I’ll be discussing specifically in the context of knowledge workers who “think for a living” such as software developers, lawyers, business analysts and the likes. I will use software developers as an example, but it applies to other knowledge workers too.
You might have success outsourcing if you find talent, but you will fail without!
Businesses neglect the importance of finding skilled and talented software developers when outsourcing, which will almost certainly lead to problems or failure in the long run.
It doesn’t matter if it is a project or IT services being outsourced – the people in the other end have to have skills and preferably talent.
Obtaining a degree or completing a certification does not proof that a person has skills. Just as managers never will employ a developer based on resume only, neither should outsourced developers. The business should setup quality parameters in the outsourcing contract or interview the developers themselves – but that is rarely feasible.
There are other essential parameters that should not be neglected like creativity, motivation and talent nurturing. All the regular personal management things needed, also applies for outsourcing.
Offshoring to low-cost countries just complicates things even further… as you have to consider the language barrier, culture differences and time zones also.