Many of you may not know this but I have been in your shoes! As a corporate CEO for over two decades, I have experienced both sides of the equation – buying and selling outsourcing services.

Here are some valuable lessons that I learned:

  1. Stay focused on the end game. Move away from the technical or operational aspects of any project by maintaining clarity on the expected outcomes
  2. Know exactly what aspects of the business are being outsourced. Retain overall ownership of the project, ensure alignment with the business strategy but let outsourcing own the execution.
  3. Start with business challenges rather than the methodology. Resist the temptation to descend too much into the details. Ultimately, you are responsible for the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the project not the ‘how’.
  4. Communicate goals early and often. Let your partner do what they are best at – the ‘how’.
  5. Define and agree on governance. Set clear reporting and review schedules outlining frequency, content, metrics, roles and responsibilities for project schedules, costs and outcomes.

Whether it’s finding new avenues of business, injecting efficiencies or finding more elegant processes, CEOs must stay true to their business, focus on their core competency and empower outsourcing to succeed.

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