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Software Development

No question is a stupid one

date: 26 January 2012
reading time: 2 min

  Sourcing Focus has today published a guest blog post about attitudes towards consultants, perception and basic understanding. It strikes a real chord with me.

Sourcing Focus has today published a guest blog post about attitudes towards consultants, perception and basic understanding. It strikes a real chord with me. The blogger writes: “Working client-side, I’ve been through meetings about corporate rebrands, with consultants who come copiously armed with acronyms, casually dropping buzzwords, seeming to thrive on the blank looks and vacant nods reflecting back at them.” I have seen this too and unfortunately sometimes it is just the outsourcer trying to hide their lack of knowledge or even their poor English under technical jargon. This is simply not on. If you do come across this behaviour you must challenge the outsourcer to see what they really mean. If you don’t understand what the outsourcer is talking about (and they are talking with reference to your company after all), then the chances are you are not alone.

Don’t forget, you are the customer and no question is ever a stupid one. This leads me on to another point. The Sourcing Focus blogger advises: “So know what you want, know how to ask for it. And speak your mind, all the time.” From an outsourcer’s point of view it is much easier to create the best solution for a customer when they  ask lots of questions, are fully engaged in the process and do challenge us. While we are the experts, our customers still know their business better than we ever could. Customer and outsourcer need to communicate with each other and understand the other party’s knowledge to deliver a really great project – and this can’t be done without lots of questions and opinions on both sides. You might think because you have outsourced your software development to an expert that that is the end of your involvement in it.

But if you don’t fully communicate what you want and don’t fully understand what we propose, we may well not be able to deliver true value for money to you – after all no one is a mind-reader.

What do you think?

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