This chapter covers the management processes and structures that lead to successful transitioning of IT work offshore. These are lengthy, subtle, and difficult processes that require close managerial attention. We cover three key transition topics in this chapter, and each one of these topics can be read by itself and does not require linear-style reading. The topics are augmented with case studies and examples. The three topics are:
Knowledge transfer. The process of successfully transferring specific types of knowledge and experience into the minds of all those collaborating on the work across many kilometers.
Change management. Overcoming the inertia and resistance within the organization to a difficult change.
Governance. Establishing structures, roles, responsibilities, and written agreements to ensure that control, coordination, and relationships are all functioning smoothly between the client and the provider in offshore out sourcing.
How would you transfer the knowledge of eating at a restaurant to someone who never has? You don't really know about it unless you go there yourself. You can have someone to tell you about it. You can order takeout from a restaurant. You can buy a cookbook from a restaurant. But, to really understand how it works and feels and tastes, you have to go to one.
Knowledge transfer deals with moving specific kinds of knowledge and experience into the minds of the people collaborating on the software work. Some of the knowledge transfer is from home location to offshore location; some of it goes the other way.