Jun 4, 2008

Checklist for initiating an offshore project

Many of the Indian Companies are successfully deploying the offshore delivery model nowadays. Advances in technology and network efficiency has enabled them to connect to the customer network, work on the customer environment, deploy the solution and test the same. I am putting together here a few of the check points that we must consider while initiating an offshore delivery project.
1. Do we have network connectivity?
The normal tool used is VPN and it is normally customer's responsibility to establish the same. Sometimes customer's go for leased lines from ISPs.
2. Has the network connectivity been tested?
This need to be tested for access to the network, access to the development environment and in case of Oracle Apps opening of forms and finally for the connectivity continuity and speed. You may need to test this at different points in time in a week till you are absolutely comfortable.
3. Details of Customer Contact: Who is the customer contact? What is his role - for example is he only going to coordinate or is he an active participant in the project team.
4. Knowledge of English: Does the custmer have a project team which is conversant in English?
5. Database connectivity: Does this project require database connectivity? If yes has the connectivity details been received from the customer and has this been tested satisfactorily.
6. Database connectivity tool: Does the offshore project team have a database connectivity tool like 'Toad' and has the connectivity been tested using this tool.
7. Customer Support Identifier: Almost all the technology vendors have an online support portal for which the customer is given a restricted user identifier. For example, in case of Oracle, the portal is the Metalink and the number is called CSI. You need to receive the CSI number from the customer and the access to the same has to be enabled for the offshore project team so that they can raise support request in case they run into any product related issues during the project phase. You will need to ensure that you have tested the connectivity to the portal using the CSI number that the customer has provided.
8. Does the customer has any specific requirements? Has that been understood well by the project team? Has it been documented?
9. Prerequisites: Does the project have any prerequisites? Have they been identified clearly and action taken against each action item?

These are a few of the points that immediately come to mind. If you have any further points, do let me know so that we can together prepare an excellent checklist.

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