Cost of Failure- Why Typical Off-Shore Development Models Don't Work

Cost of Failure- Why Typical Off-Shore Development Models Don’t Work

There are many reasons organizations turn to off-shore development to meet objectives, lack of expertise, reduce costs, and expanded man-power are just a few. Regardless of the reason, many of these organizations fail to meet these objectives using typical off-shore development models. But why? When done correctly, it should be a snap-and-go alternative, but many off-shore development models go wrong somewhere, becoming a costly mistake for the organization.

How costly? The answer is that depends, but here are some ways both obvious and not so obvious to be aware of.

Budget Overruns

The most obvious and immediately painful cost of a failed off-shore development project is budget overruns. There are many reasons that lead to this failure. Starting with poor requirements and time estimates that can quickly put an organization over budget. Constant meetings and questions to define the requirements instantly delay delivery with constant timeline extensions. Off-shore companies eager for business may accept aggressive time estimates only to either fail to meet deadlines, or worse produce poorly designed, bug-ridden solutions.

Language and time zone differences can also compound the problem. Lack of common ground with which to communicate can lead to misunderstanding of objectives. Time zone differences instantly extend the resolution time on any issues. However the budget overruns occur, it is most likely only the beginning of incurred costs for the project.

Lack of Expertise

To successfully navigate an off-shore project to completion and beyond, expertise is needed throughout the off-shore team. The development team may have the expertise necessary to develop the solution, but without proper management requirements may not be properly communicated causing the development team to constantly revise work. While management may be experienced, lack of expertise or technical skills on the development team may cause project delays while the team “learns on the job” with the potential for rookie design mistakes or a hodge-podge of poor technology and code.  Failure at any level can produce project delays, create ugly technical debt, and require costly redesigns. Worse, the errors may only be discovered after the fact when the off-shore team is long gone.

Cultural Differences Can Negatively Affect User Experience

Cultural differences can also affect the design and delivery of your solution. The solution must appeal to your organization’s users. For that your off-shore teams needs to understand your user’s experience and perspective. Translating this type of information requires time and effort on the part of project management to specify minute details they otherwise would not need, or even think to provide, with an on-shore team. Failure to address this area with your off-shore team can result in a frustrating, non-intuitive experience for your users.

Risk of Intellectual Capital Loss

If not specifically planned for, Intellectual Capital loss will mostly likely occur as well. Intellectual Capital refers to the value of an organization’s knowledge, skill or proprietary information retained by someone, in this case, the off-shore development team. Included here is intimate knowledge of:

  • how the solution was designed,

  • how it was developed

  • what issues were encountered and resolved during development

Without this understanding an organization must invest time, resources and budget to regain this knowledge before moving forward, and in the process, may uncover design or development flaws undisclosed prior to project completion.

These flaws can be severe enough to prevent an organization from enhancing or scaling the solution until those flaws are corrected. This costs not only time and resources, but also having an adverse effect on the organization’s bottom line and negative impacts on user experience.

Leverage An Optimized Development Model To Maximize Your Outcomes and Avoid The Cost of Failure

It is possible to avoid these issues using the correct off-shore model. DynAgility offers an optimized development model providing both management and technical staff with commercial software experience and a proven track-record. Our teams have developed a repeatable, agile development methodology that ensures your requirements are not only met, but exceed expectations through quality design and construction that will provide your users with a reliable, positive experience and that will scale with your organization. DynAgility works with your organization to not only deliver advanced software solutions that meet your current needs, but also with your future in mind.


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