A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Offshoring describes the relocation of business processes from one country to another. This includes any business process such as production, manufacturing, or services. It is sometimes considered related to outsourcing, subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company.



Are Daily Rates for Technical Writers Collapsing?

My concern for US writers is that they fail to grasp the momentum that counties like India have established and the high quality of university graduates they are now producing. In the next 10-15 years, IT jobs which can be replicated offshore/offsite to lower costs will be embraced more aggressively. US companies have little choice but to do this.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Tech Docs (2009). Careers>Writing>Technical Writing>Offshoring


Body Count: Why Moving to India Won't Really Help IT

There was a story in the news a couple weeks ago about how IBM was planning to move thousands -- perhaps tens of thousands -- of technical positions to India. This isn't just IBM, though. Nearly every big company that is in the IT outsourcing or software development business is doing or getting ready to do the same thing. They call this 'offshoring,' and its goal is to save a lot of money for the companies involved because India is a very cheap place to do business. And it will accomplish that objective for awhile. In the long run, though, IT is going to have the same problems in India that it has here. The only real result of all this job-shifting will be tens of thousands of older engineers in the U.S. who will find themselves working at Home Depot. You see, 'offshoring' is another word for age discrimination.

Cringely, Robert X. PBS (2003). Careers>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Designing for Offshore Development

One of the most significant realities about offshore developers is that they will build exactly what you tell them to build. This is both good and bad news. The good news is that they are likely to take your specification very seriously--not merely as a suggestion or starting point from which to improvise. The bad news, of course, is that if you don't clearly plan and articulate every aspect of your product from user interface and product behavior to business logic and algorithms, developers are forced to rely on their own experience and judgement to determine an appropriate solution to an unforeseen problem or vaguely documented feature. The reality with offshore resources, however, is that they are very unlikely to have that experience.

Cronin, Dave. Cooper Journal (2004). Articles>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Designing Products for Offshore Development

Although as an Interaction Designer I'm not involved in the actual development of the products I design, I find it increasingly clear that outsourcing creates a significant impact on the entire software design and construction process. Offshore development is in its infancy, but will continue to evolve to become an increasingly effective way to go about certain kinds of software construction. Based on recent project work, this article describes a number of observations worth considering as you ponder how outsourcing and offshore development may fit into your plans.

Cronin, Dave. Cooper Interaction Design (2004). Design>Usability>International>Offshoring


Enterprise Content Management in an Offshoring Context

Many companies outsource content management implementations to systems integrators, but what if the implementers are based half-way around the world? Wipro's Apoorv Durga offers some good advice for enterprises considering taking their next ECM project offshore. As this map suggests, the view is quite different from India.

Durga, Apoorv. CMSwatch (2006). Articles>Content Management>International>Offshoring


Ethical and Intercultural Challenges for Technical Communicators and Managers in a Shrinking Global Marketplace   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In today's shrinking global marketplace, many technical communicators face challenges related to intercultural communication. This article examines ethical issues in intercultural communication, beginning with a brief survey of classical ethical models, then focusing on the guidelines for ethical communication developed by Allen and Voss to provide a framework for discussion. Of Allen and Voss's 10 values for ethical communication, we focus on privacy, legality, teamwork, social responsibility, and cultural sensitivity. We offer specific suggestions for avoiding stereotyping, tokenism, and ethnocentrism in technical documentation, including before-and-after examples. We examine the risks involved in using graphics and icons and in attempting to translate idiomatic usages. The article concludes with guidelines for technical communicators preparing documentation for international audiences and with suggestions for managers who wish to give their employees guidance regarding ethical and effective intercultural communication.

Voss, Daniel W. and Madelyn Flammia. Technical Communication Online (2007). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Examining Open Source Software in Offshoring Contexts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Examines how open source software (OSS) relates to offshoring. Discusses how technical communicators can use OSS to display value in offshoring. Presents strategies technical communicators can use to display the value they add.

St. Amant, Kirk R. and Robert Cunningham. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Software>Open Source>Offshoring


Exporting Technical Writing Jobs

Traditionally, contractors have played an important role in the technical writing field by providing specific expertise, thereby allowing companies to focus on their core competencies. Contactors have made it possible for companies to add temporary personnel when needed ' an important benefit in a field where work output peaks periodically.

VanNorman, Maggie. Carolina Communique (2004). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


The Hidden Costs of Offshore Outsourcing

The current stampede toward offshore outsourcing should come as no surprise. For months now, the business press has been regurgitating claims from offshore vendors that IT work costing $100 an hour in the United States can be done for $20 an hour in Bangalore or Beijing. If those figures sound too good to be true, that's because they are.

Overby, Stephanie. CIO Magazine (2003). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Managing a Virtual Team   (PDF)

Managing a team of employees who are located around the world can be challenging. Discover how to efficiently and effectively work to create the highest level of output.

