Outsourcing refers to the act of hiring an individual or company outside your organization to complete some work instead of an in-house team. The reasons behind this decision could be numerous:
- There are no qualified professionals in the area that can take up such a project
- In-house experts cannot take up any more workload
- Additional help is required so that the in-house team can shift their focus to other business matters
- The costs of work need to be reduced
And these are just some of the most commonly cited ones! Yes, it did start as a convenient cost-reduction tactic, and now it is the road companies take to become more flexible, agile, and competitive.
But to reap the benefits of outsourcing, it requires detailed planning and a strategic approach to choosing a reliable outsourcing partner. To minimize risk and better cope with the most common challenges, a company needs to carefully consider the choice of a partner.
Find a Web Developer with Relevant Expertise
How do you know if a web developer possesses all the qualities necessary to carry out a certain project? You sit down with your project manager, CTO, and other team members who will be involved and define what is expected from a developer to complete – a website, software, application, or anything else you have planned. By having a detailed list of necessary skills in front of you, it becomes much easier to pick the right people from an endless pile of CVs, or a list of eligible web development companies, all of which come with excellent recommendations.
You want someone who already has experience working on the same or similar projects. Find or ask for their previous work; go through their portfolio and lines of code to see what they are capable of achieving.
Know Just How Far You Are Willing to Go
Technological advancements allow us to reach the other side of the globe with confidence, hire a web developer that is thousands of miles away just because they seem to have the “full package” – knowledge, skills, and experience.
And while “high level of expertise” is emphasized at first, those who limit themselves to a local search often end up settling for a professional who, although is good, may not be the perfect fit. Others are extremely careful about who they are going to introduce to the team and insist that the person fulfills all expectations. When that is the case, employers broaden their search and put nearshoring and offshoring business models to the test. By tapping into other markets, the list of potential candidates expands, and the chances of finding the right web developer increase greatly.
What also increases with the distance is the list of potential remote team management problems you will need to overcome. The trick is to weigh the pros and cons of both models to realize which of the two will be in line with your requirements and help you achieve defined set goals, with minimum setbacks.
Enhance the Quality of Communication
Especially when we talk about offshoring, the communication gap can represent a huge issue. The difference in language and culture can greatly affect the overall understanding of what is expected of the project, and when you add the time difference to the mix – all hell could break loose.
It is best to employ an in-house project manager who will be responsible for the outsourced team. The person will oversee all activities, provide insight, comment on their work, and make sure everything is on track. And only once you have a dependable person on board can you move on to choosing a practical project management software to ease the communication with the remote development team.
Always Sign a Contract
Many are still reluctant to outsource their web development services because they feel like it is impossible to place your trust in a person or a company that is outside your organization. And if you, too, feel this way, let us tell you – it is quite understandable.
Anything can happen, really: the web developer can underdeliver, disappoint with their results, break deadlines, or quit halfway through the project. To keep yourself protected in such situations, consult with your legal team and draft a contract that will safeguard you in case anything goes wrong. With a formal agreement in place, you’d be surprised to just how many disagreements can be evaded.
Ultimately – Start Slow
Before you build trust and know that you can be fully confident in the work the remote development team is doing, it is best to take baby steps. Delegate several minor tasks or projects to see how compatible the two of you are and if the results will be satisfactory. Gradually, with every new milestone, slightly increase the workload.
And don’t refrain from speaking your mind and giving feedback on their deliverables. To get to the point where the outsourcing team will work completely independently, you need to provide clear instructions and be open about your expectations.
Guest article written by: Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.