Book Title: Offshoring IT Services : A Framework for Managing Outsourced Projects

2nd revised edition: Createspace (Original : McGraw Hill)
Author: K.Mohan.Babu
ISBN: 0070597561






Offshore IT sourcing, a.k.a Offshoring offers many advantages, but executing offshored IT projects is complicated. Since the number of books on this topic is limited, Mohan Babu K, a technologist at Infosys Technologies Ltd and an IT Strategy Thought Leader, has drawn his observations and research in the book "Offshoring IT Services: A framework for managing outsourced projects." (Publisher: Tata McGrawHill). This book will help you will learn how to avoid the pitfalls that come from managing global IT projects. You will also learn to manage across time-and-space boundaries and IT projects.

This book explains the intricacies involved in the practice of offshoring and covers a comprehensive range of important offshoring issues: from cost advantages and strategy, to execution of projects and programs and aspects of cultural differences and communication. The book concludes with an analysis of some of the key aspects pertaining to external landscape and Offshoring Management including the Technology Landscape, Knowledge Management, Globalization and the Economic Environment.

Management of Information Technology [IT] Projects executed from offshore destinations has brought a lot of attention on offshoring. There is an increasing focus on managing and executing IT projects with geographically and culturally disbursed teams. Best practices, theories and Body of Knowledge on managing IT projects are well established, but there is a distinct void when it comes to practices on managing offshored projects.

The book describes a working model that can be used by organizations, managers and executives looking for inputs on outsourcing and offshoring. The ideas presented in the book can form inputs for developing offshoring strategies and implementing outsourced projects. The book also attempts to provide insights and 'how to' techniques that managers can implement.

The book contains more than 270 pages and is one of the most informative and detailed publications available on the subject. The book includes practical insight, strategic guidelines, interviews with experts, and case studies. The book examines some of the emerging trends and practices of managing offshored projects and explores practical ideas. It also bridges the gap between offshoring strategies and execution of globally distributed IT projects by introducing an Offshoring Management Framework [OMF], a vendor-neutral way of approaching offshoring strategies for execution and management. The Framework is intended to be adopted by IT executives and managers at 'both ends' of the offshoring spectrum: at outsourcing organizations and at service delivery firms, onsite and offshore. The thrust is on enabling managers to be comfortable in managing global delivery projects. The book also addresses the challenges of managing onsite and offshore teams, the time and distance challenges of outsourced projects.

The book is written for CTOs, CIOs, consultants, IT executives and managers. The book is also targeted at policy makers and analysts who may need inputs in articulating Offshore Outsourcing. It will also guide students of business and technology and others looking for insights into working models of Offshoring, Outsourcing and emerging trends.

Book Reviews, Media Coverage and articles about the book

  • Book Review: Offshoring IT Services (JITCAR-Vol 8-No 3, 2006) "Overall, the material presented in the book is well researched and the book presents a new framework for management of offshored projects.  Conceptual development and discussion of the framework is presented well and is supported by some prior literature and extensive anecdotal evidence.  Thus the book adds considerably to the exiting sparse body of knowledge in the topic area.  The author should be commended for tackling a complex issue and for developing a new framework." - Journal of Information Technology Cases and Applications; by Dr. Hindupur V. Ramakrishna is an Associate Professor of IT in the School of Business, University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
  • IT outsourcing trend may be irreversible (Hindu Businessline Book Review, Sept 2006) "Offshoring of information technology is `not an isolated trend but part of a bigger shift towards the globalisation of business processes.' This book says the good times are here to stay, taking a cue from manufacturing. Things never end up as cut in stone. Every offshoring project brings in new things to operations management, says Babu, in conclusion. "People and processes need to adapt to changes." Useful insights, to help you offshore. "
  • Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC Journal, April 2006)"Interviews with IT personnel who have experienced IT service offshoring are also 'boxed' adding further nuance to text and evidence for arguments made. There are also short cases describing the offshoring practices of companies such as Cisco India, Infosys and ABX Corporation. These are among the most useful components of the book, since they not only present a general picture of the concepts but also enable readers to achieve an in-depth understanding of offshoring scenarios." -- By Henry W.H. Lo (EJISDC: City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and University of Nebraska, Omaha)  Abstract | PDF
  • Evolution of a Sourcing Strategy (Computerworld, April 2006) "Organizations typically consider several inputs while formulating their offshoring road maps, and selecting an appropriate offshoring model is one of the key steps in the process. There are several factors to consider, including aspects of international business strategy -- selecting the country, scanning the landscape and deciding on the sourcing strategy. Tracing the history of EDS's foray into India is akin to walking down the offshoring memory lane. "
  • Managing Global Workforce ( Book Review, April 2006) "The book has been published at an opportune time, especially since offshore outsourcing is taking off and executives and IT leaders are looking for best practices that they can adopt in their initiatives. Managers and members of teams need to learn to work with professionals and peers from across geographic and cultural boundaries, separated by time and space "
  • Managing a global workforce (Express Computers, March 2006) "Managing a global workforce and distributed teams is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of offshore outsourcing, that is ‘offshoring’—the reason why the author Mohan Babu, who is with Infosys, has dedicated an entire chapter on this aspect in his new book Offshoring IT Services: A Framework for Managing Outsourced Projects."
  • "Managing and Implementing Outsourced Projects" (Computerworld, 2006)
  • Myth: All Outsourcing Is Offshoring (Computerworld, 2005)
  • Outsourcing: The world is your oyster (Network World, 2005) "If you're looking to make sense out of the whole offshoring/outsourcing scenario, you may be interested in Mohan Babu's upcoming book about the subject. Titled "Offshoring IT Services: A Framework for Managing Outsourced Projects"
  • Offshoring management experts ("Professionals who are skilled in offshoring management are in great demand" Express Computers, 2005)
  • "Frameworks to Execute Offshored Projects" Ubiquity (An ACM IT Magazine)

Review Comments

When Infosys CEO Nandan M. Nilekani told Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and The New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman that the playing field is being leveled , he did not intend to inspire the title of a path-breaking bestseller on globalization. He was making a statement of fact founded on his experience as the leader of the world’s most successful IT services company.

