Sunday, April 29, 2007


Inexperienced IT Executives cause IT Outsourcing Failure

Lots of bloggers comment on enterprisey behavior so a body of knowledge does exist at some level as to stupid things done repeatedly. Why is this feedback process of bad management decisions not changing things?

Of course, one needs to assume that those in enterprises understand enterprisey behavior and that such feedback exists, and works fast enough. How long does it take for such projects to fail (months? years?), and after how many such failures do upper management finally realize the problem exists and that they can't manage it because they are the problem?

Is it really due to inexperience? Will more experienced managers understand that hiring an inexperienced team will lead to project failure instead of cost savings? Nowadays, it's rare (an impossible when you bring outsourcing into the equation) to have the luxury of an entire team with decades of experience each. And not always desirable - there's usually some work that can be better done by less experienced people. Experienced people don't like stuff that's mundane to them and you have the problem space of getting people to be experienced for future projects.

While Outsourcing folks in India are dangerous to long-term health, inexperienced IT executives are more damaging. Acknowledge that IT executives have more authority than any outsourcing firm could ever hope for. Usually there is one IT executive for a given outsourcing relationship, while you will have a team of multiple developers in outsourcing and can only get an inexperienced team if every developer in the team is inexperienced (Of course there is a high probability of this occuring, but that is the subject of another blog entry).

One can ask themselves how failure in outsourcing could actually be good for an enterprise. I have concluded that good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. As long as folks make sure the 'bad decisions' are small ones - non fatal; work at managing smaller, lower pressure projects then regardless of whether outsourcing is successful or a big fat failure, the enterprise benefits...

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