Recruitment and outsourcing specialists Harvey Nash has launched a new project management assessment service as a spin off from its outsourcing division, which has programmers based in Vietnam. The new service, dubbed Safe Haven is pitched at CIOs who find that their project portfolio is failing to hit financial targets or deadlines.

“Increasingly there are clients that are really worried about the way their projects are going and they are worried about India as a result of Satyam scandal,” said Paul Smith, the Harvey Nash global managing director of outsourcing and offshoring. Smith, who is responsible for the new Safe Haven project, said 43 per cent of outsourced projects are failing. “Clients are wary about chasing good money after bad.”

CIOs are reporting that their projects are becoming mired in bureaucratic processes, relationships with suppliers are becoming difficult and the lower costs promised by outsourcing are not emerging. This is in part as a result of India’s progress as a nation. Harvey Nash claim that the country faces a growing labour crisis, and that staff mobility has increased with workers changing job more frequently, seeking higher remuneration and, understandably, seeking a better quality of life. Also, the larger outsource service providers are becoming large companies that have to increase their margins.

Harvey Nash has two outsource developer centres in Vietnam and the company is a keen promoter of Vietnam.

The Safe Haven service is a methodology developed by London based Harvey Nash that allows a CIO to assess their project migration options and is available for free. Smith said there is no obligation that the project is to then move to the Harvey Nash outsource service. “We look at the governance of the projects,” he said.

Smith expects two types of project to be seeking a Safe Haven assessment: application development and internal projects. Application development programs are suffering from poorly understood requirements or CIOs are finding projects are not running the way expected. With internal projects it is often a case that an organisation does not have a suitable team of testers to complete a project.

Vertical markets that are seeking project management assessment include the troubled financial sector, telecoms and media companies, Smith said.

Harvey Nash have given the service the name Safe Haven as they see the service as offering CIOs an opportunity to recover “distressed” projects.

Although there is no obligation from the free assessment to migrate a project to Harvey Nash, Smith was up-front that this service will help the company expand its Vietnamese offering. He sees CIOs being attracted by the opportunity to use Vietnam, whilst having the terms and conditions of the project with a UK plc and the transparency and compliance that comes with British companies.

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