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Agile Offshoring – Working with People vs. Working with Company
Let me first explain how the approaches would work
By: Udayan Banerjee
Jul. 5, 2012 05:45 AM
The first approach is simpler – the second one is more complex but also more rewarding.
What is the difference?
Let me first explain how the approaches would work.
Working with People – Setting up an Agile Offshore Team
Now you have reached a stage where either you feel adventurous enough to try out agile offshoring or you are being forced by your management to give it a try.
Here is what you would typically do to give yourself the best shot at success.
If you follow these 10 steps your chances of success would be fairly high.
Many skeptics who have tried similar approaches have reported success. Here are two examples:
What is wrong with this approach?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach.
This approach will meet your need of setting up an offshore agile team and meet the objective of reducing your IT cost.
You will still retain almost complete control over how the process functions. You will also have to take care of the people. The offshore team will be an extension of your team and the vendor is required only to the extent that they provide the necessary infrastructure to let your team work and help you find replacement for any team member who decides to move on.
Indeed this approach would have been sufficient a decade back. Since then offshore vendors have matured a lot. The right vendor can help you:
If you want to take advantage of any of these then you need to look beyond working with a team of people and decide to work with an organization.
Working with an Organization – Building a Partnership
Building a partnership is hard work and it never happens overnight.
It is much easier to build a relationship of trust between 2 individuals but much harder to build a relationship of trust between 2 organizations. It is even harder to maintain that relationship over an extended period of time.
In the context of outsourcing, at the heart of the relationship is the project team which would be working with the objective of making the project successful.
However, there are other forces working in both organizations which have other motivations. In a real life situation there will be many interest groups each having its own agenda. However, the overriding agenda for the vendor would be to maximize profit from the engagement. Similarly, from the customer side would be to minimize cost.
The relationship starts when both parties have agreed on a middle ground. For the relationship to succeed, both parties need to feel reasonably satisfied that the deal has been fair – otherwise the deal is doomed.
Even if this is achieved, there will always be a tendency from the vendor to find ways to increase profit and an opposite tendency of the customer to reduce cost.
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