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Demystifying Outsourcing: The Trainer's Guide to Working With Vendors and Consultants

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7941-6
360 pages
September 2006, Pfeiffer
Demystifying Outsourcing: The Trainer


Demystifying Outsourcing emphasizes the importance of building partnerships with consultants and vendors to achieve results. Training managers who utilize this resource will build their confidence and strengthen their outsourcing capabilities as they navigate complex outsourced projects.

As a comprehensive toolkit, the book takes the reader step by step through an outsourced initiative. Numerous stories bring the challenges of outsourcing to light. Practical tips and tools, and worksheets on the accompanying CD can be tailored easily to any project. Topics include:

  • Current trends and guiding principles in outsourcing
  • A strategic sourcing decision model to help managers make wise choices about what to outsource and what to retain
  • Identifying and selecting outsourcing partners
  • The RFP process and contract negotiations
  • Positioning consultants and vendors in the organization
  • Design, delivery and program evaluation of outsourced initiatives
  • Special situations such as dealing with conflict, inheriting a consultant and working with multiple consultants and vendors

Debbie Friedman is Operating Vice President at Federated Department Stores, where she heads up the Federated Leadership Institute, a training function whose mission is to strengthen the leadership capabilities of the top 1,800 executives.

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Table of Contents

List of Exhibits, Figures, and Tables.

Contents of the CD-ROM.




Part 1 Building a Strategic Foundation.

Chapter 1: Introduction.

The Growth of Outsourcing.

Why Outsourcing Is Increasing.

Benefits Outweigh the Risks.

Purpose of This Book.

An Overview of This Book.

How You Can Use This Book.

A Few Definitions.

What the Book Is Not.

Chapter 2: Guiding Principles.

Strategic Sourcing.

Transforming Partnerships.

Expanding Capability.

Your Learning Journal.

ASTD Competency Model.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 3: Sourcing: A Strategic Decision.

Strategic vs. Tactical Outsourcing.

Strategic Sourcing Decision Model.

Your Learning Journal.

Key Ideas.

Part 2 Identifying and Selecting Your Partners.

Chapter 4: Identifying Potential Consultants.

Establish Partnerships Before You Need Them.

Where to Look.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 5: The Request for Proposal.

The Purpose.

A Word of Caution.

Elements of the RFP.

The Reverse Auction.

Establishing the Partnership in the RFP Process.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 6: Selecting Consultants.

Establishing Selection Criteria.

Rehiring Consultants.

Meeting with Potential Consultants.

Auditioning Trainers or Speakers.

Checking References.

The Final Selection.

Avoiding Selection Pitfalls.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 7: The Contract.

Why Contract with Consultants?

Contract Provisions.

Letters of Agreement.

Your Learning Journal.

Key Ideas.

Part 3 Navigating Projects While Strengthening Partnerships.

Chapter 8: Positioning Consultants in Your Organization.

Consultants Seen as Threats.

Who to Involve.

How to Explain the Project to Employees.

How to Introduce Consultants.

Helping Consultants Connect with Senior Leaders.

Helping Consultants Connect with Administrative Support Staff.

Solicit Feedback.

Positioning Yourself.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 9: Launching the Project.

The Kick-Off Meeting.

Planning the Kick-Off Meeting.

Conducting the Kick-Off Meeting.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 10: Project Management.

Importance of Project Management.

Role of the Project Manager.

Managing Scope.

Managing Risk.

Managing Resources.

Managing Communications.

Project Management on Small Projects.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 11: Assessment of Need.

Should You Outsource Needs Assessment?

Assessment Issues.

If You Do Not Involve the Consultant.

Partnership Update.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 12: Design and Development.

Benefits of Outsourcing Design and Development.

Outputs of the Design and Development Phases.

How to Involve Consultants During Design and Development.

How to Maintain Partnerships with Consultants During Design and  Development.


Key Ideas.

Chapter 13: Implementation.

Preparation for Implementation.

The Implementation.

Post-Implementation Activities.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 14: Evaluation.

Importance of Evaluation.

Evaluation Models.

Planning Evaluations.

