or skills, coaching,… while at the same time work with a committed partner in a collaborative partnership.