Top critical review
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A very weak book that teases but does not deliver.
on 21 January 2010
While a few good points are made in the text they would barely fill a short series in a trade magazine. The authors seem to assume that because outsourcing of business processes is relatively new (i.e. relative to the history of the corporation) that all readers will be completely naïve on the associated issues. However the procurement of goods and services are not a new subjects. The authors thus waste a good deal of time covering material that many managers will be familiar with or can get ready advice from contracts and procurement colleagues. The authors promote the concept of employing a `Chief Resource Officer' and certified out-sourcing professionals with all the enthusiasm of people wishing to create new silos and overhead rather than integrated solutions. The authors offer no particular insights from their own apparent outsourcing experience in the form of case studies (de-identified or otherwise).
The majority of the book covers the perspective of the company outsourcing and focuses on large outsourcing deals. The second part discusses getting a job with an outsourcer. This section is accompanied by hints like `TIP: Follow the winds of change' and `TIP: learn to use cutting edge job-hunting tools' by which they seem to mean the internet. A final part briefly how to set up a small outsource provider. One tip their refers the reader to the web site address of the institute for outsourcing founded by the authors. That address is no longer active....
The authors' apparent preferred writing is to create lists. While sometimes bullet pointed lists are appropriate it soon becomes wearing. Close to half the book is also made up of long and bland lists of activities that can be outsourced, large outsourcing providers, outsourcing web sites etc. These lists are not appendices but buried in the text of chapters. Not only is this material generally US-centric, it is also now 5 years out of date and basically their inclusion is an insult to the environment. These large lists would be better maintained on a web-site. Frustratingly the authors have a web-site for the book that is still active and does include some of that information there. The terms and conditions that must be accepted to download a simple list of vendors from that site are 4 pages long, which is a sign.