Mohan Babu K. took the cue. Through his book OFFSHORING IT SERVICES: A Framework for Managing Outsourced Projects (Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi, 2006), he reveals the offshoring secrets that brought Nilekani, and Infosys, those credentials.


This is an emotional topic, yet offshoring has driven growth in the US and will continue to do so for many years to come. Babu has used an easy-to-read style to create a framework that will guide any manager or student through the critical issues related to offshoring. Many books on this topic can be rather dry and prone to economic analysis, but this is a practitioners guide - not a book on procurement theory. If you are thinking of offshoring and would like to create a good framework of questions to ask your potential suppliers then this will help you create your checklist at a very reasonable price.

- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary (London)
Writer, researcher, and author of "Outsourcing to India: The Offshore Advantage"

This is a timely book that provides guidance on the various issues associated with offshoring or outsourcing IT projects. I found the chapters on communication and cultural differences to be of particular interest.

- Dr. Nancy R. Mead
Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University

Mohan Babu K has written a highly user-friendly book, illuminating many facets of global IT management from all points of the offshoring spectrum. This author understands offshore practices from the inside out, having IT experience both in North America as well as in India. One of the most attractive features of nearly every one of the book's chapters is the content related to culture, communication and virtual work -- along with insight about the management of technical and project issues. With the integration of both project and (what some may view as) "soft" issues, Mohan continually reminds the reader to consider the human and cross-cultural elements operating on global teams. This book will benefit anyone working across time, distance and culture.

- Deena Levine
Global Business/Cross-Cultural Consulting []

"Good book and good reserach" The book discusses the fine points of risks involved in outsourcing. It is important to have that debate to have a successful project. Good work on discussing cultural differences that affect communication which is very important for a multi-cultural work enviornment. The case points and examples are very ralevant to the chapters, and make an interesting read. The diagrams and illustrations also help understand concepts better.

- Bhumika Ghimire
Freelance writer and "student of outsourcing" based in Indianapolis

Good to know that the book has finally hit the stands. With outsourcing being a hot topic for IT industry today, I am sure the book will bring lots of value to the IT community. Wishing you all the best.

- Parthasarathy M. A.
Associate Vice President, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

I liked the conversational style and it covers many topics of interest for someone not familiar with offshoring. Chapter 2 discusses Models of offshoring well. I enjoyed reading your experiences in it.

- Yogesh Naik
Senior Technical Architect, Infosys

While reading the book, I tried keeping 2 separate “readers” in my mind, one as Project manger, more interested in execution level and norms of ground reality and the other up in the chain, a client executive planning on prospective offshoring strategy and want to know what it is all about and how to get it there “right”. My review is based on these two audiences.

Project manager’s view: The book has very well articulated the nuances of project execution in typical offshore model. The book also provides with lot of terminology and lingo which most of us end up being part-of and execute but not know them by names, e.g. “BOT”, “BOOT” or “Captive Development Center” I liked the conversational style and it covers many topics of interest for someone not familiar with offshoring. Chapter 2 discusses Models of offshoring well. I enjoyed reading your experiences in it.

Senior Executive’ view: The book is really a good starting point for to understand the offshoring strategies All the terminology, backdrop, explanation, case studies are well placed and explained to gain a fair understanding of what all is involved in offshore scenario and various outsourcing options

Overall, the content & presentation in this book is very impressive and congratulate you on this remarkable accomplishment. ,

- Nishant Parekh
Project Manager, IT, First Canadian Title, Oakville, Canada

Table of Contents

[Please click here to download the Table of Contents]

The Key topics covered in the book include:

  • Trends in Offshore IT Outsourcing

  • Planning Offshoring

  • Framework for Managing Global IT Projects [Offshoring Management Framework]:

    • Offshoring: The IT Management Context
    • Project Execution Layer
    • Project Execution Layer: Application Development
    • Project Execution Layer: Maintenance
    • Communication Layer
  • Managing Globalized Workforce
  • External landscape and Offshoring Management

The primary audience for the book includes

  •  IT Executives, CIOs, CTOs, Project and Program Managers: Leaders and managers in the industry constantly interact with clients and vendors from across the globe. They also need to constantly educate and articulate to clients and sourcing organizations the merits and benefits of offshoring, some of the prevailing working models and strategies. This book could act as a guide for such managers and could be a 'handout' during client presentations, especially since it takes a vendor-neutral stance covering some of the most common aspects of offshoring.
  • Managers at Client, Vendor and Software Services and Delivery Organizations: Managers and executives at organizations sourcing work to vendors need unbiased, vendor-neutral inputs on working models and best practices that they can validate against the operations to streamline the relationship with outsourcing vendors. This book will act as a guide for such activities.
  • Business Executives: Business executives and leaders are increasingly getting involved in formulating IT strategies. This book will act as a guide for such activities.
  • Academicians and researchers: Outsourcing is emerging as a hot area of research. There are very few books in this segment and this book will fill the void
  • Students of MBA, MCA, Technology Management and Information Systems, MIS and other degree and masters programs
  •  Trainers and Trainees at Software Service organizations
  • Others looking for insights into working models of Offshoring and Outsourcing