Project Management

Managing Customer Expectations: Outsourced Supplier Viewpoint

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

A lot of articles focus on stakeholder management from the viewpoint of the consultant or the internal IT staff. What if you are an outsourced supplier in another country? How does customer and stakeholder management differ when there is a time zone, language and other geographic differences?

I had the opportunity to interview Vikram Singh, president of Antier Solutions, a Web application development company located in Punjab, India. I wanted to understand his company’s approach to managing stakeholder expectations in an outsourced environment. Below is the interview summary.

How do you manage customer expectations in an outsourced environment?
This is the most challenging task when working in an outsourced model. 90% of potential customers seeking an IT consulting company through online channels have a low price objective. Many of our customers are entrepreneurs seeking to build a web-based application or a mobile application. They typically have worked with a designer to develop a design concept, yet they don’t have any understanding of the technical complexity. The customers are bombarded with low cost models and establish a price set based on unqualified quotes and promises to develop robust IT solutions cheaply.

Implementing security, testing procedures and quality coding practices increases the development cost for a quality application. We …


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