Failure teaches a man many things: don’t mix beer and tequila, dates don’t want to hear about your ex, and good software isn’t developed offshore. But success can be a better teacher, and a little failure combined with some success is best of all. After fifteen years doing projects in India, England, Israel, Canada, Moscow and the Ukraine, I’ve got the scars to prove I’ve learned a few basic requirements.
Requirement Number 1:
Leadership is everything. In case you missed it, Leadership is EVERYTHING. And I don’t mean sitting on the phone in the corporate office. I mean the person who represents everything you want to achieve and sits in that remote office having to drill the corporate mission into people who have little respect for corporate, and strongly suspect that the feeling is mutual.
The Roman Empire lasted for a thousand years, which might be longer than your project is going to last. The job with the most difficult requirements in the Roman Empire, tougher than Senator, tougher than General, was Governor of a remote province. Romans knew that the Governor had the toughest job. He had to convert his provincials into people who wanted what Rome wanted, people who would profitably grow Rome’s Empire, not people who would revolt and suck up Roman resources.
There are few application development jobs tougher than managing a remote development group. And there are precious few people that can do it. It takes great leadership, as well as management ability, which is hard to find.
Next, in Part 2, if you can’t identify the fish at the table, the fish is you.