Nowadays, software offshoring is getting increasingly common for businesses all over the world. As globalization is thriving, more and more companies delegate vital tasks to other businesses which sometimes may be located in other parts of the globe. This type of cooperation in many cases has evolved into something bigger than just pushing down bits of work and is connected with innovation management, consulting, etc..
Whether you are a well-established technology company or a non-tech start-up – it may seem a bit of a challenge to engage with an outsourcing company. Possible extended budgets, project lay-offs, and other myths or past failures with individual developers may cause anxiety about future cooperation.
But still, if you need to extend your R&D capabilities, create a technical solution for your product or just an MVP without having the redundancy of engineers on the payroll, chances are you’ll love your outsourcing partner. But there’s a number of conditions to turn the relationship into a true partnership that will help you save money (up to 40 per cent) and make your product more bleeding-edge.
Make the Right Choice
There is a number of ways to conduct the search – the ‘OK-Google’ one, ratings and listings like Clutch.co, Appfutura.com, GoodFirms, etc..
Have a look at the web-site – is it what you expect ordering web-development? If the answer is ‘yes’, then proceed to the portfolio of projects and see what kind of tasks the company is dealing with. What kind of clients requested their help and what were the business goals of the cooperation? Also, pay attention to the set of technologies the company works with – is that all you need?
If you’re in doubts which country it is better to choose, pay attention to the rating of programmers posted by Hackerrank. According to the listings, Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary possess some of the strongest professionals in the world.
Bring Along a Vision and a Clear Understanding of Your Goals
First of all, you need to know what for you enter the cooperation. Bring to the table a vision and a clear understanding of what you expect from your partner and… from your product both in the short and the long run. There’s a lot about marketing – whether you have accurately chosen your niche, picked the right strategy for your target audience.
It would be much more efficient for both the sides to clearly communicate expectations before starting the development. Surely, it will take up time and effort, but will definitely pay off afterwards.You should know exactly what you want from the beginning of the engagement and educate your partner about it. As a result of this stage, you will have clear-cut specifications of your future product.
Consider Building an MVP
If you are a start-up or not sure how your product will develop at its initial stages, consider making an MVP, which is a minimum viable product, based on market research. It will allow you to test user reaction without putting to much money and time into development. Besides, MVP is a product version that already earns you money. Most of competent developers will suggest building an MVP right away.
Free up time to sit and talk through all the project stages with your offshoring partner and the time required for any given stage, as well as the requirements for the system. Perform the scoping in a format that will be convenient to you or accept what your partner suggests (skype, face-to-face meeting or workshop). Planning development well ahead can be the price you need to pay to work in a well-coordinated way.
Or delegate it to your outsourcing partner. Whenever you have a major shift in plans, your vision or scope, make sure you ask what they foresee as risks when scoping or planning out the work.
Be Flexible, Be Agile
Find out how the working process in the company is arranged. Especially if you want to always keep an ear to the ground throughout the project taking part in brainstorming, planning and design reviews.
If you’ve heard a lot about agile methodologies, but never tried it – then it’s time to go agile. In agile methodologies software development is divided into sprints. At the end of every sprint a working version of a product or its part is presented. Thus, you can check what’s going on with your project directly and suggest changes. Your partner can add team members based on the phase of the project and scope of work inbetween sprints and also suggest changes.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
Communicate regularly and timely – that’s the best success recipe for any outsourced project. Timely feedback as to the process and any drawbacks will help you save time and money (by the way, a diligent outsourcing partner will always keep you informed about the budget spent).
Be it simply emails, calls, Google docs or specific means like Asana, Slack, JIRA, Flowdock, Basecamp – these are only some of the tools that may come in handy while working on a project. Choose the set before you start the project and talk this over with your partner. If you have never used any project management tools before, ask about the best practices.
Generally, the advice is – communicate with your outsourcing partner at least once or twice a week. It will help you to continually refine, polish your product and clarify what exactly you want. If you expect to not be a part of the process and just hand things over to your vendor, then it`s not using resources in a cost-effective way. Be active! Some customers even prefer to have daily standups – if you’re one of them and need a more thorough control of what’s going on, then go for it!
Ask Questions, Reply To Questions, Repeat
If there is a concern on your side regarding any step or stage of the project, do not hesitate to ask your outsourcing partner questions, which may be time consuming, but will help you both to work out solutions to avoid further problems. Or it will enable your partner to give you as much advice as possible. Sometimes expertise and rich experience allow software development shop to advise on branding or how to reach press with the given product (although it’s not something one should necessarily expect).
And if you want a well-working product, take time to reply to the questions your partner raises. Be prepared that they will challenge your concept not merely asking for instructions, thus, making the final result better.
If you are evaluating pros and cons of working with an outsourcing company and have a question in mind, don’t hesitate to contact Metamins team to get clarifications and advice.