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Outsourcing Gone Bad - Another Reason to Consider Agile

Lawsuits, recriminations, millions squandered on failed projects--and outsourcing is supposed to be a good thing for businesses? has run a long InformationWeek article by Paul McDougall entitled: In Depth: When Outsourcing Goes Bad.  In it, McDougall reports on the recent InformationWeek Research survey on the subject of IT Outsourcing.

50% of companies rate their outsourcing efforts a success, a third are neutral, and 17% - nearly one in six - call them disasters. For those in the latter category, primary reasons for dissatisfaction include:
  • poor customer service, vendor responsiveness or flexibility (45%)
  • hidden vendor costs
  • insufficient up-front planning by our company
Another InformationWeek article reports the prime motivator for outsourcing is, of course: cutting costs, among others.  McDougall's article, however, tells how Sprint, while planning to save $2M by outsourcing to IBM, instead ended up accusing IBM in court of failing to achieve the promised productivity improvements. In another example, Sears Holdings, the corporate parent of retailers Sears and Kmart, and Computer Sciences Corp. are still locked in a legal battle to settle the status of a 10-year, $1.6 billion IT services contract that Sears walked away from in early 2005, after just one year.

For those suddenly interested to hear more about Agile software development, a good place to start is the Articles Library of the Agile Alliance which is organized by topic.

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