Carnegie Mellon University
67-325, 95-836: Global Systems Delivery Models
Fall Semester, 2006, Session A1

Instructor: Randy S. Weinberg
Office: Porter Hall 223G
Phone: 412-268-3228
Office Hours: TBA

Course Meetings: Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:20pm, Baker Hall A53

Required Readings: Articles and Cases (links will be provided to Harvard case studies)

Recommended Readings:
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
Offshoring Information Technology : Sourcing and Outsourcing to a Global Workforce by Erran Carmel and Paul Tjia

There are many good sources on the internet. Check the CMU libraries online for ACM, IEEE and other journal sources. Check ComputerWorld, Information Week, for news, reports, cases, links.

Course Overview

Outsourcing of software services is a now a mainstay of business practice. The decision to outsource software services to providers in distant places has many risks and careful management of critical success factors is essential. Increasingly, students majoring in information systems, business and computer science will be involved as managers or technologists in projects engaging multiple providers and development teams in diverse locations. Management of outsourcing relationships will be an increasingly important skill for students expecting to fully participate in the emerging IT marketplace of the 21st century.

This course introduces the business context and mechanics of outsourcing including offshore outsourcing.  Students will learn how outsourcing works in practice and will study the economic, social, political and practical aspects of outsourcing. 

Classes will typically consist of lectures, guest speakers, class discussions, and presentations of case studies.

A combination of weekly readings, short writing assignments and a team "business case" project will be required. 

At the end of the course, students will have a basic understanding of the following:
1.  Emerging global business environment and conducting business globally
2.  Concepts and models of outsourcing
3.  Business Value of Outsourcing
4.  Enablers and Inhibitors of Global Delivery systems
5.  Social, Political and Economic impacts of outsourcing; Cultural considerations
6.  Mechanics of outsourcing IT Enabled Services

Course Expectations and Course Grades

To complete the course successfully, students will be expected to complete the following activities.  Weights indicate the contribution to the final course grade.

From week 2 through week 6 there will be a short in-class writing assignment (a paragraph or two) based on the assigned reading material for the week. You cannot make up any in class writing assignment you miss either through absence or lateness.  These writing assignments will be given promptly at 6:30pm. If you arrive late, do not expect to make up any missed assignment.

Other factors, such as class participation and punctual, regular attendance may be used, at the instructor's option, to make adjustments to final grades in borderline cases. The instructor will assume that you are well prepared for class each week and will feel free to call upon you.  

Tentative Course Outline:


Coverage, Readings, Assignments, etc.

Week 1: Aug. 29st

Outsourcing Primer

References: Thomas Friedman at the Fitzgerald Theater (mp3) in-class listening
"It's A Flat World, After All" by Thomas L. Friedman (NY Times article)

Required Readings:

Business Week articles on Future of Outsourcing (handout) OR
Online version at

Offshoring: Is It a Win-Win Game? McKinsey & Company

Globalization and Offshoring of Software: Executive Summary and Findings Report of the Association for Computing Machinery

Week 2: Sep. 5th

Globalization and the Strategic Value of Outsourcing

References: Global 3.0 (mp3) American RadioWorks, American Public Media; in-class listening

Guide to Case Analysis (Discussion of Preparing, Discussing, Presenting Cases)

Required Readings:
Jay Nielson & AKKA International: Outsourcing in India (Case Study - HBS/Ivey Case)

Feed R&D - or Farm It Out? (HBS Case Study)

Net Present Value & Rate of Return for Capital Budgeting for Projects

Week 3: Sep. 12th

Outsourcer and Outsourcee Perspectives

Guests:  Ms. Christine O'Brien (Senior VP, Mellon Financial Corp.) and Mr. Anbu G.Muppidathi (Director and Client Partner, Cognizant Technology Solutions)

Procter & Gamble: Global Business Services (HBS Case Study)

Profiting From Business Process Outsourcing IEEE IT Professional

Week 4: Sep. 19th

Lessons Learned

Guest:  Mr. Ron Glickman (Cognizant Technology Solutions)

Offshoring: What Can Go Wrong IEEE IT Professional

When Outsoucing Goes Awry (HBS Case Study)

Keys to Successful Software Project Outsourcing Construx White Paper

Project Deliverable #1 Due

Week 5: Sep. 26th

Outsourceability, Portfolio Assessment, Project Feasibility, Cultural Issues

Cathay Pacific: Doing More With Less (HBS Case Study)

Strategic Sourcing: From Periphery to the Core (HBS Case Study)

Guest: Professor Andreea Deciu Ritivoi, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of English

Week 6: Oct. 3rd

Engagement, Program and Project Management

Guest:  Dr. Bill Hefley (Associate Director, IT Services Qualification Center, CMU)

Week 7: Oct. 10th

Summary and Presentation by Students

Project Deliverable #2 Due