Don’t Offshore your Problems. They will bounce back as Migraines!

I often discuss with clients who have shown interest in Mindfire services. And from them i hear about things which have gone wrong in their past attempts at offshoring, things which have failed and things which have actually harmed the existing business altogether. That is why clients i speak with have very minimal tolerance and trust levels, making it increasingly difficult for communication to happen. I mean, I can keep talking and they can simply be ‘Switched Off’ during the entire conversation. Hence I patiently listen.

A client is a normal human being who is running a business for profits. What he needs basically is a solution to his problems or situation. That can be a software solution, a security solution, a testing solution, a design solution or a framework consulting solution or the like. If he has multiple things he is seeking for, he would be happy to get all the answers in one place and the vendor firm which can supply this to him becomes a one stop solution for him. Advantages – less headache. Disadvantages – More headache because if the vendor fails – client would rarely know what failed!

Problems converting to Migraines
Problems converting to Migraines

During this solutioning process, the client is looking for a partner who comes up with solutions to a problem rather than coming forward with a bunch of problems. If the offshore firm’s team keeps coming back to the client for directions regarding every small thing, it completely defeats the purpose of outsourcing itself.

Classic Examples of situation above:

1.  Client logs off sending email to the offshore team – ” Hi PadmanavaRajaGopalan, When you login in the morning, check for Ravi’s designs and upload it into the UI we have been using. Ours was functional, remember.. This one is the graphic one. ”  Off the record – Ravi is the designer from Pune who is working from India.

Developer ‘P’ comes in the morning. Checks the design which has been sent by the designer and the email from the client. Tests the design diligently and logs in defects in the defect tracker. Sends a note to the client, sends a note to the designer and calls it a day.

It is late afternoon when the designer gets the email from the developer P. He replies back with his comments and says these are not defects. These are minor things and is not acceptable as defects. He marks a copy to the client too!

Client wakes up in his morning. Hopes to find the design integrated. Opens up his mailbox and sees agitated emails flying around. No one has cared to understand the importance of implementation today. Another day wasted because developer has asked a question – with all these defects, should i implement the design on the website?? The designer has also asked a question – These are all minor defects, do you want me to fix all this? This is going to cost extra hours!!! #$%^&$%!#@!

——————–

This is what normally happens when the outsourcing firms raise their hands whenever they could actually have taken the bottomline responsibility. Identifying a partner who owns up the tasks and sees them to completion, is one who comes up with solutions to a problem rather than coming forward with a bunch of problems. The Key lies in identifying and empowering such firms.

Interested to know more about the other critical situations which become pain points in a offshore software development arrangement? Download Whitepaper here.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this.

Regards

Sam

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Offshore your Problems. They will bounce back as Migraines!

  1. Well, all I see here is a management and communications issue.

    Firstly, why is the client interacting with the developer directly? Secondly, where was the importance/criticality of the change being deployed next day emphasised? Why is there a communication breakdown between the designer and the developer and finally, where is the Project Manager & Client Manager in the whole equation?

    Whoever has written up the above example has clearly failed to take the above into account. I am not advocating that there aren’t any issues in off-shoring, but the fact there are several impediments to offshoring (Management & Communications being just two) and hence it is important to realise what the impediments to off-shoring and mitigate them well in advance.

  2. Hi TG, the way Fortune 1000 or 5000 operate is significantly different from the way SMBs operate. Small and Medium Businesses typically even are 1 person companies where the same person is the CEO, is the Marketing Head, is the sales head and the developer as well. In such a situation, they are truly pressed for time. Hence if their information flows thru multiple hierarchies, needless to say there is loss of time as well as information which an SMB can really afford. In addition, hierarchies mean inevitably more cost which is a barrier in itself.
    Hence, most SMBs like to speak to the developer directly and that is how business works. Not all companies have processes in place to cater to the needs of SMBs – hence SMBs are not serviced correctly in many organisations. This is my personal opinion.

    But I really appreciate you taking time out and sharing your thoughts on this. I would love to hear your comments and wish you share thoughts always.

    Thank you
    Sam

  3. Well I found this a case of freelances and not the organization where people work team and there is no blame games . and this is a internal matter of team and solved. The delivery manager takes care of all these things and and responsible for the report of the day.
    So A suggestion if you are planning to outsource your problem then do not choose freelancers just choose a company either it is a small company and they have every thing the designer,tester,developer and their cost is also not very high and provide quality work.

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