Is there anything worse than realizing that an in-house project is hopelessly off track? Sure there is: finding out that the offending off-track project is outsourced.
Maybe you should have included requests for more frequent reporting when you were putting together the contract. Perhaps problems could have been avoided if you specified when you should be notified if things went awry. If you had just given the project a solid end date and assigned penalties if it wasn’t completed on time, maybe it wouldn't have gotten so out of control.
Oh, well. Your job was fun while it lasted.
To help ensure that the outsourced projects you manage are on track from beginning to end, TechRepublic columnist Tom Mochal has put together a quality assurance checklist for outsourced projects. It is designed to help you keep up with project milestones and deadlines and retain a day-to-day involvement in project management responsibilities.
According to Mochal, the checklist works best under these three conditions:
- This checklist picks up when the project has already been defined and the outsourcer has been chosen. It should not be used to define the project or pick the outsourcer.
- This checklist assumes that you are outsourcing a project, such as an IT development project. This checklist is not applicable if you are outsourcing a department or a service.
- The usefulness of the checklist is based on the assumption that a project definition has already been created, along with a formal contract. (Your company may have a different term for the project definition, such as project charter or statement of work.) If this planning document is not prepared and formally approved, the information on the checklist needs to be included as a part of the contract.
Download this quality assurance checklist before you start your next project.
How do you ensure that outsourced projects are on track?
Tell us the methods you use to determine whether outsourced projects are progressing according to plan. Do you use checklists like the one we’ve featured here? Send them to us in an e-mail, and we’ll use them in future downloads.