A bad experience with outsourcing in the past can really give you a sour attitude about trying it again. Some people have a visceral reaction whenever they hear the “O” word - Outsourcing. Perhaps they tried to “purchase” outsourcing services in the past and negotiated such a “good deal”, they just about guaranteed they would get poor results.
Hiring an outsourcing vendor is like hiring the employees for your internal software engineering team. Yet many companies go about selecting an outsourcing vendor as if it is a purchasing process, seeking the lowest price possible for the service.
Did you ever purchase an employee for your engineering team? Of course not. Hiring an employee takes a careful evaluation of candidates through interviews and reference checks followed by a reasonable negotiation over salary.
Sometimes you have a choice between two or more employee candidates. Do you negotiate hard so you can hire one of them at the cheapest possible salary? Probably not. If you do, you risk hiring an employee that will only stay until a better job comes along elsewhere. And then you have to start the long hiring process for a replacement all over again.
Hiring an outsourcing team is like hiring employees, and it pays to be fair and equitable. Think of the offshore team as your own team, one that you carefully hire and manage over time to get excellent results. Otherwise you face getting poor quality and having to go look for a new outsourcing vendor again. And that will cause you months of wasted time.
A synopsis of this post was published on the Business Week website as one slide in their Outsourcing Advice from the Pros. This was an added sidebar with several articles focused on small businesses using outsourcing for manufacturing and professional services like software development.