Feb 10, 2015

8 outsourcing myths debunked (part II)

Author: Silviu Panait

As promised, I’m back with 4 more common out sourcing myths, misconceptions I’ve frequently come across over the years.

Myth: Outsourcing is the Jack-of-all-trades when it comes to expectations

Fact: As with everything, you need to define what your priorities are, or it will become the master of none

Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick any two! Sounds familiar? The project management triangle is a great example when it comes to expectations from outsourcing. Clients are looking at cost reduction, flexibility of staffing and improvement of their services. Unfortunately, this is just a pipe dream and, what is worse, some vendors are promising this. As stated in my previous article, you must have a broad vision, and must define your objectives as clearly as possible before engaging an outsourcing project. I cannot stress the importance of this enough: it’s incredible how much trouble, time and money it can save you. You cannot go for the cheapest price and expect a full-time resource, while at the same receiving top quality.

Myth: Clients have no control over the outsourcer

Fact: You actually can have almost as much control over your nearshore team as you do over your in-house people

This is really not as difficult to manage as most tempt to imagine. With the right working methodologies and check-points in place, plus the help of the outsourcer, who can offer different collaboration models and best practices, you will have more than enough control over the team and its work. Agile methodologies also help, since they require frequent information-exchange between the client and vendor’s team by default, thus greatly improving communication and the understanding of each other’s tasks.

Myth: Outsourcing works only for large enterprises

Fact: If you want a definitive statement, it’s rather the other way around

Start-ups can derive huge benefits from outsourcing – they are fast to adapt and flexible enough to integrate working with a nearshore partner in their culture, while the outsourcer would not only take care of software development (which is maybe not even the start-up’s core-business), but would also add value, experience and know-how. In the meantime, the start-up can focus on its core functions.

Of course, large enterprises also make use of outsourcing successfully, but on a different scale – and the decision to outsource is supported by different reasons than is the case for start-ups. One thing that helps both scenarios is that some outsourcers specialize in working with one or the other side of the spectrum, and this is defiantly worth looking into when selecting a vendor.

Myth: Outsourcing only means nearshoring or offshoring

Fact: Both near/off shoring outsourcing and local outsourcing work, you just need to understand which fits best for you

Cost-reduction alone is not enough to support an outsourcing decision, nor are low-fees enough to support vendor choice. Defining clear priorities and realistic expectations is mandatory before choosing your outsourcing partner’s profile and location. Sometimes the cultural differences might not have the high impact they usually have, or the time zone difference might not be so important in your case. Your ideal outsourcer might be just further down the street, or might be from another country – so try to explore multiple possibilities, gather information, ask for references; try to understand the company, its culture and habits.

So now that 8 business legends have been cleared up, what do you think: is there some common ground with successful projects, are there some ‘markers’ of success to look for when kicking-off an outsourcing project? Subscribe to our feed and stay in touch, as I will be exploring this issue in detail over my next article. Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts: what is of most importance to you with your outsourcing needs? Do you think there’s a sure way to success with such a collaboration? Share your comments with me, or join me for a business-chat over the email.

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