How to handle a potential failure of an outsourced project?



  • To provide some context, my company outsourced a software project to a third party agency, against my recommendation of not doing so. The Agency delivery has been very poor so far in terms of quality and time. They have delayed the delivery from the initial 3 months period to a further estimated 9 months. We are now in month 7. Most of the delays have been justified by the agency to technical refactoring of things they have done wrong themselves.

    In the meantime a former decision maker is still with one foot in, owning the communication, until the agency delivers, he de-scoped features that will need to be built in-house after delivered.

    I am in charge of decision making now, I stepped in one month ago and after gathering all the details, I predict further refactoring and delays coming from the agency. We currently have no development resources in-house, but we can get if necessary.

    What would be the wiser thing to do in order to get this project to good terms? In-house hiring plus a forced project take over ASAP? Make use of the capital invested, let the agency finalise the project and spend further months refactoring in-house? Any other ideas...?



  • Might be too broad to be answered, but I'll give it a crack.


    First, by

    In the meantime a former decision maker is still with one foot in

    and

    I am in charge of decision making now

    I assume you mean that there's a highly-placed employee that is still interested in the project, but no longer has authority. So, first thing is to touch base with him to ensure you're not going to be stepping on toes.


    Next, take a look at the contract. See if you can get access to what's already been written. If you can, then get it and then look a the situation afresh - keeping in mind that you should never chase sunk costs. Choose what will cost you less - refactoring their code or starting from scratch.

    If you can't, then you instead need to choose what will cost you less - waiting until they stop holding your code hostage, then refactoring their code. Or starting from scratch.

    You may need to renegotiate the contract.



Suggested Topics

  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2