Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Offshore Backlash

Offshore Backlash

Editor's Note: We've received a great deal of correspondence regarding Wesley Bertch's article "Why Offshore Outsourcing Failed Us," (Oct. 16, 2003). Below is a sample. We've also set up an online forum devoted to the topic.

As the owner of a software engineering firm, I was stunned--but not surprised--at some of the mistakes illustrated in the article. However, $20,000 seems like an acceptable loss for the knowledge gained.

The contract between Life Time Fitness and the offshore organization may have been flawed. And it seems overall basic project-management principles were not followed.

The contract should have had only deliverable-based payments. For each deliverable, the contract should have defined a metric and a minimum acceptable result for that metric--probably best provided by Life Time's QA unit. No money should have been released for any deliverable that did not meet the minimum acceptable result. The contract should have stipulated that certain deliverables (i.e., coding) could not be started until a preceding deliverable (i.e., mock-ups) had met the minimum acceptable result.

Such a contract would have limited Life Time's losses to payment for work accepted. In addition, the project probably would have been canceled when the database didn't meet expectations.

  • 1