In the modern business world, external resources can be defined as any inputs into a commercial operation that come from outside of that enterprise. External resources may include materials that are used to manufacture other goods, or they may include activities that are performed by a contracted firm or individual contractor in order to provide customers or clients with a primary service. A web design studio, for instance, may perform important functions that a business requires to offer online services to its clientele. While the web design studio doesn’t work directly with the clients of the business in question, the activities it performs for the business are integral to the service offerings being used by that business’ customers. At Paragon Solutions, this type of approach is called the Studio Model. In this day and age, using such a model can accomplish many important goals, such as reducing project delivery costs and increasing efficiency, but only if the vendors in question are reliable from one project to the next. Here are a few considerations your organization should make in order to make the most of your external resources.

The Basics of the Studio Model

The Studio Model is essentially a resource pool and supporting structure that is managed by clients and vendors. This model is designed to ensure that resources are available when necessary, in order to meet either team or individual resource demands. A Studio Model for external resources might include the following:

  • Resources that are based on skills, availability, cost and performance requirements
  • Pre-screened, pre-trained, domain/industry-experienced and project-ready resources

Big Advantages of the Studio Model

The Studio Model can potentially provide a number of benefits to a growing business. Most firms decide to utilize the Studio Model in order to shift the most time-consuming activities and related administration costs to the vendor in order to bring about a lower cost of overall project resourcing. This model, when used effectively, can reduce the time-to-productivity ratio by relying on a vendor to maintain trained and project-ready resources. This reduces overall project delivery costs by load-balancing resources intuitively across multiple projects. Saving time and money, and increasing productivity, are things virtually any business leader can see the benefits of.

How to Effectively Utilize the Studio Model

In order to reduce project delivery costs, organizations must find the most efficient and effective ways to utilize their external resources from a short-term and long-term perspective. This means finding external resources that add value and foster innovation within your business model. If you work in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, you may be aware of organizations in your field using an open innovation model that relies on both internal and external resources to develop and commercialize new products. The key is to foster innovation and rely only on external resources based on their availability, cost, performance and skill level, rather than on cost alone. These external resources must be trained and ready to go for your project, with detailed knowledge and experience in your specific industry or domain. And, perhaps most importantly, there must be some assurance that the resources in question will be available when needed, or there must be a backup plan in place to ensure that there will be no discernable interruption in service. The whole point of the Studio Model is to make project delivery more affordable, efficient and effective, after all. Without a plan in place to accommodate unforeseen circumstances where the external resource may not be available, the advantages of using the Studio Model may all be lost. With careful planning and your choice of only the most qualified and reliable external resources, however, this model can work for you.

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