on offshoring

My friend Scott Sehlhorst offers a detailed view of what it takes to make outsourcing work. He explains that there are essentially four different models for managing a software development project with respect to onshore and offshore roles. Read Making Offshore Development Work.

I find that there's a trade-off that isn't appreciated or understood by the advocates of offshoring. The trade-off is between domain knowledge and required detail.

Do you want it quick or cheap? Pick one.

You can be brief and agile with a group that understands the product and the domain; you must be extremely specific when dealing with people who do not.  And with this required detail comes more time in meetings and more time writing artifacts--and less time building product.

Whether onshore or off, a product team needs to understand the personas and their problems. If you're dealing with people who "just want to code," someone on your team will have to detail everything exactly as you want it delivered.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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