I don't understand why people think there will be massive problems with outsourcing. When whole teams and products are in India/China why will there be time lag problems? Look at every other manufactoring industry that diisepeared from the west, they never came back ? Surely it's harder to outsource production of something like a drill than a piece of software. Tony
Moving an entire department to some other country (including management, designers, QA, etc. etc. etc., will be like setting up a factory there and might actually work. But what happens more often is that just the programming and part of the testing (the jobs that do not threaten the jobs of the middle and upper management when they're outsourced directly) get moved out to say India and the resulting product is low in quality and often does not even meet the design specs. I've been involved on the sidelines of several outsourced projects to India and Indonesia. None of them were finished on schedule, all were (if completed at all, which most never were) poor in quality and often did not work as required (or even as the meager documentation supplied by the Indian/Indonesian team said it would). In one case we terminated the contract after an Indian team of 10 people had spent 3 months working something that should have taken them a week or two and were still no further than a proof of concept of the product (which was itself a demo of a planned future application).
Originally posted by Tony Collins: Surely it's harder to outsource production of something like a drill than a piece of software.
I disagree. We know how to define a drill so that everyone understands it. I've yet to see that happen with any non-trivial software project. As Jeroen noted, it's only when it's "half-outsourced." Video games, for example, are teams of about 40 people (most of whom are artists--although that's not relevant, just an FYI). You could put those 40 just about anywhere in the world and make the game. On the other hand, when the application is a custom development effort for some middle managers doing morgage reselling, that's going to be harder because the project will be defined and used in one place, but implamented in another. In short, any project which is self-contained, and doesn't require much customer interaction is easier to outsource. --Mark
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