You’re not Tiger Woods!

Tiger_woods AMR Research’s CEO, Tony Friscia, delivered a superb analogy that software and golf are more related than we may think:

"A large percentage of golfers bought new golf clubs every two to three years. Yet the average golf handicap hasn’t dropped one point… for either you or me. But in the hands of Tiger Woods, that technology makes a tremendous difference, which is why some of these technologies are prohibited on the pro tour"

I’d even go as far as using this analogy to describe the relationship between an enterprise and its outsourcing provider.  The provider provides the golf clubs, but ultimately it’s the buyer who is making the shots…

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2 Comments

  1. Posted March 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Phil,

    You make a good point about the buyer calling the shots. But the reason that people often fail to get the value that they were sold by the outsourcing provider is that they don’t really look at the relationship as a partnership. It’s usually just “your mess for less” or staff augmentation. And there’s often little real value in that kind of relationship.

    To follow your analogy, it’s like a golfer who slices every time, but never takes any actions to change their swing plane or their initial setup.

    When a company really collaborates with a provider and moves from task orientation (do exactly what I tell you to) to a goal orientation (this is what I need done, you figure out the best way to accomplish it), they start to really see value. All the best practices they heard about actually start to get utilized. And concurrently, the provider and their team start to feel some real ownership and feel greater personal investment, resulting in improved effort and enhanced output.

    That’s exactly the type of relationship we strive for at Symphony Services. We always try to educate our clients that if they treat us as if we were actual employees and establish a collaborative, 2-way dialogue, they’ll see better results than they ever expected. In some cases we’re part of a client’s architectural council, having significant impact on the roadmap of their products. With better understanding of the client’s business strategy, the teams have the context they need to understand what impact they are having and what issues the client if facing, both stated and unstated. In one case, one of the Symphony teams was working on a product and realized that there was an unserved market opportunity. The team on it’s own initiative built a prototype of the new module and presented it to the client. The client loved it and had Symphony build the full product. The result was $6M is brand new revenue for the client. Hole in one!

  2. Posted March 31, 2008 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Glenn – great sales pitch :)

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