Outsourcing


I promise you this is a true tale. Only the names have been changed...

Many moons ago, when I was very young - and you were even younger...

I was working for a Very Large Company. Our team needed some help building an app and a back-end service. We could have built this ourselves - but we were stretched a bit thin with other work.

So we found a great technology partner. They'd helped us in the past, and they could take care of everything. We weren't fans of outsourcing, but sometimes you have to put your trust in other people.

It started well enough, but after a few weeks it turned out that they'd over-sold their abilities as a back-end provider. They could do the app no problem, but they were going to have to use another company to build the database. No worries, they've done this loads of times before.

We were quite behind schedule, so reluctantly agreed to it. No extra charge to us, of course, but a bit more work. I was sent to give a briefing to the twice-removed company.

*sigh*

I talked them through what we were doing, the designs we had, and how it needed to be built. I explained the challenges we anticipated, the regulatory environment, and the timescales.

Their lead consultant looked over what I'd presented and said - "This is excellent work. Truly excellent!"

"Thank you."

...a pause...

"We'd like to hire you."

"I'm flattered," I said, "But I quite like my current job."

"No, you misunderstand," the consultant said, "We want to hire you to build this for us. It looks like you know exactly what the client wants and, frankly, I don't think we have the skill in-house to build it on time."

...another pause... Then it hit me.

He thought I was from the first-outsourced company.

I gently let him know that I was the bloody client!

Needless to say, the project collapsed shortly thereafter.

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