Common mistakes of Offshore Development
|22 Feb 2006
|Russian company BCS-IT answers common outsourcing quesionts.|
Part 2 of 4
Outsourcing is not always a success. How would you evaluate your experience in the field of offshore programming from the point of view of risks/committed mistakes? What mistakes have been done? What risks should be taken into consideration?
The most important risk in our opinion is customer’s not adequate readiness to withdraw non core processes outside the company. We often have to face the following – the client clearly understands strategic tasks of his business but can not extract not essential tasks from the whole process. Or he doesn’t have a clear idea of this specific task withdrawal process. It is important to clearly plan all the process before the project starts. You need to have exact conception of what will be given to outside provider for development and what will stay inside the company (for example project management), how the responsibilities will be arranged inside the your company and service provider company and etc.
This preparation work should necessarily be done either independently or with help of outside consultants (you can use help of your service provider by the way). At this point you can evaluate professionalism of your provider – they should demand a much clear description of the process as possible, but not press towards “as soon as possible” start of the project. All the details should be described and confirmed. The customer should be fully confident that the task is clearly understood and the provider should not only understand the task but also try to understand the customer and his business specificity. For example in BCS-IT we try to learn not only about the task but about its history also – it is important for us to know why are we doing this work, what will be in the end and how is it useful to the customer.
Thus unwillingness to share the plans with the provider can lead to fatal consequences. Sometimes the customer in the middle of the project changes his plans or decides to add something to existing technical specification. This decision is not critical if it is not unexpected and the provider is given a chance to prepare for such changes. For reliable service provider it is important to foresee at least some of such possibilities and to talk them over before the project is launched. On this stage of initial agreement and confirmation you will be able to learn about provider’s professionalism in prevision and prevention of disputable aspects.
After the planning has been done and the project is started new challenges such as cultural differences, language problems can occur. These are additional risks that should be considered when selecting a partner.
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