Top challenges during transition

WarningThere are several challenges while transitioning-out a service from the in-house team to the offshore IT vendor. From my experience below are the top challenges that need to be recognized and managed from the start.

  1. Boiler plate transition approach
  2. Customers need to be wary of boiler-plate transition approach presented by the IT service providers. Most of the customers demand the best outcomes within shortest transition time based on the industry benchmark. However, benchmarks can be misleading. Customer usually award the contract to the vendor quoting the lowest cost and transition time. Usually the well reputed vendors have predefined transition approaches and past transition experiences. However, due to winning pressure, most of the vendors do not fine tune the transition approach to the current context and ground realities to make it pragmatic. This leads to committing to the most optimistic and aggressive schedule and outcome.

    Every organization’s characteristic, capacity and capability is unique. As I said earlier transition is a joint responsibility and so the transition approach need to be fine tuned by considering these unique parameters.

  3. Hostile team
  4. During transition, cooperation of the incumbent team is vital in sharing the information on various facets of the project including application functionality, design, coding and process. Hostile incumbent team may not willfully cooperate in sharing the information thereby increasing the risk of the transition. Besides, there is a high chance of political and/or emotional issues cropping up which need to be managed carefully.

  5. Poor knowledge management practices
  6. Lack of documentation and knowledge management practices would increase the learning curve, complexity and length of the transition.

  7. Low process maturity
  8. If the organization has matured processes, the transition would benefit in terms of shorted duration and learning curve. However, if the process culture and maturity is at low level, it would impact the transition time and results.

  9. Soft issues
  10. Soft issues, primarily cultural and communication issues, are one of the major hurdles in efficient offshoring. These challenges are amplified and pronounced during transition process than other phases of the project and need to be managed effectively.

  11. Senior management commitment
  12. Usually most of the transition projects go through turbulent times due to the multi party involvement and the complexity. Lack of commitment from senior management means low tolerance level for risks and the probability of pulling the plug is higher. So, it is essential the senior management is appraised and their buy-in obtained in advance.

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© Dhandapani Ammasai, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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