Outsourcing as process driver
I really liked Geoffrey McCaleb's piece on outsourcing today. As he says, "It almost sounds too good to be true. Which, of course, means it is".
But, of course, handled properly, outsourcing can be a valuable approach - as Geoffrey also says. I think that it's just that when IT projects fail it's usually because the project management (rather than the technology) has failed...
A couple of further thoughts:
Geoffrey says "Document like you are being the most anally retentive writer you've ever known". Yes, indeed, but perhaps this is time to look at "active" documentation - where you can generate high level application artifacts (at least) from the documentation. Look at the OMG's Model Driven Development, perhaps. This ensures that the documentation really is in synch with the project and reuses the effort you put into it usefully.
And, when you put a mature process in place, in order to let you outsource effectively, you may find that you no longer need to outsource. The savings from "doing it right first time" plus the lower cost of local management, may deliver all the savings you could realistically expect from outsourcing....
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