Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Devil In The Details

My recent experience with a couple of Indian vendors made me chuckle at this line I read in a blog post about why India will never be China.

Seriously, if you think the French penchant for arguing philosophical points to absurd lengths is maddening, wait until you have to deal with an Indian IT professional who literally buries you in a barrage of questions on details so minute as to be utterly inane. And then come the price negotiations. Indians make a Persian bazaar or an Arab souk feel like a cakewalk or a sleigh ride on a snowy winter's eve.

Case in point - a painful hour-long call (thankfully at vendor's expense) to Bangalore to discuss to death the exact mechanics of the Save and Save As function of a fairly complex application. They were in the process of responding to our RFP. We had provided a web-based simulation of the business requirements along with a detailed written document.

In return, all we expected was a level of effort estimate within a plus or minus 25% accuracy. Needless to say, that estimate never came through - they just could not get their panties out of a bunch over that infernal Save/ Save As function. It was quite a surreal experience.

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