Your product development effort has been outsourced to an OPD vendor. You think you have strict project management controls and disciplined measurement and reporting of metrics. After all, you have many Gantt charts, graphs, dashboards, and health indices to prove it. Yet your product development is in deep trouble and this scenario is more common than you might imagine. The question to ask is if you are measuring the right things?

Managing an OPD effort is different from managing an in-house effort as you are dealing with another entity whose objectives are different from yours. Even if it is your own captive facility, their objectives may not be the same as yours, and it gets complicated further that their customers happen to be internal people. Defining a proper set of metrics is a great place to start to make OPD a success. People who are best in doing it are the vendors who have expertise in doing it for multiple customers of theirs. This, in turn, can act as a roadmap for continually improving the collaborative effort between the customer and the vendor.

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