What To Consider When Outsourcing To India
Business conglomerates and even small firms are beginning to realize the convenience of outsourcing to India. Over time, they have managed to bridge cultural gaps, overcome time zone issues and learnt to communicate without the necessity of face-to-face interaction.
There is no point in glossing these challenges because they are quite evident right from the start. The success in outsourcing would be to meet those challenges effectively, but it is pure hard work. Managing a global team for the purpose of outsourcing requires experience and patience.
Tips for a successful collaboration with a company or an individual worker
Mentioned below are certain tips that would guide firms during their outsourcing endeavour.
1. Maintain relationship with key management personnel
It would be advisable to have one project manager per project to avoid confusion. Concrete peer friendship among the key members of both the teams would lead to long-term business relationship as it leads to mutual understanding and trust.
2. The importance of being specific
Remote communication is the only possible means to get the work completed. It is important that you know how to communicate properly or the offshore team would never understand the true meaning of your project and your expectations. It is imperative to chart a detailed set of instructions so everyone in the team is well aware of what has to be done. This leads to accurate and effective output from them. If giving worded instructions for each project takes up a chunk of your time, then drawings of the finished product would communicate to the offshore team what is expected of them. This way you don’t have to worry about cultural differences and language barriers.
3. Indians are patient and willing to change
When compared to offshore people from other countries, Indians are generally known to have more patience. So if you want to change something in the project midway, you would find that Indians are more accommodating.
4. Making a support clause
Hiring an offshore team is perhaps the first step in outsourcing. But remember to have a support team in place because you would need continuing support even after the project is complete. This would normally be provided by the offshore team as well, just remember to confirm it.
5. Patience while hiring
Just because you are hiring an online team, doesn’t mean you would get a competent one within minutes after starting. It would take time, probably a month or so, to gather a team with whom you can enjoy a long-term working relationship. If you are in a hurry to hire, then you would probably end up leading a disillusioned team and an incomplete project with so many holes. Resist the temptation to pack up and leave when you do not find the right team; it takes time.
Potential pitfalls in outsourcing and how to avoid them
A major advantage of outsourcing to India is that you can save money and at the same time find the perfect team for project completion. Even so, there are some potential pitfalls attached to outsourcing. Let us examine what they are and seek solutions for the same.
1. Not evaluating the track record of the team
As a company, you are investing money to hire a team of service providers for the execution of a project. But have you checked their track record to evaluate their experience? NiSource Inc. once had a deal with IBM, a 10-year, $1.6 billion outsourcing project that ended in a failure. So remember this – failure can happen to big conglomerates as well, if the team is not competent.
2. Steer clear from the types that say only “yes”
In an effort to please, even if they are not fully sure about the project, freelancers often agree to whatever the “client” or “boss” demands. The ideas of the projects are transferred and the freelancer starts working only to realize halfway that he is not fully equipped to handle the demands of the client. This creates disillusionment and frustration for both sides. Ensure you choose an offshore team that will tell you truthfully what can be done and what cannot. It would be better to hire a company that is not over eager to say yes, because they may not be able to deliver what is required. If you require a hammer, go for a firm that delivers a hammer, not a screwdriver.
3. Lack of commitment
Poor quality control, lengthy bid process, loss of strategies alignment and decreased company loyalty are other disadvantages of outsourcing. It can also happen that the team might decide to quit before project completion. Minimize such risks by going through the hiring process in a deliberate and informed fashion. Good references from previous clients would help you understand the working capacity of the service providers and an idea of what to expect from the arrangement.
Despite the cons of outsourcing to India, the country has emerged to be one of the hottest destinations for outsourcing. With outsourcing companies mushrooming in every part of the country, you are presented with a huge talent pool of skilled professionals who not only have substantial expertise regarding their work area, but who are also good at multitasking. The success of your outsourcing business would naturally depend on the efficiency and skill of your service providers, so remember to ask them strategic questions, check their references and interview their past clients so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
Interesting links about the topic:
Things to consider when going offshore with IT projects
Issues you might encounter when outsourcing to India
Photos: Flickr.com/ Keller/ Hillary
The author: Reema Oamkumar works as a content writer at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.