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Outsourcing and Culture September 13, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in IT Offshoring.
  • One outsourcing customer told its service supplier in India that it wanted a change to the platform that was being developed. The supplier said yes, but nothing happened. What the supplier meant was “Yes, I hear you,” not, “Yes, I will make the changes.” The supplier did not agree with the changes but said yes because India’s cultural heritage carries a reluctance to challenge authority figures. “We advise clients to ask their supplier to repeat their understanding [of the client’s request] and for the supplier to put on paper what they are going to do,”
  • An Indian middle-class wife may not ever come out and tell you that she’s up at five in the morning and awake until midnight, seven days a week, to cook and do household chores for her husband, children and in-laws — in addition to the 50 hours a week she’s putting in on your project.
  • Relationship managers provide feedback to both sides and ensure that any problems regarding the outsourcing projects are resolved
  • Business cultural difference is that some service providers like to regularly rotate their workforce, assigning individuals to different accounts to keep their interest levels up and to gain new skills


  • Neglect the transition phase — transfer of knowledge, process and expect-ations is critical to offshore success
  • Don’t Expect supplier-refund programs to auto-matically be applied. Monitor your bills.
  • Don’t Assume the contract terms will be adhered to without careful monitoring.
  • Don’t Neglect the importance of regular communication, especially during times of transition.
  • Don’t Forget that quality depends more on process and governance than tools and technology
  • Don’t Try to micro-manage resources


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