Offshoring Software Development

I read a lot of IT blogs and many of them bemoan the off-shoring of software development to India and other “low cost” locations.

I’ve seen very few successful off-shoring experiments.  At Blue Prism we do not off-shore any software development.  We have a very small team who produce 5 times the quantity of code that a much larger team could produce and it’s top quality too.

The reason is that the bigger the team, the more remote, the further from the business unit, the more the mess.  Less control, less motivation, less focus, less accountability and you need a park sized office for your QA department.

This is the reason why offshoring is generally a bad idea.  A bundle of hidden costs emerge that trash the upfront savings.  Mostly this relates to putting things right that have gone wrong.  It’s not always the offshore workers’ fault of course.  A bad spec is a bad spec but at least locally it can be queried and discussed efficiently and accurately.

So if you want to reduce costs (and contemporaneously increase the quality and quantity of your software) then reduce the size of your team.  It also helps to create an atmosphere conducive to teamwork, set some seriously challenging assignments and give people some ownership and accountability for what they build.  Keep the jobs local and watch the quality code flow!

4 Responses to “Offshoring Software Development”

  1. » Blog Archive » Are Offshoring and Outsourcing Different? Says:

    […] outsourcing is bad, then where does that leave off-shoring?  I have argued previously that off-shoring software development is not good and let me amplify […]

  2. Arik Jones Says:

    Great post! I agree with most of the things you’ve said. However, scaling back to a smaller team does mean better quality but doesn’t necessarily always mean a higher quanity. In order to get that quanity you must in the same sense scale up the requirements as far what is required of each team member. But I assume this is just standard anyway.

  3. Saran Says:

    I cant agree on this post, there are businesses currently successfully executing off shore development, I have a very good experience where a company I use to work before, was about to close at one point, no cash flow, customers pressurising for the project delivery which was signed up, at this point with the less cash flow, moved the project off shore and it was successfully completed and delivered on time with the lesser cost… the companies clever move is 2 local guys are sent back to India to manage… it worked out… can anybody contradict????

  4. Offshoring, The Thesis » Blog Archive » Outsourcing prejudice Says:

    […] from pursuing what is best in a competitive environment. There are risks with everything (such as emerging hidden costs) but luckily, when a business is profitable, often measures to avoid these risks are discovered […]

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