It takes two to Tango

It takes two to Tango

When a firm decides to outsource their IT development the first thoughts that comes to their mind are usually related to their potential IT provider.

  • What is the cost of hiring an oversea based developer? How much are the actual cost savings? What are some of the potential soft or hidden costs?
  • Does the provider have the technology and experience to work on my project?
  • Will they be effective at communicating with their clients?


Firms looking to outsource your IT development overseas should keep in mind that it takes work from both sides to make it effective. This dynamic relationship involves more than just metrics and skill sets. The main components that will determine a successful engagement are the people involved and how well they work together. Cross border virtual engagements in particular have unique sets of challenges.

How to Tango

  • It is both sides’ responsibility to ask and follow up on each other’s references. You want to know who you are getting into business with. A software development company should not take just any client. The same can be said for a company looking for an outsourced software development provider.
  • Clearly agree on all the important points at the very start of the relationship. The project requirements, expectations, schedule, costs, payments, and deliverables should be clearly defined.
  • Have a single point of contact for both sides to facilitate communication and decision making. Mutually agree on a set of communication guidelines and technologies.
  • Establish a culture of responsibility at the start. It is too easy to blame just one side for the failure of an engagement. Correct any oversight such as non-performing team members and bad communication.
  • Even if both sides speak the same language, it’s important to recognize that there may be some differences in ability, pronunciation, and technical vocabulary. If these differences are recognized, both parties are at a greater advantage because they can address the issue.
  • Recognize that culture differences may exists.
  • Bring the team together for a face to face meeting. It is easier to deal with problems later on if team members can put a face to a name and have a relationship to each other.

Note: by now you have probably figured out that this article had nothing to do with learning how to Tango (sorry for the disappointment). At least you have a better idea of some of challenges and tips for outsourcing software development. To talk/discuss/request for additional dancing instructions, contact Matthew Tran at or visit our website.


About gkoe2pointzero

This is the digital version of Gary Koe... He is currently the Digital Director at Lowe Vietnam. Things that keep him going... freshly brewed coffee, his iMac, his gadgets, the Internet, his many iPods with music (only trance / alt rock), TV, travel, books... View all posts by gkoe2pointzero

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