General Software Outsourcing ProblemsThursday, April 20, 2006
Here are some of common problems with the Software Outsourcing Process.
1. Users are not clear about their exact requirements. So due to that, the specifications given to Software Outsourcing service vendors are very sketchy and rough. It should be detailed, clear-cut and without any complicated ambiguities.
2. Due to these problematic ambiguities Offshore Outsourcing vendors are not in proper position to understand the exact scope of work. It’s very common to have phrases such as mentioned below for client specifications:
• Warranty for 1 year or not. What does this statement says? Only money is expected to be a part at the time of the warranty. But often users ask frequent changes and clients want Software Outsourcing vendors to implement these with no extra cost during that particular period of warranty.
• Minor changes after completion must be implemented as a part of the software project. What’s this minor change? And who will decide whether the changes are major or minor? And what happen if there would be clash? Who is the final authority? Will software service provider be paid extra for major changes? If yes, when?
• For users the system performance should be acceptable. Which part of the system and which users?
• Within fifteen seconds all reports should be generated. This is simply not possible for monthly, large, batch processing based reports. This will cause problem during user acceptance. As an exception this isn’t explicitly mentioned.
• Under stress system should well perform. What stress? And how many concurrent users? How much data? What type of users?
• System should be completely configurable without any coding. More coding needs in higher level of configurability. Which parts should be configurable? The increasing cost substantially. Is this really acceptable?
The vendors don’t have access to user departments, this is very understandable. If there is more than one vendor, users can’t be expected for explaining the specs and solve various problems. So due to that effect, it is expected to quote in spite of ambiguities. This is very risky and the risk can be mitigated only after adding a buffer in the fixed cost. The clients also end up by the way of more paying.
Process of Software Development
About the actual process of software development end users are completely ignorant. Generally they do not devote adequate time and attention for such process of software development. The crucial for timely execution of a software project is response time of users to resolve the queries and to accept design.
In the Software Outsourcing process within the fixed cost proposal the clients tend to get everything done. So it is winning for clients to reduce the base cost. By making the Offshore Outsourcing vendor to do work, which is definitely out of scope, the client further wins. As a service provider its worry for the acceptance of the base software project and the money recovery, they end up doing many ad-hoc things