Why Offshoring Projects Can Fail

Offshoring projects have four additional risks that aren't inherent in the typical IT project, according to Scott Noble, who advises organizations on the topic through his firm Global Sourcing Insights:

  • Barriers to communication
  • Complexity of infrastructure
  • Division of labor
  • Cultural factors

In his brief white paper, “Why Offshore Outsourcing Projects Fail,” Mr. Noble explains each unique challenge and some basic strategies to overcome them.

He concludes:

In my experience, the most common unique causes of failed offshore-outsourced IT projects (beyond causes that are typical to any IT project) are related to unique cultural elements that are commonly ignored or misunderstood combined with the failure or inability of management to fully consider the broad range of influencing factors that are peculiar to offshore outsourcing. Some of these influencing factors have been described in previous sections of this document, but there can be many special considerations unique to each individual project. Without the benefit of significant experience in identifying, planning for, and managing these issues, the typical IT Manager faces an uphill struggle.