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Offshoring Management - Why is Project Selection so Important?

Often this is routine maintenance work that no-one on the staff wants to do if your are offshoring development tasks; or it can be first level support that can be handled through reading a script to respond to customer issues; it is routine and mundane.

What are the effects of your decision on project selection?

While you may not immediately realize it, the choice of projects affects the types of persons you need to hire offshore and the attrition rates. For example, when I first began offshoring work over 16 years ago, my company and I decided that we wanted to offshore routine maintenance work, but we wanted to have the best and brightest to work on it. Over a period of painful years I learnt that this was the wrong mix; I did not really need the best and brightest for this task; the best and brightest want to do new product development; if your situation demands that you need to offshore maintenance work or routine support work, it is OK; just make sure you apply the right level of skills at the offshore location that will be inclined to handle such tasks.

The other important point to keep in mind is that if due to business reasons, all you can offer is routine maintenance or support work for the offshore location, you are likely to experience higher attrition rates; this may be unavoidable; in that event make sure that you build a pipeline for hiring staff and factor in training costs.

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M. M. Sathyanarayan is President of Global Development Consulting, Inc., an advisory firm focused on global outsourcing. He led the pioneering effort in global outsourcing at HP/Tandem beginning in early 90s and was Founder/CEO of a startup. He is now internationally recognized consultant, author, trainer and offshoring coach. He has helped a number of companies improve their performance by effectively leveraging global resources.