The Caveat of Crowdsourcing

CrowdsourcingCrowdsourcing is a form of project management that pulls from the time, talents, and resources of a large pool of workers. Crowdsourcing has been utilized across the globe in areas such as software development, image tagging, and transcription. And while the relative low cost of crowd-completed work may be appealing to a business on a tight budget there are many disadvantages.

Poor workforce

A typical crowdsource platform is an online interface that allows anyone, regardless of actual credentials, to qualify to work on one or more parts of a given project. Users must simply complete a very limited test in order to gain access to work and rarely undergo any prerequisite training.

Potentially unethical

In certain underdeveloped countries, these tests are completed by a handful of educated workers but their tasks spread out among dozens of completely unqualified individuals.  The ones actually doing the work only retain a very small fraction of the offered compensation. Many companies that provide a crowdsourced workflow have been accused of labor exploitation.

More work for the project manager

Crowdsourced jobs are not subject to ongoing quality checks. This makes it is necessary for the project manager to intensely scrutinize every piece of information obtained through the outsource program.

Less control

Crowdsourcing is impersonal. This means it is difficult to impossible to speak face-to-face with the individual doing the work. These “workers” may or may not even speak the native language of the one posting the task in the first place. Job creators rarely have the luxury of selecting who they want on their project.

Unguaranteed results

Once a crowdsourced job is posted, there is no absolute guarantee that anyone will be able to complete the project to required standards.

Unsuitable for sensitive or strategic projects

As crowdsourcing is a public platform by which individuals can seek (usually low-paying) jobs, it is absolutely unsuitable for businesses requiring any level of discretion.

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