Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Problems with outsourcing

A post on Management Perspectives, Problems with maintenance, I spoke of the problems that could arise through through deferral of maintenance in order to meet immediate targets. I suggested that this had become something of a pattern.

The post was triggered by problems experienced by the Australian Navy. Now an article in the Australian, 'Cancerous' morale risks our navy fleet, fleshes out a related element. Reading this and related material, the argument goes that in out sourcing key maintenance functions, the Navy has lost in-house engineering capability to the point that it now threatens the very capacity to properly manage the maintenance function.

The problems Boeing faces with the 787 Dreamliner have been well documented and especially on Ben Sandiland's blog Plane Talking. Something of the same issues seem to have arisen here. Boeing outsourced to the point that it lost effective control of the whole project.

New airliners are always a complex, bet your business, project. Success depends upon strong internal management and engineering competence. Boeing appears to have got the balance wrong.         

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