5 Reasons Your Offshore Software Project Failed

5 Reasons Your Offshore Software Project Failed

5 Reasons Your Offshore Software Project Failed

You want to save costs and take advantage of unique skills found in software development resources in other countries. Thus, you research, connect and establish a relationship with an offshore software development firm. However, the project fails due to one of a myriad reasons. You are disappointed and are tempted to write-off offshore development entirely. While it might be compelling to do so, there are a few reasons that, when thought through, can help you understand why the project failed and what you can do to ensure a successful project the next go-around.
Single Modality Communication

It is tempting and easy to fall into a very simplistic email communication process where you exchange needs, requirements, and feedback through daily or regularly scheduled email back-and-forth. However, there is so much that gets lost in translation when we only use email. Chat, phone, and webcam communications can greatly increase the range and scope of the dialog between members across the globe.

Cultural Insensitivity

Without understanding the society, culture, motivations, and economic status of the offshore developer or organization, you will find that there will be a mismatch of expectations. Knowledge of the religious traditions, social expectations, time-frame considerations, and even holidays can go a long way in preventing miscommunication arising from lack of understanding.

Lack of Liaison

It very much helps when the offshore organization has an in-person liaison in the US (or whatever country you are in) who can process issues of miscommunication that can arise. Without someone established in such a role, it is very easy for a software project to become derailed due to a disconnection between parties.

Inflated Expectations

The price that comes when considering offshore development is quite simply that there will be challenges related to differences in geography and culture. Thus, if you have expectations that the process will be identical to development done in-house or on-premises, you will probably be disappointed. Many offshore development houses provide exceptional work output and incredible design and consistency. However, there will be some level of discontinuity due to differences that, if not taken into account, will lead to frustration.

Lack of Management Coordination

The fact that some, most or all of your development is occurring offshore makes it very easy to inadvertently have uncoordinated progress in the other locations, disconnected from the progress being done locally. This disconnect could be due to a combination of reasons mentioned above but when there is a disconnect between management and the development efforts, progress could deteriorate or simply come to a complete halt. Scheduling joint meeting times and regular touch-base sessions are even more important for offshore development.

With proper resources in place and guidelines in mind, offshore development could be the very successful way of saving costs while having stellar work product. However, it does require careful forethought to prevent the project from falling into one of the several different points of failure.

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