How to Prepare to Outsource – What to Do

Want to greatly increase your chance of success with outsourcing?

Model tasks before you outsource them, especially if they are new and/or repetitive.

How do I model a task?

It’s simple. Actually perform the task yourself.

Why should I model a task?

  • Develop an Efficient Process and Save Money.

Through doing the task you figure out what works and what doesn’t and you develop a process. This forces you to look at all the steps involved and helps you identify unnecessary steps or inefficiencies. Even though some tasks can be done quite cheaply, if it is a repetitive task the cost will add up over time. You can save yourself a lot of money by streamlining the process before you outsource it.

  • Give Good Instructions

Modelling the task helps you to give good instructions to the person doing the work. You can be specific about what you want done and you can set the person up for success by giving them instructions that will work.

  • Familiarity with the Task

If you have done the task yourself your expectations about the results will be realistic. You will know roughly how long it takes to complete the task and what the work product looks like when it has been done properly.

  • Quality Assurance

If you have modelled the task yourself, you can put in checks and balances to assess the quality of the work. For example, if you need research done on a specific topic you can ask to be provided with links to the sources used. This way you can visit the sources and make sure that the research is thorough and has used high quality sources.

In my experience, modelling a task really pays off. It helps you work out the bugs and dispels any preconceptions you may have about how easy it is to do or how much time it will take. Obviously if it is a trivial, one time task modelling doesn’t make sense but if it is a large task or a repetitive one it is worth your while to do a dry run yourself. You will be surprised at what you learn.

Do you model tasks before you outsource them?   Do you think it is a good idea?

Don’t know if you should outsource?  Read my previous post.

Photo Credit: Louis K.

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