Keeping Talent When Offshoring Looms: Page 2

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But bear in mind once the decision is made to move jobs elsewhere, there is only so much you can do to lessen the impact. So, if you can't prevent offshore outsourcing, the next best thing is to become its master, i.e. put yourself in the driver's seat by grabbing the project management hat for all offshore projects.

"Project management skills must be stressed to smooth out the bumps and make offshore software development into a truly collaborative endeavor," said Tom Sundsboe, a director of Moscow-based offshore outsourcing firm Luxoft.

Intel, for example, has a heavy investment in offshore resources. Yet it retains a massive U.S. based IT contingent. Intel advocates the "two-in-a-box" approach, i.e. a project manager from the client company and one from the offshore vendor are constantly involved in face-to-face discussions and eventually think as one with regard to development projects.

By using this approach, Intel has managed to keep its home-grown IT strong. A CIO cannot permit a situation where IT operations internally use one set of rules while an overseas vendor has a completely different mode of operation. Coordination must exist between you and the outsourcing firm. And it is generally up to the CIO to ensure the offshore development partner adjusts to your processes and procedures.

"Using this method, our overall results have far exceeded expectations," said Intel's Richard Wirt, who spent 11 years building up Intel's interests in Russia. "It instills the necessary communication and cooperation to bridge any cultural divides."

Want to talk about outsourcing or just need to vent? We'd like to hear from you in our IT Management Forum.

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