My story, Part V. An adventure in the world of outsourcing

After 11 years in the corporate world, after two acquisitions, I decided to change my environment and hit a third one.

The change was tremendous. It was not so far from the embedded development, still in the area of industrial software but taking the outsourcing perspective.

The owner was a Dutch living in Sofia. After a couple of conversations I was hired. It was a small outsourcing company (about 35 employee) for the world biggest supplier of lithography systems (guess who!). I joined the management team to contribute with my experience and skills.

Together with the CEO we identified three main directions to work on and I started to eliminate them one by one:

A) Quality management (e.g. test)

  • Quality was low in terms of keeping commitments, but the quality of development. I discovered that testing was at a quite good level actually. Topic closed.

B) Change management (e.g. process definition & improvement)

  • The Improvement program was led in parallel of the basic management processes. So I took care to integrate and optimize the process improvement. Topic closed.

C) Project management

  • No project management practices existed by this time. The clients alarmed hardly that quality is low.
  • It took me some time to realize that the formulation of the problem was misleading. Actually the client stakeholders were strongly impacted by the missed deadlines and budget surprises.
  • Finally this remained my main focus: establish practices, lead projects by example and, step-by-step, introduce the demonstrated practices while mentoring other teams.

Definitely this not regulated environment was a shock for me. No structure, no rules, just a group of happy people striving to solve the problems of the clients. Additionally a big organizational contrast threw dust in the eyes: the client was giant organization with well justified heavy rules and procedures.

Surprisingly before I passed three months in the company, its CEO and owner informed the management team that he initiated the selling process of the company to a big Dutch service provider. I enjoyed another type of acquisition.

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