We have already published an article about managing software development teams. Now we will try to summarize all the possible recommendations and tips for successful outsourcing into seven main points or “commandments”.
I. Outsourcing means growth
Leading companies outsource to grow and to win. They outsource routine tasks to liberate their main team, thus letting them handle more important and sophisticated tasks. The main goal of great companies when outsourcing is to make the best use of home specialists delegating secondary and low-value tasks to outer horsepower. This allows them to manage the budget more smartly, grow intensively and extensively, innovate faster and more cheaply.
II. Have clear vision
Starting point is the understanding of what you are planning to get. Any successful project, especially outsourced, begins with clearly defined requirements and vision of the final result. The more information will be provided to an offshore outsourcing company about what you are hoping to achieve - the higher your chances are. However be critical about your requirements to outside supplier’s schedule because it can seriously influence the overall costs.
III. Look at the portfolio
Previous projects of a software development company speak for it better than any words. Along with references they are the best proof that the candidate company is helping people achieve success and therefore is trustworthy. If you are not sure of their capabilities, give them a test task for making a quick mock-up or basic concept. If the vendor wants to collaborate with you he will make efforts to create a unique plan of solving your business problem. But remember, that amount of test work is limited - professionals don’t work for free.
IV. Set up milestones
Precise plan of the project with crystal milestones is the best way to have productive working relationships with any company to which you’re willing to outsource. Ideally, you will just review the project checkpoints with payments tied to them. It is essential if you want to check whether the project is meeting your requirements, and make timely corrections if needed.
V. Keep records
Everything may change during the process of your collaboration. Make sure that you and your service provider have come to an agreement as to the scope of the project, every working schedule and payment, and you have done this in writing. Keep a record of any changes that take place and save copies of any email exchanges.
VI. Regulate the communications
Always check the service provider’s staff and how they communicate. It is crucial that outsourced employees can effectively communicate with your staff. Their professional level and English should also be checked before you start to interact. Make sure of their readiness to troubleshoot ongoing issues and timely respond to new tasks and modifications made.
VII. Look for the experience you need
Outsourced software development projects often mean technically sophisticated projects. You are the one who pay, and you deserve to work with motivated and skilled experts who have appropriate level of expertise in your field. Choose the ones with verifiable experience and successful projects same or similar to yours. This is one of the reasons that will let you sleep well.
And, rephrasing John the Apostle, “If ye love your project, you will keep these commandments.”