Fixed FAIL Projects - Failure guaranteed!

After having seen multiple projects fail, I was intrigued to research on if there are any patterns to avoid. 

Customers dint clearly define what they value most and Vendors dint ask.

Who do you blame?
Customers find it easy to blame Vendors while Vendors fall back on the signed documents and dont shy away either from the blame game. 

When both Customers and Vendors are losing, why are we not changing our game?

Learn from one person's experience to avoid burning hands, missing projectd deadlines, missing requirements and to avoid going through exhaustive mud slinging litigations.



2 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 9 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist

Outline/structure of the Session

Issues with 3 approaches (10 mins)

How to define project success criterias and a Model that works (5 mins)


Learning Outcome

Why the 3 models dont work well for outsourced projects

- Fixed Price Projects
- Fixed Scope Projects
- Fixed Deadline Projects

As a Vendor come along if you want to find out how you can differentiate yourself from other code producers

As a customer if you would like to know what to ask of your Vendors


Target Audience

Anyone who cares about success of outsourced projects - Project Managers, Product Managers, Vendors delivering outsourced projects

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Submission
  • Srinath Chandrasekharan
    By Srinath Chandrasekharan  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Prashant,

    I would agree with Sudipta on the fact that these models can be ( and are) applied to a traditional /waterfall projects . Hence I would feel that there needs to be some content on how this is more challenging in an Agile model and especially in an offshore scenario.

    For example, a fixed price project may not be feasible in Agile as you may not be able to arrive at the budget for the project ( as requirements are evolving). However one may have a budget cap and work with the scope as the variable.

    Also whats a fixed deadline project ? Is it in terms of time ? Can you give an example of this. I remember where I worked with a client where the deadline was fixed as the product was to be shipped in a particular month due to market committments . Are you refrring to something like this ?




    • Raja Bavani
      By Raja Bavani  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Dear Prashant,

      I could connect this with the classical or core issues in software development.  Multiple factors such as awareness, culture, etc. come into play.  How does agile fit in here? And how does offshore-distributed theme comes in? Answering these questions and adding some more articulation  to tie all these up with the core idea or connecting the dots will help.

      Pl see this sample proposal -,  and add elements such as link to slidedeck, related blog posts or articles, etc.  These will help our reviwers. 

      Also, from attendees perspective, pl articulate the mportance of this session and how it will benefit our attendees.   




      • Prashant Sagar
        By Prashant Sagar  ~  5 years ago
        reply Reply


        - my preference is to not have very wordy slides and hence may not explain a lot but I can still get something up to s

        hare the flow.


        - most of this is experience with no previous prezzos, but i am more than happy to find the right audience/meetup group to do a trial run.

        The other feedback I would like to get from you is about duration. I feel I have a lot to say but I have chosen 20 minutes as I repect the time/money paid by people to get the most of this conference. I am happy to either trim down the content or increase the proposed duration.

        • Raja Bavani
          By Raja Bavani  ~  5 years ago
          reply Reply


          I think doing this in 20 minutes is a good idea as the speaker can hold the rope tight, maintain curiosity, stay connected with the audience and deliver the message.  

          The abstract, structure and process will drive the duration. When you refactor this proposal, create a slide deck you will validate this duration and tell if you need more than 20 minutes.



          • Prashant Sagar
            By Prashant Sagar  ~  5 years ago
            reply Reply

            That helps, Thanks Raja :)

      • Prashant Sagar
        By Prashant Sagar  ~  5 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Raja,

         Please see my responses as below

        "How does agile fit in here?"

        Does answer to Sudipta help clarify this? I am happy to talk in more detail if you'd like.

        "And how does offshore-distributed theme comes in?"

        This is particularly aimed at when companies are trying to offshore work, what is the best engagement model to use. This is coming in from personal experiences of seeing multiple projects ending up on bad note for both offshore vendors and clients.

        "Also, from attendees perspective, pl articulate the mportance of this session and how it will benefit our attendees."


        - Overseas clients care about success of their projects

        - Offshore vendors care about successful delivery and better market reputation



        Vendors perspective

        - make resources available straight away and start billing rather than going through long negotiations of scoping, deadlines etc

        - quality is joint ownership so no bad reputations at the end of project

        - make offshore team members feel valued and part of a team and not just people on the other side

        - Lets doo it together vs this is what we do which means offshore team has opportunity to make suggestions/improvements



        - quality is in house as its *your* team

        - get to chose the team based on people's experience

        - increase team size on demand without having to re-negotiate contracts

        - focuses on delivery rather than committments

        Other than above specific benefits these are some other general wins

        - treat them as new employees and hence not try and calculate the cost of upskiling etc.

        - Since offshore members are a part of your team, addressing cutural differences is in the interest of the clients and hence motivates them to invite offshore team/travel themselves to put faces to names and connect on a personal level



        Hope I have clarified your concerns. Thanks a ton for feedback.

        My initial attempt was to just put my thoughts together as i had hit the deadline of proposals :P I will encapsulate all these thoughts as a part of the proposal to make it a better value proposition.




    • Sudipta Lahiri
      By Sudipta Lahiri  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Prashant,

      While I am not a great proponent of these engagement models, it is a reality in the Indian context. 

      I am unable to make a connect with the Agile theme. The concerns of these engagement models are equally applicable for traditional delivery models, like waterfall, also. 

      Looking forward to your clarification...



      • Prashant Sagar
        By Prashant Sagar  ~  5 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Sudipta,

         The aim was not to compare these models in agile vs waterfall environments. The purpose was to

        1. Highlight the issues of these models within the Agile space &

        2. Share a different model which is Resource based model - offshore vendors make some resources available to Customers as their virtual team. Customers can then with their virtual team follow any agile practice that is most suitable to their project needs. This approach addresses lots of issues commonly seen with the 3 engagement models. In this case since offshore resources are not the only people responsible for delivery, it addresses a lot of smells like - estimates vs committments, quality of software, Scoping issues, deadlines, cultural  issues etc and encourages collaboration and joint ownership.

        Hope this explains.

        Thanks for helping me make it better :)


        • Sudipta Lahiri
          By Sudipta Lahiri  ~  5 years ago
          reply Reply

          Hi Prashant,

          Just another perspective... 

          ODCs were based on the premise that you have suggested. They have been around for many many years. Trust between customer and Indian partner was fundamental in these models and customers would be billed on a T&M basis (an alternative was to bill on a T&M basis upto a maximum value). 

          However, as customers got more value conscious, they started doing more fixed price or outcome based pricing models. Being in the offshore IT industry for 15 years and seeing from closed quarters, the ODC model was also abused in some cases.

          Raja can also comment on the same... on what he sees in Mindtree.



    • Liked Pooja Wandile

      Pooja Wandile - The different engagement models, processes, challenges and solutions for a distributed Scrum Team in an outsourced product development (OPD)

      45 Mins

      A distributed Scrum team is a necessity than a choice in many cases. Often customers and their suppliers struggle to put up a team model that will work effectively and provide maximum value. The customer wants to be absolutely sure how the entire engagement will be executed so that there are no surprises later.

      So, what are the different ways of forming teams in a distributed environment, what is the impact on the execution, how do you execute different engagement models, what challenges do you see and so on? These are the questions the customers are interested in.

      This talk will focus on answering the above questions. We have defined 3 types of distributed team models and implemented in few of the projects in an onshore-offshore scenario. We have also tailored scrum meetings like planning, DSM, etc. so that these meetings are more effective in distributed model. While some of the changes have worked, some still needs to be enhanced further.