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The External Resources Worksheet helps identify processes and tasks that require outsourcing to external providers to improve the organization's agility. It includes two dimensions used to evaluate the degree to which a task is suitable for outsourcing rather than the use of internal resources. The first dimension is the complexity of the task or the degree to which completion relies on many interdependent factors and outcomes that are difficult to predict. The second is the degree to which the knowledge required to complete the task is hidden—i.e., it is not clear which individuals or teams are best suited to complete the task. The second is the degree to which the knowledge required to complete the task is hidden—i.e., it is unclear which individuals or teams are best suited to complete the task. For tasks identified as best completed using external resources, it guides the type of external resources best utilized.
Before using this tool, it is necessary to identify the tasks that need outsourcing. Leaders from relevant functions and business units should develop a primary list of potentially outsourced tasks to focus on. After developing an initial list of tasks, a relevant group of leaders or a task force should evaluate each task. The evaluation should occur on two dimensions: complexity and hidden knowledge.