Why does an offshore development project fail?

by Flora

What is an offshore development project?

When you outsource a project to another offshoring nation and recruit offshore developers to work on it, you’re talking about an offshore development project.

Offshoring is, to some extent, a sort of offshoring in practice. Various projects are typically outsourced to countries that are a little further distant (offshoring) rather than neighboring nations (offshoring).

Offshoring projects to Central Europe, such as Poland, Germany, or Spain, where polish developers, as well as German and Spanish developers, can take care of your software and provide remote development at the highest level, is a fantastic example.

Offshoring is becoming more popular due to advantages such as lower labor costs and access to skilled labor, cost savings and financial incentives, continuous business operations, improved operational control, the ability to scale up sustainably, and the ability to reach newer overseas markets. Not all offshore development projects, however, are a success. As a result, you must carefully consider all the aspects of your project.

There are a few factors to think about when it comes to offshore:

Offshoring isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. When you transfer your tasks abroad, what method works for others may not work for you. In order to navigate the industry, you must learn as much information as possible.

At the same time, while offshoring, there are some things you should and should not do.

Before offshore, you should think about the following factors:

Plans and tactics are important: First and foremost, you must carefully prepare your offshore stages and methods. This serves as a guide to why you should outsource and how to manage your functions successfully.

Functions: You may outsource almost all of your functions to an offshore vendor. You must, however, decide which of your duties you are most comfortable offshoring thousands of miles away from you and which should remain in-house.

Budget: As previously said, the cheapest choice is not necessarily the best. Set aside a suitable amount of money to spend on your offshore teams and strategies while maintaining a high level of quality.

Language and cultural compatibility: Whether you outsource to the Philippines, Vietnam, or Malaysia, cultural and language hurdles will still remain. This is why you must have a deeper understanding of your intended offshore location and how you may approach them more effectively.

Service agreement: It’s also critical to have everything set down in black and white for each party’s openness and responsibility. Make sure everything, including their price structure, is documented in a service-level agreement (SLA).

Backup strategy: Finally, your offshoring approach will not always be successful. Either your workforce will not meet your expectations, or you will need to adjust your offshoring methods as your company grows.

If you need to switch providers, it’s wise to prepare an exit strategy or a backup plan.


4 Reasons why does an offshore development project fail

1. Communication issues

Communication challenges, in general, include the following:

  • There is a lack of transparency and openness among suppliers when it comes to discussing difficulties.
  • Communication issues between members of the onshore and offshore teams
  • The on-site coordinator is unable to interact effectively with members of the offshore crew.
  • The project manager is unable to lead the offshore crew and interact effectively with clients.
  • The offshore crew misunderstands the requirements.
  • Communication breakdown between offshore and onshore teams

Many of the countries that host offshore development facilities do not speak English as their first language. The language barrier might be a challenge, especially for tasks that need a lot of communication and attention to detail.

The internationally scattered software development paradigm lacks informal ‘corridor discussions’ and spontaneous dialogues. They have an impact on the process of team members developing trust and mutual understanding. Communication challenges include a lack of transparency and openness among team members while dealing with project concerns. Distance-related concerns, as well as different cultural attitudes about project-related issues, maybe part of the common hurdles.


For example, due to the significance of sustaining Indian team hierarchies, Indian vendor team members may not openly express questions in the face of superiors. This has the potential to lead to misconceptions among members of the project team. A lack of tolerance and understanding of cultural orientations may impede team members’ integration into the project team. To lead the team in offshore development projects, project managers and onsite coordinators must have strong communication abilities. A promoted vendor programmer who lacks these abilities and works as a project manager, for example, will be a poor manager. A lack of proper feedback and good communication abilities are concerns that might lead to the failure of an offshore development project.

2. Problems with capacity

Overall, The following are examples of capacity issues:

  • Lack of business expertise among vendor team members 
  • Technical talents of project team members are week
  • Lack of cultural awareness among project team members 
  • Vendor team members have a high rate of attrition.

Lack of capacity in terms of business expertise, technical skills, and cultural understanding are seen as major issues that contribute to the failure of offshore development initiatives. Addresses the need for knowledge management in processes, domains, institutions, and cultures in order to generate effective project results. Foreign vendors have a significant number of junior programmers that lack the majority of the above-mentioned needed knowledge and abilities that consumers look for in interviews. Furthermore, cultural understanding and the social competency necessary to deal with partners other than them are criteria for working on offshore safer development initiatives. The relocation of key project participants (to other firms or projects) will have a greater impact on project planning.


Customers may not detect the consequences of high wear and tear rates among overseas suppliers if suppliers can organize their workers’ expertise. Several recent works have examined the interest of supplier team members, which has been mentioned as a worry by several customers. The absence of these important competencies will result in poor software quality, extended project schedules, and eventual project cancellation.

3. Issues with the formal project management procedure 

The following are formal project management process issues:

  • The project’s scope is continually changing.
  • Inadequate time management
  • There is no change control process in the project, and there are no quality assurance processes in place.
  • Inadequate coordination of onshore/offshore activities
  • The roles and duties of onshore/offshore project team members are unclear.

In order to avoid offshore development project failures, formal project management processes will be required, as they will compensate for the shortcomings of informal project manager measures among customers and vendors. Informal project management measures are less prespecified and unwritten, whereas formal project manager measures are explicitly recorded and prespecified. The outcome of projects will be influenced by both these control methods at the team and individual levels. Explicit project management processes, roles, duties, and documentation, among other things, are included in formal project manager measurements. Implicit and unwritten group norms, values, and expectations are examples of informal project management measurements. Process difficulties, such as unfrozen project scopes and inadequate schedule planning and management, are frequently the source of critical concerns involving formal project managers.


