Web development is really complex: there are a lot of moving parts that you need to constantly pay attention to – what conventions to use to make sure the team works together seamlessly? How to ensure the project is done on time? How to properly, timely, and effectively conduct tests? How to prepare adequately for the software launch? These are things you need to worry about.
Some think these problems only compound and multiply when you try to outsource software projects, and this won’t be further from the truth IF you outsource properly. It is all about the how. By setting proper expectations, clearly delineating tasks, and holding people accountable, you can achieve amazing results with outsourcing. If you want to learn more, read on, and we’ll explain what goes into successful outsourcing.
#1 Clearly Delineate Authorities
One of the biggest reasons why outsourcing fails is because nobody actually knows what they are supposed to do, and when something fails, nobody takes responsibility. This makes accountability impossible, and it makes it extremely hard where the problem lies if performance is inadequate.
That’s why you need to clearly delineate authorities when outsourcing, and among other things, you can begin by doing the following:
- Clearly assign tasks: who is responsible for what? Make sure everyone on your team and the outsourcing team knows the answer. The info should be easily accessible.
- Encourage accountability: either by coming up with performance metrics or going by your own experience, you need to promote a culture of accountability. Just because you outsource something doesn’t mean you should completely ignore it going forward.
- Be flexible: if you see something isn’t working, you need to act quickly. If you let the issue fester, it might snowball into something that destroys the whole project. Being flexible and acting quickly is paramount.
#2 Improve Communication and Establish Useful Conventions
In many cases, what determines whether a software project is a success or a failure is how well the team communicates, and, not surprisingly, this is doubly true for outsourced projects. Communication is absolutely vital at every stage of the project if you want the outsourcing to be successful. To this end, there are some steps you can take to ensure you and the outsourcing team are on the same page:
- Start on the right foot: the initial phases of software development are really important. It is like building the foundation for the entire project. If there’s miscommunication or misunderstanding on how the foundation needs to be coded, you’re going to face a lot of problems later on. This is why it is vital you start out by ensuring both sides are on the same page about the scope, budget, size, deadlines, and more.
- Establish useful conventions: communication can be quite complicated, especially when it is about technical stuff. Establishing useful rules and conventions both sides follow will reduce miscommunication and ensure you are not wasting each other’s time.
#3 Choose the Right Agency to Outsource to
It doesn’t matter how well you delineate authorities or how hard you try to communicate with the outsourcing agency; if you don’t choose the right outsourcing agency with dedicated software development teams, nothing will make the project succeed.
So, how can you choose the right outsourcing agency? Well, there are a few signs you can look out for that will generally determine the quality of the agency:
- Experience: the most important thing is experience. A good software developer won’t automatically become a good freelancer. Outsourcing is an acquired skill, and teams who have a lot of experience handling outsourced projects will generally fare far better.
- Portfolio: the portfolio of an outsourcing agency is where you’ll see the fruits of their skills and experience. Everyone can claim to be the best in their fields, but not everyone can build an impressive portfolio. That’s why you should try to judge outsourcing agencies by their portfolio.
- Approach to projects: how is the outsourcing agency going to approach your project? Agile? Waterfall? Some approaches are far more successful than others, and you should pay particular attention to this. If they’re familiar with agile projects, collaboration and communication between your teams will be far smoother and more frequent, leading to more success.