Presentation Matters

After a few weeks off college we returned having four minutes to present on a paper we selected at the beginning of the module. Having had some disastrous presentations in my undergraduate course, presentations are not my strongest skill.

Despite this, my course offers me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, tackle this weakness in my skillset and challenge myself to do better when it comes to presentations. For my presentation I chose an article called “The End of Corporate Computing” (Carr, 2005). I initially choose this article because of it’s interesting take on the transformation of IT, but also, because it seemed like an easy article to read. In hindsight, it turns out that this was a mistake. The article was too light to be able to offer anything substantial to discuss in the presentation. This led to me basically just regurgitating the information from the article in my paper. Instead, I should have dug deeper and uncovered the flaws in the paper, by presenting a critique in this manner I would have offered more in my presentation. However, the disappointing grade I got for my presentation now withstanding, I enjoyed taking on the challenge and feel like I have learned a lot from the experience.

Once done with the presentations, we shifted focus to discussing an article called “Successful knowledge transfer within offshore supplier networks: a case study exploring social capital in strategic alliances” (Rottman, 2008). For me personally, this was an excellent paper to read on the complexity of outsourcing, in particular, I found the ability of the company involved to understand mistakes from their failures and use them to see the value in trying again. Further to that, here are my biggest takeaways from the paper:

  • knowledge transfer is key when looking for value driven outsourcing arrangements
  • Ensuring the supplier gains in-depth knowledge of how the client works and their products is of paramount importance
  • Being able to measure the outputs from the supplier in metrics is important and this means retaining knowledge in the client to be able to ensure the metrics are correct and are met
  • The importance of face to face meetings cannot be understated, they allow connections to be made that enhance global workspaces
  • It is of high importance to reassure the clients onshore work force that outsourced work is a win win situation where their workload gets lighter and their jobs are not under threat

During the class we also used the “Yes, and …” approach to share our understanding of the contents of the paper, which was a really interesting experience that I would encourage groups to try out.

Finally, we finished off the class by taking a look at the core banking sourcing case study. We looked for knowledge gaps we had in the case and what we would like to know more about. While time was limited we have set ourselves up to approach the next case as if we were consultants that might read a case study and offer advice. We must try to highlight problems in the case studies and offer solutions.

It’s time to start using the tools from the course and applying them to the upcoming cases.


  1. Carr, N. G. (2005). The End of Corporate Computing.
  2. Rottman, J. W. (2008). Successful knowledge transfer within offshore supplier networks: a case study exploring social capital in strategic alliances.

Donal Rafferty

Forever learning, Software Engineer, CoderDojo mentor, Smurfit Business School student, Photographer

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