Outsource This!

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My brother, a Silicon Valley software engineer, and I are having a major argument about how to get the Sourcingmag.com Web site done. I\’ve hired somebody I know, who also happens to be local to where I\’m located and happens to know how to do the things the site needs to do. My bro believes I should be testing out the waters of offshoring by taking this Web site development project to India. Not only will it save this start-up valuable dollars, he says, but it\’ll make our reporting of practical outsourcing information more authentic.

My argument against going that direction is that it would be a incredibly impractical. One, we\’re not spending in the six figures by any means. I believe there\’s a materiality that should play a role in deciding whether and what to offshore. Two, you\’re supposed to test a service provider with a pilot project. The primary delivery vehicle for a new information publishing company to get its content to readers isn\’t exactly a pilot project — it\’s the whole project! Three, my local Web developer and I are concocting some of the features and functions on the fly; shuttling the effort offshore means I\’d need to have my requirements specced out as carefully as possible to avoid a constant stream of change tickets and unexpected costs. That leads to four, the length of time this project involves. Overall, it\’s probably slightly over a month\’s worth of work — doled out over the course of two and a half months. I could easily spend that much time putting together the RFP in a form effective enough to get a reasonable response from interested vendors.

Yes, I\’m outsourcing, just not offshore. Cost can\’t be the only driver. More on this topic later!