Monday, November 30, 2009

Before we Start...

One of the most important aspects of a start-up is its idea. The underlying idea may not need to be always brilliant but it should be always meaningful. According to Guy, a meaningful start-up should make the world a better place. It should increase the quality of life. A start-up can be also meaningful if it corrects a terrible wrong or prevents the end of something good. In essence, our idea should create some value for the world. The history tells us that many start-up ideas are also simple. For instance, Google’s idea was to create a clean and simple search interface having ranked search results. eBay wanted to create a system for a “perfect market”. However, a simple idea does not mean the implementation of it is also simple. Many complex and extremely innovative algorithms involve behind Google’s simple idea.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Consultation & building relationships in 250 words

Building positive relationships among stakeholders is paramount to the success of any kind of business. Interestingly, different stakeholders are not the same in nature and the way we can build relationships is by no means the same. However, we can identify few things, which are important to any kind of relationship.

First, what is a relationship? Depending on the context, there can be many interpretations to the term “relationship” but generally, it means something about a connection. In order to sustain the relationship, this connection should create value to all the parties. Therefore, the basis for building relationships is about creating value for all the parties.

The trust between parties is very important when building relationships. It is so important that we can call the level of trust as the strength of the relationship. Then how can we build trust? The heart of building trust is about being truthful.  Always tell the truth and never miss a promise, then you can be truthful. In addition, if you could be there for other parties and be friendly with them that will greatly help to strengthen your relationship.

Having a good relationship with clients will greatly help you as a consultant. In fact, one important aspect of good consultation is about building relationships. Without a good relationship, you will not be able to get the client’s confidence and trust. Without confidence and trust, no one will ask your help. If nobody is asking your help, then you are no longer a consultant.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When is Outsourcing NOT an Option?

The decision to outsource the IT functions of an organization depends on the costs and benefits associated with it. The primary objective of outsourcing is to reduce the operational costs while gaining some competitive advantage over other competitors. At the same time, we must also consider the risks and long-term impact to the organization. Once we outsource certain functionality, the organization starts depends on those sourcing organizations and may face new uncontrollable risks. In this context, it is worthwhile to find out the possible disadvantages of outsourcing so that we can assess the impact of them on our outsourcing objectives.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What is the appropriate delivery model for the outsource strategy?

The appropriate delivery model for the outsource strategy of an organization depends on many things. When your objective is just short-term cost savings, or the activities under consideration are non-core, non-critical, then typically, you may simply outsource those activities to some vendor. However, in some cases captive operations can be more profitable than outsourcing. When the IT operations are part of your core competency, outsourcing may not be a suitable approach. For instance, if you are a software development firm and wants to control the entire software development life cycle, then captive operation may be a better approach than outsourcing.

In any kind of outsourcing, knowledge transfer remains an important aspect. Initially the organization may require disclosing certain information to the outsourcing vendor. Then throughout the project new knowledge may created and issues can arose regarding the ownership of the intellectual property rights. When the activities are highly knowledge based, the complex intellectual property rights situation may even outweigh the short-term cost advantages of outsourcing. On the other hand, captive operation may be a better approach to simplify these issues and keep the intellectual property rights within the organization.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Responding to a RFP

The request for proposal (RFP) process provides an effective bidding mechanism to make procurement decisions. It enables the organization to identify risks and benefits upfront. However, the RFP process is relatively lengthier and resource intensive for both the vendors and client. Then why clients make RFPs? Despite its associated costs, the RFP process enables the clients to find the best solution for the best possible cost. Hence, when responding to a RFP, we have to not only address the client requirements but also need to compete with other competitors.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Service Recovery Paradox: Rising from the Ashes

When I first heard about this concept of “having a service failure could results a better customer satisfaction than not having a service failure”, I thought this is some kind of joke. However, I soon found that there are number of studies done on this topic. Interestingly, this paradox of service recovery is supported by many management theories such as expectancy-disconfirmation theory, script theory and commitment-trust theory. Therefore, it is worth to have a more serious look at the implications of this paradox.