Damrau, Jackie. Intercom (2006). Careers>Management>Project Management>Offshoring


Mauritius: An International Business Hub

Crystal-clear waters, splendid white beaches and luxurious ressorts – these are usually the things associated with Mauritius. Far away from the world’s major markets and sources, the island nation in the Indian Ocean seems more of a touristic center of recreation than an international business hub. However, in recent years, Mauritius has come a long way in implementing its vision: transforming the island into a regional hub for information and communication technology (ICT).

Kencki, Devi. TC World (2008). Articles>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


The Moment of Truth: How Much Does Culture Matter to You?

Whether we like it or not, offshoring is here to stay. 'If' or 'when' to offshore is no longer an issue. The heart of the discussion is 'how much' – how much we can afford to offshore or, more precisely, how much we can afford to keep. The User Experience (UX) profession has gone a long way in making the distinction between software design and UX design known. Will we be able to hold on to that distinction when it comes to offshoring?

Gorlenko, Lada. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Web Design>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Money Or The Gun

Businesses large and small can focus on what they do best by outsourcing non-core functions such as debt recovery.

Krueger, Ron. Outsourcing Institute, The (2006). Careers>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshore Project Management : The Business to Technical Communication (Part II)

As a project manager there are many things going through PM's mind. Many tasks - knowledge bank - technical and as well as business wise.

Khanna, Manoj. RapidBlog (2005). Articles>Project Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshore Usability

To save costs, some companies are outsourcing Web projects to countries with cheap labor. Unfortunately, these countries lack strong usability traditions and their developers have limited access -- if any -- to good usability data from the target users.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Articles>Usability>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshoring  (link broken)

What is offshoring? It's shorthand for offshore outsourcing, the practice of hiring employees, usually through an outsourcing service, in another country. Companies seeking to reduce their labor costs use offshoring to employ workers at costs substantially less than at home. Typically, companies headquartered in the United States contract for employees in India, and increasingly in China, Russia, Israel, or Ireland, for example. Why is offshoring in the news? Because staff and contract workers in the United States see their jobs in the high-tech industry disappear as their current or former employers use offshoring to reduce costs.

Sampson, Fred. STC Silicon Valley (2003). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshoring of Tech Writing: A Roundtable Discussion  (link broken)

We organized this Roundtable because we thought we could get technical publications managers together to talk about the threat of offshoring and come up with ideas and strategies to protect our jobs. However, we learned that offshoring is inevitable and technical writers need to adapt. The speakers offered possible strategies for adaptation.

Ramos, Andreas and Walt Keefe. National Writers Union (2003). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshoring: Outsourcing Goes Global

Outsourcing has been a routine practice in the communication field for some time now—fully 20 percent of IABC members are self-employed or have a communication/PR consultancy. The last economic downturn strengthened this trend even more. Offshoring is being studied everywhere from Washington, D.C., to the academic world to well-known consulting firms such as McKinsey and Mercer. The general consensus across the board is that offshoring is a growing phenomenon that won’t go away, jobs lost to offshoring are unlikely to come back, and the trend may affect as many as three million jobs in the U.S. by 2015.

Recca, Lee. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Offshoring: What Does It Mean for Us?   (PDF)

Summarizes a discussion about offshoring held at the Philadelphia Metro chapter's annual conference during which panelists suggested ways that technical communicators based in the United States can make their positions more secure.

Rosenberg, Nad. Intercom (2004). Careers>TC>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Outsourcing Calculator

A very simple tool for calculating ROI for outsourcing developer labor.

Info Sourcing (2004). Resources>Project Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Outsourcing Calculator

When offshoring manufacturing to low-cost regions, executives need to determine the savings lower labor rates contribute to the bottom line. Meanwhile, the biggest cost for most companies engaging electronics contract manufacturing partners is the materials cost of goods sold (MCOGs) for products being manufactured. Whether outsourcing or offshoring your product manufacturing, the Outsourcing Calculator can help you uncover costs, and potential savings, as you evaluate low-cost manufacturing destinations.

Zetter, Mark. Venture Outsource (1999). Resources>Project Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


An Outsourcing Case Study

With revenue flattening, David Galbenski needed a bold new plan. But was outsourcing everything to India really the right move? Darren Dahl speaks to some of the complexities in outsourcing legal work overseas.

Dahl, Darren. Inc. Magazine (2006). Careers>Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Outsourcing Documentation Development: Assessing the Offshore Option

This paper discusses some of the aspects that should be considered when evaluating the required resources and total cost of offshoring documentation development. As consultants to the documentation industry, The Integrity Group is committed to recommending the overall best solution for each business need. We have, therefore, drawn some conclusions from our research and made recommendations for those who are considering offshoring.

Clifton, Deborah. WritersUA (2005). Careers>Documentation>Outsourcing>Offshoring


Outsourcing Risk Calculator

To determine the Risk of outsourcing your business.

Info Sourcing (2004). Resources>Project Management>Outsourcing>Offshoring



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