Outsourcing IT projects has become the norm on most of the projects that I have worked on lately. Either the offshore team belongs to the client, or Perficient provides the offshore team to help with the implementation. I have also received all kinds of feedback from customers (past and present) with respect to working with an offshore team.
I have personally worked with Perficient’s global delivery team in China. I have also worked with the global delivery team in India (before joining Perficient).
Gone are the days when I used to consider offshore development a threat to my job, or low quality work or difficult to deal with due to different time zones and cultures. Today, I feel offshore development is the way to go for many situations, provided they are planned properly. Offshore teams are well trained, well developed and, due to the different time zone, can provide a 24-hour development cycle to the customer – with both the customer’s development team and offshore team working in series.
I found that when a client can see someone and talk technical requirements and discuss project scope and planning, they feel more confident of the team. When they can actually see the person who is going to be responsible for the implementation efforts, they have a peace of mind versus being able to communicate 100% with an offshore team via chat or emails and having a 12-hour turnaround at the minimum. This is where, I think, Perficient’s local delivery team fits well in this picture.
When I mentioned “planned properly” above, I meant the following:
Provide the customer with a local resource (local means in the United States). This resource would act as the liaison between the customer and the offshore team. This resource would be the face of the global delivery team. The person would need to be well versed in managing the project and also managing an offshore team. This resource would set the implementation methodology, provide support and communicate with the offshore team and provide feedback directly to the client. This resource can be full time or part time at the customer’s site. If part time, they would need to be readily available for the customer when needed.
The above setup resolves many issues for the customer:
They now can talk to someone face-to-face about any issues. They don’t have to worry about different time zones/cultures/languages. The project progresses in line with the agreed upon methodology and in partnership with the PMO at the client’s site. And if the local resource is part time, the customer saves a ton of money as well. It is as if they have the whole team on site. This provides a much better setup for the customer as well as giving them the best bang for their buck.
The responsibilities of the local resource would be to not only ensure they have the right offshore resources, but also the best-suited ones for the job, properly trained with the required expertise. They would also ensure that the right expectations are set and met between the client and the offshore team. Because it is very cost effective, in cases of emergencies, there would not be any hesitation to add-on more offshore resources in order to get the job done.
There is only one direction where this kind of project resource management can go: upwards.