Despite its many perks, when outsourcing is not done and managed properly through clear communication and service agreements, it can sometimes result in disatisfaction for the service users and eventually be associated with unpleasant disadvantages. This article explains potential issues caused by engaging in outsourcing operations without ensuring all communication risks are met with proper prevention measures.

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Translation Error

There is nothing wrong with hiring freelancers overseas for your product development or talking to a senior developer nearby – but when you’re handling out projects to a remote team of developers, a wide communication barrier can cause a major challenge where instructions get lost. You might have trouble, lose time, and have to deal with a lot of hassle.

A language barrier is not uncommon for outsourcing operations in prominent outsourcing destinations like India, Vietnam and the Philippines, despite English being used extensively in these countries. It is important to find outsourcing partners with good English proficiency, especially in the business settings since any translation error from the source requirement documents to other languages is an unclear instruction or requirement for the development team. 

There is some loss of control

It is normal to give up some degree of project control when you outsource your project to a remote team since you can not directly monitor how the task is being carried out. This is why some consider the Project Manager to be the most important part of an external development team. The PM would be the one to supervise and coordinate other members on your behalf so getting the PM on the same page with your goals and requirements would mean a lot in achieving desirable results.

 

Inflexibility  

Changes happen along the way of any software development project, either on the technical side of things or the contractual side. When dealing with remote developers with poor communication ability, there are possibilities that a contract engagement might prove too rigid to accommodate changes. First of all, as we discussed earlier, your company would give up a certain degree of control over the project since the direct, day-to-day control is transferred to your outsourcing partner. Communication between the two parties now play a key roll in ensuring any alteration to the plan or project requirement is well understood by the development team.

Secondly, in a typical outsourcing operation, you are engaged in a contractual agreement with another party that includes clauses regarding the workload and duration of the project. Abnormalities in the development period may require some changes to those agreement for the project to conclude with desirable results. Contrary to an in-house team with which these changes of plan can be carried out with little to no problem, a contracted team can mean some degree of re-negotiation between parties. Finding partners with good understanding and experience of similar situation can ease up the process considerably.

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