The Project Manager- Does your location matter?

Anything you can do, I can do it better and cheaper.

The goal has been to save 30 percent of the salary cost. Hence outsourced.

Forrester says jobs moving off US shores will rise to 472, 632 by 2012. 

However, they key work never travels and most authors say it has to do with the quality of resources. Like understanding business as a whole can be the requirement of jobs in US , however when it comes to the offshore crew- it’s all about maintaining the hierarchy, not questioning your boss because he is always right (I think women encourage more questions than men), keeping your head down and just get your piece of work done, you can talk about ideas but they are rarely taken action upon unless of course the same idea comes from onsite- then it’s considered brilliant.

For example most IT companies (especially the big names) in India, screen potential candidates based on their grades (a certain percentage to qualify) and even the slightest of gap in your resume is considered grave enough reason to take the candidate off the potential job interview.

So, No you can’t absolutely take the time to travel the world, can’t start your own business (a big NO in resumes), and cannot freelance because which means you are not putting your entire self to work. You should not be a risk taker, an entrepreneurial spirit or question decisions – everything that is encouraged in the States. And yet, you are expected to work for clients and gel well with them, when clearly the work culture and mode of hiring is way different than their offshore counterparts.

So, who is to blame?

I know there are lots of project managers in US, who don’t want to hire offshore resources just because of the culture difference - it’s not about baseball scores, it’s a bigger issue of not having a real conversation. the inability to communicate and the fact that risks are not communicated. No wants to be the bearer of bad news for the fear of the local management. So, the option is always cover up and save your job.

The offshore industry is drilled with its inherent culture from day one so strongly that is becomes more natural with time. You stop seeing it as a weird trait really. If you want to keep your job, you learn to shed your individualism.

So, more than often you will have employees complaining of long hours, boring jobs and rarely a scope to learn more. Most of them trying to look for better opportunities go for an MBA, Masters in US or move with jobsto US and never come back. The same resource then happily becomes individuals- the person they are and strong contributors to their teams (where they are heard).  

I have spent hours over it, read researches done on offshore teams (still doing it) and have always wondered why is that the all project management jobs in India comes with a backlog of list of languages you have to know (more the merrier), more than 10 years of experience and in most cases is aligned for resources who have climbed the ladder from being a junior developer to a project manager over the years.

In the hiring process I think lays the answer; it’s all about being billable. One person perhaps has to do the work for more than one resource and having multiple skills is a simple way to keep the cost down. Plus, the skilled strategist or the thinker is employed onsite and the offshore office team is created really to get the work done. 

If the price wasn’t cheap enough, jobs wouldn’t come as well, right? Unless, the industry is a game changer and thinker in its own way.

So, there’s a huge difference in being a project manager based on where you are.....a project manager in US is way different from the project manager in India- agree? So, how should you train? How will you know the skills you need to acquire? 

So, while you think on this and comment here (would love to hear from you)or on twitter , here's a special discount offered when you take a Prince 2 course here. All you have to do is use the code for a 10% discount "steppingintopmgift"


Anurag said...

Firstly thanks to you for creating this post. Yes, location matters. It's not a baseball score it is a very big issue. Project managers don’t want to hire offshores resources. It’s a bigger issue of not having an actual conversation and to find out the solution. An alternate option is always cover-up and save your job.