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I am recently tasked with splitting out a substantial portion (25%) of the work to other proejct execution centres in Asia.  How do you overcome the interia and internal resistance of the organization and its people to offshoring. 

 

So far, I have heard only reasons why the work cannot be split out and have not heard any ideas to enable offshoring.  Most reasons are technical reasons and not business reasons (competitiveness).  I have received token pieces of work to be send to the other execution centres just to "get me off their backs".  Any insights are much appreciated.

Tags: Offshoring, Outsourcing

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You need to take a step back. What is the business case FOR offshoring? Can you articulate this to your business partners and technical staff. Off course you are getting resistance. Technical reasons can be overcome, but you cannot simply ask for it without the accompanying business case. Also, in today's climate, people want to know if they are training their replacements or moving mundane work oversees so they can be tasked with more interesting assignments. This is important to your case. Has this been mandated from above to 'save money' or are you part of the change. These are all relevant when approaching you constituency. I would suggest that you not use terms such as 'token' or 'get me off their backs' when referring to your customers. While you may be frustrated, this is counterproductive and will only work against you.

In my experience, most offshoring looks cost effective in the short run, but does not play out in the long run. If your own shop is not in order, offshoring or outsourcing the work will not fix it. Either way, it is incumbent upon you to make the business case to engender cooperation.
Dan, that is a very succinct approach with lots of good points.

I worked in a field where it was found that all kinds of money could be saved outsourcing the work overseas. There were two adverse issues to be considered. One is that the offshore workers had to be told exactly what was required. I mean exactly. They had no capability to exercise judgment. This also meant that when there was a typo or error in the instructions, no one challenged or questioned the error. If there was an ambiguity, work halted. Because workers had no passion (second) to the project's user or end client, creativity and commitment were lost. The work was rote.

If your project is black and white, it could work. If you need creativity, flexible thoguht, and participation, you're on the short end of the stick.

Victor,

 

Off-Shoring is just a choice of organisation like any other organisation a company could choose.

Considering, of course, it is well adapted to the business you are in, there is no reason it could not work.

Or maybe I should say that there is only one reason that could make it fail : people not cooperating.

 

I am currently off-shoring a lot of activities from the programs I am managing today and I can tell you that it works when all teams cooperates.

But to cooperate team needs :

1- To have clear responsibilty/job split definition

2- To have clear objectives defined

3- To communicate

 

My advices would therefore be :

- To define an activity job-split with all teams (local & execution center teams)

- To define objectives of all parties together (what output do you request from execution center team but also what input the execution center will need). Be carefull, objectives have to be strictly measurable, otherwise you will have a huge probabilty to face many diffculties/problems...keep in mind that execution centers only execute and nothing more.

- To organise regular reviews between all teams to follow the work and adjust it if necessary (weekly, monthly, depending on your needs...)

 

Now, let's face it : in the beginning, off-shoring is always something frigthening for local teams as it is clearly seen as a threat because it will mean working with people that will not be at the desk next to them (unknown people is always frigthening at the frist time), and it is also seen as part of local job that goes abroad.

Therefore, to make these advices work you will have quite an important and necessary job to explain the organisation choice to your teams to make them understand why the company decided it.

To show them that it is not a fatality and that it is just a new way of work to learn and that will enable them to practice other aspects of their job.

And I am only talking about the professional easpect...working with a lot a nationalities is bringing also a lot of cultural interest...

 

Best regards,

 

Tony.

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