5 Reasons Your Offshore Software Project Failed
It is tempting and easy to fall into a very simplistic email communication process where you exchange needs, requirements, and feedback through daily or regularly scheduled email back-and-forth. However, there is so much that gets lost in translation when we only use email. Chat, phone, and webcam communications can greatly increase the range and scope of the dialog between members across the globe.
Without understanding the society, culture, motivations, and economic status of the offshore developer or organization, you will find that there will be a mismatch of expectations. Knowledge of the religious traditions, social expectations, time-frame considerations, and even holidays can go a long way in preventing miscommunication arising from lack of understanding.
Lack of Liaison
It very much helps when the offshore organization has an in-person liaison in the US (or whatever country you are in) who can process issues of miscommunication that can arise. Without someone established in such a role, it is very easy for a software project to become derailed due to a disconnection between parties.
The price that comes when considering offshore development is quite simply that there will be challenges related to differences in geography and culture. Thus, if you have expectations that the process will be identical to development done in-house or on-premises, you will probably be disappointed. Many offshore development houses provide exceptional work output and incredible design and consistency. However, there will be some level of discontinuity due to differences that, if not taken into account, will lead to frustration.
Lack of Management Coordination
The fact that some, most or all of your development is occurring offshore makes it very easy to inadvertently have uncoordinated progress in the other locations, disconnected from the progress being done locally. This disconnect could be due to a combination of reasons mentioned above but when there is a disconnect between management and the development efforts, progress could deteriorate or simply come to a complete halt. Scheduling joint meeting times and regular touch-base sessions are even more important for offshore development.
With proper resources in place and guidelines in mind, offshore development could be the very successful way of saving costs while having stellar work product. However, it does require careful forethought to prevent the project from falling into one of the several different points of failure.
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