Client companies

Core vs Context analysis for optimizing resourcing in software development

If you have endlessly flexible in-house resources available for your software projects, no need to read further. The rest of us, living in the real world, we need to optimize.

Geoffrey Moore introduced 2005 in his great book Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution the concept of Core vs Context Analysis Framework for businesses to manage their resourcing within the company by categorizing all company processes in the Core and the Context.



In the book, he gives a simple example of what’s core and what’s context:

Tiger Woods’ core business is his golfing while his context business is the advertising work. The advertising brings in lots of money and is important, but he wouldn’t even have that, the context, without his core golfing business.

The Core vs Context is a brilliant framework to analyze a company’s business and processes, but how to take advantage of in practice in your software development sourcing strategy?


Core and Context example





Outsourcing options

A simple rule of thumb would be “do all core in-house with own tech team, and outsource all context”. But things are not usually that simple.

Going through all boxes of the analysis, here’s a recommendation what you can do in each:


1. Collaborate



PoC, demo, …

Fresh ideas from the outside, latest industry best practices

YDIN Services: Individual specialists, Team extension, Complete team


2. Develop in-house

YDIN Services: Individual specialists, Team extension


3. Partner

Partner with the right kind of software development agency or agencies.

Long-term strategic partner.

Risk: The software components, even not Core, are still Mission Critical for your business.

Treat like you would treat your own employees.

Extension to your own tech team, either mixed or separate teams.

YDIN Services: Team extension, Complete team


4. Optimize

Move the best resources to work with the Core.

Outsource, standardize, ultimately terminate,…

YDIN Services: Complete team