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Document Everything

Many programmers know that good documentation—often overlooked and the least desirable undertaking—is essential for application maintenance. Documentation must detail every aspect of a project, especially for dual-shore projects that deal with India, which suffers from a significant staff attrition problem.

Have you had to deal with a programmer or architect leaving the company and failing to tell you where to find the requirements document for the application she supported? You go into her cubicle and sort through the stacks of paper until you find what you need. With attrition rates in tier-one Indian cities skyrocketing to 30–50%, there's a good chance your team will change frequently. Just in case your team leader in India leaves, make sure that you know the location of all the application information.

Onshore project managers should confirm that requirements for documentation are understood by the offshore team, including technical specifications, deliverables, due dates, and problem-resolution procedures.

With escalating attrition rates in many low-cost locations, make sure that the offshore team also has documented training manuals and escalation procedures for recurring problems. The processes, license information, maintenance agreements, hosting contracts, infrastructure requirements, and telecom information must be identified and documented.

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