Charting a Map to Disposable Outsourcing

Have you heard about PMBOK? In case you did not – the acronym stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. PMBOK is a very comprehensive document that covers PM processes, procedures, methodologies and techniques promoted by Project Management Institute (PMI), a very well respected organization…

A few months ago I asked two PMs on my team to develop a road map of ensuring that offshoring relationships we have in place are indeed 100% disposable. A very aggressive goal considering a small size of our on-shore organization in particular juxtaposed to the size of our offshore operations. Almost instantly the project was nicknamed OCBOK – offshore contingency body of knowledge. Of course building a real OCBOK would take much more than two part time project managers (even exceptionally good ones) and a couple of offshore teams. So we can only start outlining its structure and put some preliminary content in a few chapters. It would be great to get it to the PMBOK level at least some approximation. To that I need all help I can find – if you have any resources / ideas / suggestions that you think could be applicable please send them my way. Feel free to comment on this post or email me at – krym2000-po@yahoo.com

In meanwhile here are a few interesting observations from writing the first chapter of OCBOK which would be called “You are more dependent than you think” –

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Offshore and Code Review

Code review is a rather controversial subject. On one hand many SDLC gurus, tech leads, and architects agree that it could present an incredible value, on the other hand it’s one of the last quality procedures to be exercised in a majority of organizations. There are many reasons code review often takes the back seat, one of the most important ones is morale impact of code review. If let unmanaged code reviews can often cause tension in the team, things quickly become personal and instead of improving quality of code generate turmoil and finger pointing. Another reason of code reviews’ lack of popularity is their complexity in process sense, in particular timing.

I am in general a big proponent of code reviews and when it comes to offshore I found those irreplaceable. Specific implementation of code review depends largely on SDLC and outsourcing model used by the team.
If you fully outsourced your SDLC to an offshore partner you in a large degree will be at mercy of their internal SDLC. If you have an ability to influence your vendor’s processes you may want to request code review as a mandatory step and hope that it will be performed according to the best practices that are generally well known nowadays.

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