Roles and Responsibilities in Evaluation.

Partnership Update.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 15: Project Wrap-Up.

Learning Is the Goal.

The Partnership Update.

Expanding Personal Capability.


Your Learning Journal.

Key Ideas.

Part 4 Addressing the Challenges of Partnerships.

Chapter 16: Managing Conflict.

Value of Conflict.

Causes of Conflict.

Ways to Minimize Conflict in Your Partnerships.

Address Conflict That Arises.

When to Dissolve a Partnership.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 17: Inheriting a Consultant.

Evaluating Existing Projects.

Getting to Know the Consultants.

Providing Feedback to the Consultants.

Working with Consultants When There Is No Chemistry.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 18: Working with Multiple Consultants.

Why Hire Multiple Consultants.

Selection Considerations When There Are Multiple Consultants.

Setting Expectations Regarding Collaboration.

Managing Projects with Multiple Consultants.

Partnership Updates with Multiple Consultants.

Key Ideas.

Chapter 19: Additional Work for Your Consultants.

Importance of Setting Expectations Regarding Additional Work.

Your Role When There Is Additional Work.

Your Learning Journal.

Key Ideas.

Part 5 Expanding Your Personal Capability.

Chapter 20: A Development Plan.

Step I: Review Your Learning Journal.

Step II: Identify Strengths and Areas for Improvement.

Step III: Identify Ways to Leverage Strengths.

Step IV: Identify Ways to Improve Performance.

Step V: Measure Your Progress.

Some Final Words on Your Development.


About the Author.


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Author Information

Debbie Stores, where she heads Federated Leadership Institute, a training function whose mission is to strengthen the leadership capabilities of the top 1,800 executives. The focus of the Institute is to:
*Help leaders make an effective transition as they step up to broader responsibilities in the company
*Prepare high-potential executives for senior-level assignments
Partnership between Debbie, her staff, and external training and organization development providers is a key to the success of the Institute. Federated has been named for two years as one of the Top 100 Companies in Training and Development by Training Magazine. They have also received a Best Practice Award by the National Retail Federation for the work of the Leadership Institute.
Over her nineteen years with Federated, Debbie has managed numerous large-scale projects that have involved multiple vendors and consultants. Debbie considers managing vendor relationships one of the most challenging aspects of her job.
She has held other training positions at Federated, including director of training at Lazarus, a Midwest division, and at AT&T in the Sales and Marketing Education Organization. Debbie brings a background in university career planning and placement work and classroom teaching to her corporate training experience.
Debbie holds a master’s in education from Xavier University (Cincinnati) and a bachelor of arts from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University. She has published articles in professional journals and has spoken on numerous occasions at national, regional, and local conferences.
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This book is a good complement to all the books on how to be a consultant. It gives unique and practical advice on how to hire consultants and outside resources. It may be that the thinking and wisdom of the client in the hiring decision are more important than the skills of the consultant."
—Peter Block, author, Flawless Consulting

"Demystifying Outsourcing broadly spans every aspect of outsourcing educational initiatives—from assessment to contracting to celebrating your successes! This book should be a core resource in every training manager's library because they will return to it again and again to check its helpful tools at each phase of a project and to keep raising their own quality level."
—David Giber, senior vice president, Linkage, Inc.

"The author's in-depth and real-world experiences are evidenced in this book. It is filled with tools, tips, and techniques guaranteed to maximize the results you obtain from your partnerships with consultants and suppliers."
—Dana Gaines Robinson, coauthor, Performance Consulting and Strategic Business Partner

"Debbie Friedman has produced a wonderful overview of what we all need to know and practice when working with learning consultants. From strategy, to selection, management, and conflict, she delivers powerful insights between theory and practical experience. A must read for training managers."
—Wm. Douglas Harward, CEO and founder, TrainingOutsourcing.com, Inc.

"Friedman offers practical tips, tools, and expertise that will enable training managers to successfully build winning relationships with vendors and consultants. This book is a must read for training managers who need to maximize the strategic value from outsourcing."
—Merrill C. Anderson, chief executive officer, MetrixGlobal, LLC

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