Getting Results from Professional Services Firms: A Systematic Approach



For many businesses, the 1980s and 90s were a "roller coaster ride." While the cost of computer power dropped exponentially, the cost for professional staff increased almost as rapidly.

Because of these trends, business and professional organizations throughout the U.S. are seeking ways to control their labor costs. One solution drawing increasing attention is the use of outside resources (often referred to as "outsourcing") to augment full-time professional staff.

Only a few years ago, the outsiders most businesses tapped for assistance were information consultants who could provide needed expertise in narrow specialty areas such as strategic planning. Today, more and more managers of professional service functions are drawing upon professional services firms for resources to supplement their internal staff. They do so in order to accommodate fluctuating service demands. It is now commonplace for businesses to outsource to professional services firms that provide the talents of business consultants, instructional designers, technical writers, programmers, media producers, scriptwriters, project managers, and the like.

This publication suggests ways for you to take best advantage of the services of such outside professionals. Although the examples throughout are based on training and documentation development services, the rules and principles presented apply to virtually any outsourcing requirement.


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