MIS Quarterly Executive


IS project managers regularly face the issue of whether to use temporary external personnel to augment internal personnel on software development projects. Based on interviews within 16 organizations, we found that viewing the use of external hires simply as a stop-gap measure can mask potential long-term impacts on an organization’s capabilities to undertake current and future software development initiatives. Our findings indicate that the implications of using temporary external personnel go beyond the immediate objective of addressing skill shortages and cover a variety of increasingly important issues, specifically:• Developing internal staff skill-sets and organizational software development capabilities• Capturing, storing, accessing, and disseminating knowledge gained from external hires• Planning for current and future software development projects.We present our findings on the challenges associated with this sourcing alternative and provide solutions that organizations have used to address their long-term IS human resource needs.