Risks and benefits of using offshore outsourcing (part 2 of a series)

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In one of my previous articles, I detailed out the benefits of getting your needs done by offshore outsourcing providers. In this part 2 of the series, I’m enumerating the risks and would suggest ways to mitigate the risks.

To summarize the previous article, the benefits of outsourcing are the following: getting your job done at a lower cost; A comparable outcome with locally provided jobs; and having more workers (crowd sourcing) at your disposal for the job required. As with anything with benefits, there must be some risks involved.

I’m not getting what I wanted. There can be several reasons for this, and the reason might be you. The language barrier existing between you and your outsource provider is the biggest hindrance of getting your job done to your specifications. In fact, this could be the reason why most of the jobs outsourced are not likely to be made exactly as employers wanted it.

To remedy this, make sure the outsource provider knows the specifications well. Make your specifications very clear and since most workers don’t ask questions, you ask the questions yourself. There is no problem with you asking what the worker understands with the specification – all you have to do is ask him. Don’t wait for them to ask questions later.

My project is shared with other people. Workers show off their works (portfolio) in order to get works from other employers. So its understandable that workers tell their possible employers about secrets in the project they have done for you. The problem is, sometimes the probable employer finds it a good idea and race you to selling it to the market.

A good way of preventing this is to let your worker sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Before you tell him secrets of your ideas, let him sign it and most of the time this works. Explain to your worker the need of not disclosing anything about the project to anyone even to future employers. He will understand, and the typical outsource provider keeps to his promise.

If an NDA isn’t possible, split up your project into fragments and let several people work on it. As I said in my previous post, the benefit of outsourcing is you can crowd source your work, so make the most of this and split your work to different workers such that they won’t have an idea what the whole job is.

I’m behind schedule but my worker is not yet done. A developer who is working within a schedule finds this dilemma the most horrifying but this can be mitigated. When outsourcing your projects make sure that the work time you allotted is far from the deadline you set on your own. For example, when you have a very big software to be done and you want part of the software to be outsourced, make sure that the outsource provider’s deadline falls one month before the whole project. That way, you’ll have a leeway in case his job gets delayed.

There are many risks but all of them could be summed up in the three enumerated above. The most plausible method to mitigate the risks of offshore outsourcing is using the services of outsourcing sites like vWorker, odesk or freelancers.

These websites offer services like timekeeping, job arbitration and payment escrowing. Payment for services from these websites range from 8 to 15 percent of the total cost but an employer is ensured that the jobs they require are done to their specifications, not told to other employers and done on time.

Veba software, Philippines is an offshore outsourcing provider catering to services such as software development, direct and indirect marketing, SEO and Search Engine Marketing.

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