Outsource It!: A No-Holds-Barred Look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Offshoring Tech Projects

Nick Krym

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 193778505X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


If you need to expand your business but not your budget, if your group has an intense but short-term project, if you don't have the skill set to get a job done-it's time to think about outsourcing. Starting from the first step (should you outsource part of your tech work?) to the last (how can you protect your intellectual property?), you'll learn everything about setting up projects overseas.

Sending your prized assets halfway around the world-or halfway around the country-takes a lot of courage for technical leads accustomed to doing things themselves. This book is full of real-life examples that show you how outsourcing really works.

Learn how to choose your outsourcing destination by defining selection criteria tables and applying weights to them. You'll see how to pick the right vendor and understand why recommendations aren't the right way to do it. Then calculate the quality of the code your offshore developers turn in. You'll find out how to adjust your waterfall or agile project for an overseas team, and you'll see why outsourcing QA is not always the prudent approach. Your offshore team will never be as productive as your local team-you'll learn why that doesn't always matter. Finally, you'll discover how much money you'll spend to outsource and how much you can save-which is sometimes more than you'd think and less than you'd like.

Written by an expert who's seen it all, Outsource It! will help you avoid mistakes and give you the confidence and the skills to take your project wherever it needs to go.

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Your knee-jerk reaction might be to throw the phone out the window or fire the vendor on the spot. Or you might want to take a deep breath and negotiate. Step 1: Understand the Situation. Clear the air and find out what’s going on. Gather your thoughts, create a list of questions, and call your AM. Discuss the situation until you get a view of the situation, the affected parties, and the issues that need to be resolved. Listen attentively and take detailed notes. Separate people and personalities from the issues (it’s not the AM who caused the problem), and don’t get emotional.

Preparation may require work in multiple dimensions: Review your MSA termination clause and identify the exact steps of the process. You may need to send prior notification, communicate by specific media, or fulfill other obligations. In 99. 999 percent of cases, you’ll need your legal team’s support. Develop an initial ramp-down plan that covers all aspects of disentanglement from a technology viewpoint. The steeper the ramp-down curve, the better off you are in many aspects. Aim for the quickest possible cut-off.

4 Dealing with Internal Risks When it comes to internal risks, the biggest culprit is unrealistic expectations. Your management, investors, and business users have been conditioned to expect significant cost savings with outsourcing. Unless not-so-aggressive benchmarks have been established, chances are you’ll be under humongous pressure to deliver against impossible targets. So before you set sail on your outsourcing journey, take a look at Section 1. 4, ​Understanding the Fine Print​. To make sure that your stakeholders understand what they can reasonably expect for savings and offshore team productivity, you may want to get them all in the same room and present your points.

In addition, a negotiation went well if your interests are addressed, relationships remain intact, you gained more than you lost, you did not get more than you bargained for, and you feel good about it. Negotiations take many forms. Dialogues can range from Middle Eastern-bazaar-style haggling to official black-tie collaborative sessions. In every case the core remains the same: the parties are looking for mutually acceptable terms. Sometimes during negotiations communications vier off in a direction that has nothing to do with negotiating.

When I asked for referrals to an Indian vendor on an alumni list, I received more than twenty replies in one hour. Professional associations and networking sites such as LinkedIn and ITToolBox and outsourcing associations such as NASSCOM (which with more than 1,200 members is the leader of the pack) can generate a huge list of leads. Information from industry analysts such as Gartner can be exceptionally helpful. If you want to limit the size of the initial sampling, try industry lists such as “Emerging Companies” and “Best Companies to Work For,” both of which are published by NASSCOM.

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