Vendors and clients face difficulties as a result of tight offshore project schedules and unclear deliverables. Furthermore, unclear roles and duties, as well as a lack of quality assurance methods, result in crucial challenges that contribute to the failure of offshore development projects. Another significant problem is the effective coordination of onshore and offshore activities, which maximizes project resources in terms of money and personnel while also ensuring knowledge transfer.

4. Output concerns informal project management 

Among the formal project management output issues are:

  • There is a lack of written documentation regarding the project’s needs.
  • Business standards that are unclear and imprecise
  • The project’s objectives and goals are unclear.
  • There is a lack of conventional methods and norms.


The important concerns around the documentation or outputs of formal project manager processes are critical to the success of an offshore safety development project. Failure to explicitly record the formal project processes will allow for erroneous interpretations by customers and vendors during the project’s course. Without sufficient sign-off from those who are accountable, incomplete requirements and business specifications can cause project delays and confusion. Uncertain objectives and goals might lead to misunderstandings among both parties, jeopardizing the project’s success. This might happen when the offshoring company is unaware of the business case and prospects, which can lead to cancellation. The lack of common methods and rules demonstrates the immaturity of offshore project managers. This will have an impact on team members’ comprehension of procedures in offshore safety development projects, and, consequently on the project’s progress.

How to resolve it?

1. Making use of technologies to communicate more clearly and easily

You may use instant messengers like Slack and Skype for day-to-day communication. Users can be grouped into ‘rooms,’ or one-on-one chats can be had via text or audio/video calling. Slack is also a fantastic tool for exchanging photos and files, which is especially useful for larger projects.

Working with a remote team necessitates the use of screen-sharing, cloud storage, and multi-access platforms such as Google Docs.

2. Having a Clear Understanding of offshoring Goals

Before you get into the offshoring sector, you need to know why you’re offshoring, and an offshoring roadmap may help you figure out what you want to achieve and how to get there.

3. Before you hire somebody, make a list of your project’s goals

This may seem self-evident, but a great project always begins with a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. Make a list of your project’s requirements ahead of time.

4. Make certain you pick the right partner

The offshoring partner you choose should be compatible with your company’s practices, operations, and project goals. Check portfolios, and reviews, and ask about necessary expertise before hiring.

5. Prepare for the worst-case scenario

Disputes between internal and outsourced staff are a common cause of offshoring failure. Keep your in-house team informed while engaging with the customer and other teams to avoid this.

6. Concentrate On What Is Important

One of the advantages of offshoring is cost savings. However, it should not be the sole reason for hiring an offshoring firm. Rather than focusing just on low costs, the company should place a greater emphasis on value.

How do you pick the best offshoring partner?

While it is simple to outsource your services abroad, finding the correct offshoring partner may be tricky. It won’t be enough to rely on companies offshoring success tales to get your feet wet in the market straight away.

Here are some suggestions for finding the best offshore provider for your company.

Look for your favorite vacation spot

Begin by looking for an offshoring location that suits your needs.

Aside from India and the Philippines, numerous other offshoring countries, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, are steadily increasing their legitimacy and appeal.

>>> Click Here to Find More About Why Should You Hire Offshore Developers From Vietnam?

Choose at least three organizations that specialize in business process offshoring (BPO)

Don’t just go with the first or easiest BPO firm that comes to mind. You’ll miss out on getting the most out of your outsourced services if you do this.

It’s a good idea to have at least three BPO businesses on your shortlist. Then evaluate them in terms of quality, price, and validity.

Examine the quality and cost

Just because your offshoring partner is less expensive does not guarantee that you will receive the finest service. Check out some testimonials from prior customers to see how their cost and service compare to the quality of their work.

You may also ask for a free trial of their services to determine whether they can satisfy your needs.

Contact your offshoring partner and establish a line of contact

Finally, learn to communicate with your offshore partner, especially as you begin offshoring your responsibilities.

Discuss your offshoring goals and objectives with your service provider, as well as your intended outcome and metrics and KPIs for measuring your team’s success.


If you are wondering about which partner to select, you may contact BSS Commerce’s Offshore Development Center. The focused development team at BSS Commerce is committed to producing high-quality products and services that adhere to the highest security and coding standards. Allow our qualified specialists to join your team in order to manage any difficulties with the finest optimal technological solution.

BSS Commerce may be a good fit for you if you have some of the following characteristics:


We won’t waste your time with lengthy recruitments and training; we’ve got your back! We are trained professionals who will complete any challenging assignment assigned to the internal team. Furthermore, we provide cost-effective solutions and timely assistance, allowing you to save significantly on human resources.


There will be no more concerns about the quality of deliverables since BSS guarantees to provide great service at all times. With our up-to-date strategic consultancy and technical maintenance, you can decrease risk and accelerate productivity.


You’ll leave the hard work to the specialists because we know all there is to know about eCommerce and technology. Having an offshore center allows you to concentrate on business growth and increase your target market. Our workforce is scalable and adaptable to your degree of growth.


Offshore development projects are becoming increasingly popular as a faster, cheaper, and more effective approach to boost your business production and simplify and manage your operations. Not every project, however, is a success. We have explained why offshore developments frequently fail in this article. In addition, we have proposed a few pre-existing options.


Look no further; an appropriate offshore safety development center might be exactly what you want to boost your company procedures.

If you want to learn more about a reliable partner who can assist you in completing an offshore safety development project, please contact us right away! We consider our clients to be partners since they are directly coordinate and collaborate with the foreign teams that we provide. Developers, developers, designers, senior testers, and digital marketing specialists make up our teams. They are fluent in English and have specialized knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields.



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