Small and medium businesses may have limited capacity in terms of IT resources. For some projects that require skill and scale, the business may look outside.
When a business looks outside for software needs, knowing where to start is critical. One can explore l. it can be hard to know exactly where to start. Should you go with offshore or nearshore developers? Does an integrated or a fully outsourced approach work better?
While a business can decide on a suitable option, a few guidelines it can follow. This would help to keep the process to progress smoothly. A few do’s and don’ts that need to be followed.
Must Do – Define Requirements and Objectives
All the specific requirements and aims of the project must be collated and firmed up before meeting the development team. The business can then navigate the process of finding the team. When evaluating software teams, the objectives need to be outlined clearly. The team must also present how they would fulfill these requirements.
Benchmarks and progress slabs can be established as a means of evaluating progress. These will also serve as a tool to ensure both the business and outsourced teams have the same level of understanding.
Must Do – Search for a Compatible Team
A business should opt for a development team that is compatible with its team. This can be in terms of culture, location, and other factors.
- Culturally, the working styles of both teams should match so that camaraderie is maintained and communication clear.
- Location of the team can in proximity. There are times when a business may insist on some personal interactions. In case a business chooses an offshore team, then time zone differences need to be accounted for. This would help in increasing productivity.
- The business model of the outsourced team must be identical to the organization. This will ensure that the process flows smoothly. Results can be assessed as agreed. Other parameters of performance metrics, etc. need to be in sync.
Must Do – Communication Needs to Clear
The business and the partner may not operate on the same premises. However, communication channels must be regular and patterned. Apart from defined call schedules and protocols.
Must Do – Clarity on Delivery and Timeframes
Before inking the final agreement, all timelines and benchmarks must be set in place. This needs to be done in mutual consultation. The business should be in a position to evaluate that the partner is capable of meeting expectations. One needs to iron out issues of unrealistic deadlines. An experienced partner can also be adept at what is feasible and stick to their commitments. All timeframes need to be plotted on the document and sealed by both parties.
Must Do – Deliberate on a Long-Term Association
The business may be signing on only one project at the moment. This must not, however, put an idea of a short-term arrangement in mind. The relationship with this partner might augur well for the business. There could be a future consideration with the same partner.
Hence, a business must look at a potential partner keeping a long-term perspective in mind. This saves time and resources on screening at a later date.
Don’t – Fall for the Lowest Bidder
Common business practice says that outsourcing is a cost-effective option. This is in comparison to hiring an in-house development team. A business may save cash on the lowest bidder.
Quality benchmarks may not necessarily be up to expectations. A low-priced partner could also be due to a lack of experience or proficiency.
Don’t – Maintain a Hands-Off Mentality
The business may not be directly creating the product. But it still needs to closely monitor and be involved in the course of development.
The final product will after all be marketed by the business. The reputation and goodwill of the business are at stake. It must therefore keep a tactful watch on all proceedings.
Don’t – The Relationship is a Partnership
It is also important not to micromanage. The relationship should be treated as a partnership. Both parties have sunk time and effort to ensure success. The outsourcing partner is also sharing the risk. It would not want its reputation to be on the line.
The partner must be treated as a stakeholder and given due importance. The business must consider the ideas and options of the partner. This could only help to increase the final output of the product. Both the parties hence stand to gain.
Don’t – Hire a Partner with Generic Skills
It’s important to seek a software development team who builds products as per the brief. It could pay dividends if a partner can create products using breakthrough thinking. Moreover, a partner who can create a width of products. The market is evolving. To stay, a business must stand apart and must have similar partners too.
Don’t – Go Overboard on the Development Front
Getting too concerned about competition and excess capability can delay the development cycle and escalate costs. Go to market date can get delayed and could lead to a loss in potential revenue.
A business can get customers acquainted with new systems and workflow in a phased manner.
What businesses can do is agree upon a minimum viable product. Stick to this decision and work on release as scheduled. There could be pressure from other teams to add features. Proper planning and a shared documentation process with all stakeholders can help ease our necessary demands.
These are a few dos and don’ts that can serve as guidelines. This helps in the creation of a firm foundation with the potential partner.