Productivity in Offshore Waterfall Projects

Recently, we made observations while serving a European e-commerce agency, who subscribed to the Waterfall software-development methodology, of how effective our OXID developers were being in serving our clients’ bottom-line. The focus turned at one point to a discussion of productivity of the offshore team. euroblaze’s offshore developers were known for their deep skills in the OXID technology. They are most effective when deployed in development intensive tasks.

A waterfall-project can be phased into the typical planning, implementation and handover phases

euroblaze Agency Client

Planning, P1

Requirements Engineering X
Time, People and Delivery Planning  X X

Implementation, P2

Programming  X
Quality Assurance  X

Handover|Go-live, P3

Integration X X
User-Acceptance-Tests (UAT) X X
Handover, Go-live X X

While the P1 planning activity has traditionally been done at the offices of clients, and P2 implementation activities have been undertaken by us, there have been grey areas in the P3 Go-live phase as to who is responsible for what.

Productivity Peaks in P2

We have observed that productivity of offshore employees peaks during P2, where their high-speciality OXID skills come into play. Well defined requirements-specification emerging out of P1-Planning enable the specialists to take a direct shot at producing quality-software.

offshore-productivity

Plummet in P3

Productivity of offshore employees however plummets lower then 25% in the P3-Integration phase. The chief reason for this being, the emergence of extrinsic factors such as coordination with infrastructure providers, payment-providers, execution-planning of online-marketing activities, and most of all, direct contact with the end-customer (merchant) in the final moments before going live.

FAZIT

It would be prudent software-project-planning to dedicate offshore experts such as those at euroblaze to the implementation-phase of OXID projects, where they are most productive. At the same time, dedicate sufficient resources at the agency for the initial planning-phase and the final customer-handover/go-live.

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