1. I accept that I am under the control of a higher power (Muppet).

Outsourcing

The problem with outsourcing is that it makes you (the person managing it) dependent on their success.

And often (2 out of 3 I've seen), they're not successful.
So you're the one getting yelled at.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
March 13th, 2007 2:21pm
Fair enough.  Even without outsourcing, projects can be unsuccessful.  The problem is, when outsourced, the lessons learned (if any) are learned in India, not in your company.

Thus, not only do you have the same proportion of unsuccessful products, any expertise gained by the process is NOT gained by your company.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 13th, 2007 2:26pm
the theory behind oss is that the stuff you should open source is the stuff that isn't 'core' to your business...IMO outsourcing should be treated the same way.
Permalink Send private email zestyZucchini 
March 13th, 2007 2:27pm
Outsourcing was never about success. It is about taking a budget number and slicing it in half and pocketing the difference.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 13th, 2007 2:28pm
What sop said. There's little difference between insourcing and outsourcing except the budgets. Managers get blamed for failure on insourced projects too. Maybe even more so. And the insourced knowledge is as likely to walk away as Indian knowledge. Probably more so, because the Indian knowledge is there as long as you need it. For a price.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 13th, 2007 2:33pm
same software, half price.  that's success in my cost-cutting, profit hungry, corporate machine.
Permalink zed 
March 13th, 2007 2:35pm
Well, "strawberry", I disagree that "insourced knowledge is just as likely to walk away".  Sure, if you do the work with summer interns. 

But even Contractors have a little more loyalty (or even track records) with a company than an outsourced Indian company with (to you) anonymous workers.

Otherwise I completely agree with SoP's point. 

And if you think that 60% of the time a project is going to be unsuccessful, it's MUCH cheaper to outsource an unsuccessful project than to pay people at home to fail.

The problem with that logic is that it assumes an outsourced project will succeed 40% of the time.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 13th, 2007 2:37pm
Actually about 1/3 price in this case, which means you can fail twice and still get the system for the same price as what it would have cost to develop in-house.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
March 13th, 2007 2:38pm
Oh, and they're 4 months late.  When it was estimated to do in-house inside 2 months.

Arggg.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
March 13th, 2007 2:39pm
Company loyalty is for suckers, STH. Or fanatics.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 13th, 2007 2:39pm
> which means you can fail twice and still

This assumes there's no opportunity cost on the extra time. Would the software have brought in revenue or saved costs? That has to be plugged in. Also, the local resources use to coordinate the remote project are unavailable for new projects. That also has a cost.

But this is still all diversionary.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 13th, 2007 2:42pm
> This assumes there's no opportunity cost on the extra time.

Assuming that there's extra time and an assignment begins after one ends, this is true. Usually, in projects outsourced the whole bulk of work isn't given, at least in software. Only portions of code are outsourced. People from the offshore team travel to onsite and those from onsite travel to offshore during the intial phases. With the economies of scale achieved over time, the cost savings and the number of projects that can be done successfully increases.
Permalink Send private email Senthilnathan N.S. 
March 13th, 2007 2:57pm
> the cost savings and the number of projects that
> can be done successfully increases.

This what officers tell themselves to justify pocketing the money, but is it ever true? I don't see any VPs up at midnight in a phone conference with Bangalore explaining the most obvious of features and bugs.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 13th, 2007 3:01pm
> but is it ever true?

It again varies on the person.

People in India work in their evening into late night. The conference calls usually happen morning EST (or basically the client's morning) and India's evening time. There are clients who call from home at 11p EST or around that time when it is India's morning if we are not able to make it for some reason in the evening or if things are critical. In smaller firms, where two people are starting up, the main people themselves are available. In bigger firms, the project manager is on the call many times. Am not sure about a VP, though.

You should see the way they cut costs. They buy talk time to India on wholesale or something like that from an Indian telecom vendor. People have accounts with Vonage and do it over IP. Rather than outsourcing, one can see it like working two shifts. At low cost a part of the work gets done while you are sleeping.
Permalink Send private email Senthilnathan N.S. 
March 13th, 2007 3:32pm
I think the continued success of Indian outsourcing firms proves that at the very least they can provide (good enough) bang for the (some) American buck and that outsourcing naysayers need to show metrics to prove that an outsourced project is always financially less viable than an internal one. That there's no panacea is pretty obvious to everyone I'd hope.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 13th, 2007 3:46pm
hmm...

Often the cost of an organisation are geared to the quality of its s/ware.  I'd be reluctant to have £££'s resting on people in a different timezone's understanding of the business.

On the other hand, having expensive westerners rushing through stuff that an Indian shop could do more throughly with more people and more experience, also not good ....

A matter of pragmatism like anything else.  To the biggest problem I see is mountines of crap systems, and a million reinventions of the wheel.

Do less, do better, do it with whoever does it well.
Permalink ThomasB 
March 13th, 2007 4:57pm
"And the insourced knowledge is as likely to walk away as Indian knowledge."

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the lack of loyalty shown to them by the very likes of outsourcing.

I don't think people violated the 'trust' relationship in employment. That was employers. I still believe that if you treat people well, they won't want to leave. But you have to give loyalty to expect it in return.
Permalink JoC 
March 14th, 2007 11:09am

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