Finally, you need to ensure you understand the culture of the outsourcing provider you're working with. Tom Antion notes that early in his outsourcing career he didn't understand the custom of giving a "13th month" of salary as a bonus. Until he took formal training on the local cultures he was working with, he says his outsourcing attempts were never successful.
Tips for successful outsourcing
Here's additional wisdom on ensuring your overseas outsourcing engagement is a success.
Provide examples. A detailed plan is great. A picture of what the product should look like when finished is better.
Meet regularly. "Even if everything is going well," says Saurabh Sharma of Indus Insights, "we have discovered many new opportunities when we sit down and chat."
Set Limits. "I had one contractor that had an open number of hours for work to be done. He gouged me for 80 hours for something I would've estimated to take 10," says Veritable Ventures' Ransley Carpio. "I'm experimenting with flat rate jobs instead of hourly now."
Don't take yes for an answer. Adds Carpio, "Most contractors from overseas will say 'Yes, I understand' and 'Yes, I can do that'" to any question. They may not necessarily be lying, but in their eagerness to get the job, they'll say yes to anything hoping they can figure it out as they go.
Split a project Into pieces. Outsourcing manufacturing? You don't need to outsource product design, too. Working with a local design firm to ensure you get the exact design you want can save time and offer better results. Similarly, if your product has both a hardware and software component, those projects can be split so that an offshore provider only handles one side.
Start small. A modestly-sized sample project can go a long way toward making sure you and the provider are a good fit.