Technology Information and Project Management:
Offshore Technology Capability :
Technology is a great enabler and technological infrastructure is the
foundation on which delivery capability for successful outsourcing models are built.
The vendor's technical expertise should be thoroughly
scrutinized. Substantiate vendor's claim with case studies. Personal visit to vendor's
site will help to understand their technology set-up. The offshore facilities
must be scalable to meet immediate project needs.
Offshore team's adeptness in different technologies and their level of willingness to acclimatize
to latest technological developments contribute significantly towards successful and timely
QA forms an inherent part of any offshore project. Coding standards followed
and third party authentication denote vendor's commitment towards continuous improvement and attempt
to meet world-class quality standards.
The coding standards used by vendor should ensure accomplishment of
quality guidelines set by you, alongwith easing maintenance and understanding of project
at a later stage. The coding standards to be used depend on programming language used for coding.
The Software Development Standards (SDS) document should list out all the coding standards that an
offshore vendor is expected to follow during the project.
The quality of deliverables that can be expected from vendor can be
assessed from their CMM Level and ISO certifications, a pointer towards the standard methodologies
and practices used. Find when was the last assessment done at the offshore location?
Carrying out a small pilot project will indicate the importance attached to quality by the vendor.
Ineffective project management can end up in offshore venture being a
costly affair rather than being a cost saving endeavor. It entails looking beyond the
technical forte. Project management, by taking care of the following issues, should
ensure timely project completion within the expected budget alongwith desired deliverables.
Your endeavor should
ensure that the concept of outsourcing IT offshore goes down well with members of both teams.
Change management involves predicting hurdles, like resistance from employees, et all that
may emerge during subsequent stages of offshoring and adopting measures to overcome such constraints.
Success of this phase is an important pre-requisite to smooth transition phase.
Outsourcing proposal should include the framework for transition stage. First phase of transition
involves knowledge transfer related to various internal procedures and processes & involves a
systematic documentation of all transferred technologies, applications, tasks and procedures to be
followed. Training the offshore team for the technology transferred comes in second part of
Factors like project intricacy and size, maturity of processes followed, the work environment, et all
decide the time for complete transition.
Having single point of contact at both ends go a long way in nourishing the offshore business
relation. The project managers from both teams should be at the center of all communication between
the two teams. Outsourcer's project manager is responsible for double-checking that the project
progresses along the desired line.
Vendor should be capable enough to scale up his resources, both infrastructure and personnel,
as per project needs. Having multi skilled personnel adept in multiple tasks would be an
added advantage. Vendors, especially those following
global delivery model with an onsite or
offsite team, offer additional advantage by ensuring project continuity in case of any catastrophe
Sustenance of an offshore relation depends, to a large extent, on the nature of communication
taking place frequently between the teams. The vendor should have requisite telecom and Internet
facilities to support direct and indirect interaction. A robust communication infrastructure
is the backbone of efficient reporting and tracking structure.
Tracking & Reporting:
Tracking entails monitoring the project's progress periodically by the outsourcer.
For effective tracking, work out a coherent system which assures systematic flow of information
between the two teams.
Standard reporting mechanism includes having a well-defined communication protocol. Periodic
visits to offshore site would get you the first hand review of the project's progress. Use online
tools for fast and real time reporting.
Vendor should agree to the framework of performance measurement outlined in contract.
Techniques employed should ensure conformance of project's progress with standards and
procedures defined in SLA. Recommendations for continuous improvement in procedures and
standards should ensue this stage.
Contingency planning is an integral part of project management. Security measures to tackle issues
like preventing data tamper, maintaining confidentiality of data, et all should be decided and
implemented upon from start.
Effective project management should create such a blend that the offshore
project appears as a unified venture.