Despite visible success and growth of the Indian offshore software development industry, it has until recently been difficult to judge the success of these new software initiatives. Opinions vary on the benefits derived from out sourcing software development/support projects. Following questions haunt some clients in Europe/USA having / opting for offshore development activity:
Some of these questions are valid for alternate models like in-house development or off-site contracted development
But off shore model has some additional aspects to be considered to derive the benefit.
The conventional practice of software development often not tailored to produce successful results when required to operate within the real-world pressures of constrained budgets, accelerated time lines, and fuzzy and/or poorly understood requirements. If we also include the typical offshore software development challenges (communication, culture, control, time zones, accountability, etc.) the intended cost savings often never materialize, while project risks can go up dramatically.
i-Trust has management team which has worked in software development for more than three decades and worked on off shore development for 2 decades. Based on real life experience and pains faced , a global delivery model has been worked out. Before engagement, i-Trust will work with the client to fully understand requirements, understand the business culture and customizedelivery model. Once the project is under way, our team follows a tightly integrated process and timeline to deliver projects without sacrificing quality or efficiency. We adopt industry standard processes for software development and team management (which is very very critical in any software projects). While staffing the development team, we take careof screening and evaluation of engineers ensure that team has the right people to meet the needs of clients’projects.
Table describes some of the problems often encountered and how i-Trust has found a way to get them out of the way.
|Problem/Symptom (Offshore development)||Root Causes||i-Trust approach|
|Lack of clarity on Progress||Working software emerges in late phases. Customer engaged via documents, reports and [infrequent] demos.||Short cycles that deliver & publish usable software which is meaningful to users. Using the tools like Skype, GotomyPC, Team Viewer clients will be continuously updated on progress and clients can provide timely feedback.|
|Minimum Customer involvement In development process||Requirements are signed-off and locked down in a vacuum, and too early. Change is prohibitive and expensive (time, money, effort & psychology of starting over).||Requirements realized before confirmation/sign-off. Incremental modeling & more time spent immediately coding for faster realization. Incremental requirement management with requirements validated by testing software each cycle Change-embracing process that reacts quickly-within next [short] cycle. Customers are in the team, so they see it first.|
|Delays in delivery and incomplete functionality of final product causes cost escalation||
The delays are caused by
1. Wrong effort estimation due to lack of clear understanding of final deliverable by the client. Or/and2. Incomplete understanding of requirements by off shore partner due to communication issues.
3. Productivity of the team.
1. i-Trust will clearly state understanding and scope and non-scope, roles and responsibilities and assumptions (in case all clarifications have not been received).
2. Identify potential technology pitfalls and start up prototype development right from the word “go”.
3. Identify development tools suitable for building products,staff teams with engineers with required skill and knowledge.
4. Clearly define acceptance criteria and get sign off for the same which makes client understand clearly how they see the project.5. Follow the development schedule and inform the client of any potential issues and agree upon work around/solutions as and when they are faced
|Poor Quality and usability||Lack of customer validation of user interfaces and functionalities until late/end of project. Testing is typically last activity. Requirements are confirmed & signed-off in a vacuum.||User Interface is designed and demonstrated to client in first phase which gives adequate time for client to provide feedback as well as suggest modification within agreed scope.. If the client desires, UI can also be designed by expert groups. Testing done first (test-driven development). Incremental requirement management with requirements validated by testing software each cycle.|
One size does NOT fit all. Consider this; the typical offshore initiative relies on a pre-defined operational model advocated by the offshore vendor. In most instances, customers accept this model without questioning it’s usefulness to their own organization.
Clients will be of different profile like.
i-Trust has rich experience will working with many classes of clients and will work out a customized delivery model that accommodates your organizations unique strengths while compensating for any weaknesses is critical.
We work with our partners on the following business models to deliver innovative and new products and applications in the varied application area:
|Sr No.||Business model||Description|
|1||Offshore development center||Work for hire for enhancement/support and fixed scope projects|
|2||JV and collaborative development||Specially suited for newly incubated companies or group of individuals with ideas which needs to be converted to prototypes/proof-of-concept demo models.|
|3||R & D projects||Development of a small technology extension to solve a critical integration issue and / or much needed interface during integration.|