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Outsourcing Dilemma

I just read a post on outsourcing, and think they nailed it when they said “it’s easy to imagine a project turning into a game of telephone”.

I’d love to be able to outsource, but in the dynamic world of software development, the person you outsource to needs to be proactively thinking about all situations, they need context, and be focused on quality. And quite frankly, I think most people you outsource to, will view it as a transaction, where they do the minimum amount of work possible. Then you have to figure out what they didn’t think of and start a new transaction to get it done … this could go on indefinitely.

To be fair, I’m an outsourcing consultant and communication failures between the client and myself are hardly fun and they cost me money. However I do make an extra effort to meet their needs so the project works for them since I see every transaction, not as a one night stand, but as one link in a chain of a long marriage.

Outsourcing as a software developer then turns into a huge specification, review, and testing job, where the communication of the other persons work is more work than actually doing it yourself.

Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that for now at least, I should turn down work that I can’t personally manage … although I’m still struggling to figure out a way to make this work.

Got any ideas?

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