Friday 24 August 2007

A simple methodology for making build vs buy decision

Today while I was on web site of Elastic Path Software, I happened to read one of their white papers titled, Build versus Buy in Four Easy Steps. Initially I thought this must be another way to say that buying Elastic Path E-commerce Platform is the best decision to make! Yes, the white paper does have a sales pitch but still it makes a good read due to the methodology that they have described for making build versus buy decision.

The four easy steps of this simple methodology are as follows:

1. Pick up three criteria, each for buy and build options from a compiled list of criteria.
2. Put them vertically and horizontally on a three-by-three matrix. Then write the most compelling option in each cell by comparing intersecting criteria. In a group, each one has to do this exercise independently.
3. Count the number of buy and build options and that could give a good indication of your base decision. For a group, an average of counts would be needed.
4. Check out whether this decision makes sense to you. If not, then perhaps you have missed an important criteria or you have got single overriding criteria. For a group, a third possibility exists of unspoken assumptions!

The white paper describes this methodology in detail with examples and provides worksheets too. Given my experience of participating in many discussions for buy versus build decision-making, I found this methodology quite simple and hence quite useful.

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