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Topics: Governance, Information Technology
Outsourcing Overseas
Hi - I'm looking for anyone who has outsourced work overseas and had a great experience, and then on the other end of the spectrum, had a bad experience. I'm looking to see what made something go each way, and any tips or tricks that may have been learned through the process. Also, did you have any companies that helped make the process way better or worse?

Any help on this, would be much appreciated! Thank you all in advance.
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I can write a book about it but briefly what can goes wrong is the quality assurance and quality control. If you have the capability to assign 3rd party inspection or send someone from your side to manage it, you have no issues in general.

Outsourcing could be very benifitial as well if you are in control of quality and the supply chain.

My question to give you a better answer, are you outsourcing a service or a product manufacturing?
We are looking to outsource some services, and then also entire buckets of work. So essentially yes to both.
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1 reply by Kevin Drake
May 11, 2018 6:45 PM
Kevin Drake
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Can you be more specific, please ?
David -

if you are looking to outsource a portion of a project which will follow an adaptive or agile delivery approach, you'll want to ensure that the outsourcing scope optimizes rather than impeding agile delivery. For example, on a software development project a poor pattern would be to have all development resources onshore and all testing resource offshore and multiple time-zones away. This will increase the duration of a "working day" and will increase the likelihood of confusion or misalignment.

Kiron
May 11, 2018 3:58 PM
Replying to David Semenyna
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We are looking to outsource some services, and then also entire buckets of work. So essentially yes to both.
Can you be more specific, please ?
Outsourcing has it;s pros and cons. Most know that the pros are reduced cost, doing mundane tasks that perhaps the organization doesn't want it's star performers doing, better focus on the core business (ie. sales). The cons include performance (although sometimes productivity can improve), language barriers (depends where the workers are outsourced from), cultural issues, legal issues with the outsourced workers country, communication issues etc. which is why the outsource partner needs to be on their game, and the manager (conduit) between the outsourced team at the remote site senior management at the company site is on top of things.
To add to Sante's list of pro's and con's:

Pro's (Risks if not properly memorialized in a contract and managed to deliver expectations):
+ Often metric-driven costs for a defined and measured service level linked to key performance indicators (KPIs)
+ For some organizations, access to talent (e.g., a skill not readily available, not readily available at the levels required, data science, "Design Thinking")
+ For some organizations, ability to rapidly scale-up and scale-down resources
+ For some organizations, access to other tools and methods - especially in the "age of automation" (Robotic Process Automation)
+ Increase hours of support as it is often easier to define a "follow the sun" model
+ For some organizations, it forces rigor around defining value, what is done and what is success
+ For some organizations, it forces rigor around adhering to methods (e.g., roadmapping) and forecasting

Cons/Risks:
- For some organizations, stigma in the local or "regional" community
- For some organizations, loss of talent through the due diligence and transition process
- For some organizations, concerns about intellectual property, information security and privacy
- For some organizations, an unwillingness of some teams or business units to change their method of work
- For some organizations, challenges in managing by metrics and forecasting
- For some organizations, challenges in standardizing their work
- For some organizations, a mismatch of methods (e.g., waterfall to agile)
- For some organizations, a lack of "trust" that drives rebuilding shadow teams that overlap work provided by the managed service entity
- For some organizations, a lack of governance or ability to shift governance to manage the managed service entity or with the necessary methods
- For some organizations, a significant disruption in service and projects to-be-delivered as the managed service entity's priorities and the client's priorities are "melded"
- For some organizations, a lack of a cultural change management plan (well beyond just "communications")

A solid definition of the "what" is critical (e.g., services provided by whom, accepted by whom). This is memorialized in the contract that clearly and ideally simply measures Service Levels and the KPIs. Further, the overall agreement needs to be win-win and have consequences for both parties if they do not commit to the success of the 'partnership.' The local resources from the managed service entity should "buffer" the client from round-the-clock meetings and many other internal work practices of the managed service entity. Ensuring the managed service entity truly has the ability, experience and resources to deliver is key. I hope this provides some insights.

Well if you guys are looking or will look for an outsourcing firm just to help you, I would like to suggest one and maybe in the near future it can help you guys. You can try checking out Offshore Business Processing, the company caters overseas and international services, the company also has an affordable pricing for specific services. For example the company caters accounting and data entry services around the world. I hope this helps. Regards, Yazmin Barajas Offshore Business Processing BPO Provider Company


Hi, the results of outsourcing would definitely depend on the outsourcing service provider you choose. If you conduct a meticulous research and consider making a decision based on parameters such as customer testimonials and quality of free samples, you may come across a really dependable and committed outsourcing service provider for the tasks that you are looking to delegate. Outsourcing has its upsides and downsides and you have to acknowledge both. While outsourcing may make you feel 'lack of direct control', but it gives you access to global talent at the best possible rates. Outsourcing service providers also have strong management teams that ensure professional project execution. You may consider going through the article to know about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.
David,

I worked with outsourcing locally and remotely since 1995. Did proposals and ran the delivery and also consulted the buyer side.
There are good hints here about the do's and don'ts.

I would just add that outsourcing
- is a long-term relationship (one of my clients had cultural fit as primary criterion),
- requires a good retained organization and continuous improvement on the buyer side (just a cost saving target will not work)
- is best delivered by a mature organization, check it (do not trust the sales guys)

There are good consultants out there who should be able to teach you and speed up the process.

In these times I want to add that the geopolitical situation and the virus add significant risk to the viability of contracts (sanctions?) and the feasibility of overseas travel (which is a must).

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