Bring Price in Line with Quality?

I’m no fan of offshore outsourcing, but it has nothing to do with “our jobs” or anything else political. I believe in global markets, and the price of labor is what someone is willing to pay. When I saw this article, I got to thinking about my experience with offshore outsourcing.

My experience has been that offshore outsourcing is just not worth the money for three main reasons (and my experience has been with Indian consulting firms):

  1. The skills and expertise that are sold do not align with the skills and expertise of the resources that get assigned to your project (I’ve been there and talked to – and in some cases met – the people who ultimately get assigned).
  2. The English speaking skills that are sold do not align with the English speaking skills of the resources that are ultimately assigned to your project (again, been there, done – i.e., tried to communicate verbally with – that).
  3. In general, you have two opportunities to communicate with these resources: at 7am and 7pm (neither are times I particularly want to be on a conference call).
  4. The quality of work delivered is not what was promised, but in nearly every case it was “lack of proper requirements” (and I’ll admit, sometimes that was true), so my company got to pay to have the work done again.

Okay, that’s four reasons. And I could go on. To me, if you’re going to say, “Your project will be staffed with resources with fluent English skills, minimum of 2 years experience and a degree in IT” then that is what you should get. I’ve talked to these people. They’re usually right out of school and speak poor English. Email is definitely the way to go.

So, I believe $16/hour is still too high for the quality of work I’ve witnessed. I have nothing against outsourcing in principle. But I do have a problem with sugar-coating, deception, and bait-and-switch tactics. You know, sales. If you’re going to sell something, be able to deliver. That’s all. My experience with Offshore Outsourcing has made me a lot less gullible.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to answer an email regarding a wire transfer from Nigeria. This could be my big break! What? You got that email too? Oh, man…


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