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  • 17 Dec

Cutting waste not corners: 5 top tips

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In this new age of austerity, most retail IT departments have found that their budgets and headcounts have been trimmed. Being expected to do more, with less resource has led many retailers to consider outsourcing key projects.  Outsourcing gives them the benefit of people with IT skills for as long as they need them, but no longer. This sounds ideal in theory, but in practice, how can retailers be sure that they have found the right external partner? My top tips when looking for an IT Projects Services provider are:

1)      Check they have sufficient breath and depth of experience. An obvious one, but don’t let cost-cutting blind you to this. Take advantage of a Project Services provider who can provide project continuity across a “pool” of available resource and retain the knowledge of your business for future projects.

2)      Make sure their personnel have the relevant qualifications to back up this experience. PRINCE2 is a process-based approach that is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK.

3)      Ensure that they are specialists in your sector. The provider may have worked on numerous IT projects, but do they have retail experience?

4)      Familiarise yourself with the ethos of the company. For the project to be successful, you need to trust and respect the Project Managers who you will be working with. If the chemistry isn’t right, then maybe it’s best to look elsewhere.

5)      Ask if they can give you full project lifecycle support – this should include a single point of contact for consulting, planning, resourcing, management, delivery and reports. Anything else will lead to confusion later on.

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