Though outsourcing is very common in business today, it certainly helps if you can find yourself the right off shore development team.
The advantages of outsourcing can be many, such as
- Availability of the best of Talents
- Lower Cost of Infrastructure
- Speedy Completion of a Project
and so on.
The challenge, however, is to find the right partner to reap these benefits, and more, with.
Here are 5 tips that you can follow for the same.
(1) Check Capabilities and Technology --
It is important to know the technical capabilities of our outsourcing partner, especially if you are looking for a long term relationship and about to outsource critical and crucial business processes. The partner you are outsourcing to must have a team that is technically capable, disciplined, and has attention to detail when executing tasks. The person leading the team off shore, must have the capability to keep a clear micro as well as macro vision of project, so as to understand the project both from a technical as well as a business perspective.
Software Development projects require the use of specific technologies and frameworks which vary from one project to another. One technology that is excellent for one project, might not be usable for another project. Most agencies are familiar or strong with only a certain subset of technologies. Therefore, it is important to understand what technologies are important for your project and whether your partner has the required capabilities in those technologies. An ideal partner would be capable to analyse your project requirements and suggest the most appropriate technology stack for you, and justify his reasoning. Remember, if the only tool a person has is a hammer, then every problem appears like a nail to him. You would not want that; you would want the right tool for the right job always – a solution crafted to match your requirements, and not your requirements moulded and transformed to match the solution.
Along with the technological proficiency they possess, what is their process for managing product development and maintaining quality is also important for distinguishing them from the rest.
Important questions to ask here are -
a) How do you control the quality of the product? b) Does the team have any dedicated testers for quality control? c) Do you use any version controlling system? d) Do you do any performance tests/stress tests on the product before delivery? e) Do you take steps to maintain code cleanliness, good structure, and source code documentation?
(2) Ensure Clear Communication and Transparency --
You must be able to maintain clear and constant communication with your offshore outsourcing partner. Command of excellent English (or any other language which will be used for daily communication) is extremely important, because often you would have to describe complex ideas, and nuances, and without comfort in the language, it’s easy to misunderstand, or lose the ’spirit’ of communication, and you have a situation like this:
There should be provision for well documented communication for reference (like maintaining tasks via a ticketing system) as well as provision of instant communication (via Skype or WhatsApp or support call number) for immediate response in case of a showstopper issue.
(3) Check Business Goals and Vision –
Your offshore outsourcing partner must become just that - a partner, with whom you will work on a daily basis, and upon whom you may rely. This does not come from contracts and negotiations alone, but also depends on the vision of your outsourcing partner, and their willingness to build a relationship. An ideal partner would see this as an opportunity to grow together, rather than just-doing-my-job mercenary approach. During your initial communications, it’s important to understand the attitude and the thought process that drives the team - their passion for work, the willingness to go the extra mile to make things work, and in general to take ‘ownership’ of the project and its technical intricacies so that you can focus on the business aspect.
(4)Consider Time Differences and Working Hours –
When you are outsourcing work to your offshore partner, it's important to have a clear discussion about working hours and time differences. Different technology companies differ in the way how they handle time differences. Some companies may offer services around the clock, while some may offer to keep a limited staff during your preferred hours, while some may not be able to offer this flexibility at all. Different working hours between your own staff and the outsourcing team can be an advance or a hindrance, depending on your use case, but be sure to plan it well before hand. Another detail that you should clarify beforehand are holidays throughout the year, especially for long terms projects spanning many months.
Cultural/religious holidays vary from country to country, and in places like India, from region to region. Generally, if asked, the outsourcing partner can provide you with a list of holidays in advance, so that deliveries can be planned accordingly.
(5)Contemplate Cost -
Let’s face it, the price is often the driving factor behind pushing for outsourcing work to an offshore team. Outsourcing will allow you to hire highly qualified developers to work on your projects at a fraction of the cost. Check with various manners of engagement - hourly dedicated or semi dedicated resource, or project wise contract, and about commitment periods, of week to week or monthly or multiple months or specific number of hours, and choose an option that suits you the most.
Outsourcing your projects to an offshore team for better efficiency and cost is a great idea, but you need to watch out for common pitfalls, and plan ahead and choose the right team to partner with, to avoid hassles and stress down the line.