Outsourcing fills a gap in a business's capacity to provide services or products without the need to hire permanent staff. Outsourcers can be hired on a short-term or long-term basis. They can also be hired individually or as a team, depending on the business strategy. Regardless of the terms, it's important to build a mutually beneficial relationship with your team of outsourcers to reach your business objectives.
Like all partnerships, it needs work, commitment, and clear communication. Also, like all relationships, it needs to be a good fit. For example, a mid-sized custom application development services provider might benefit from a joint venture with a managed team.
There are three outsourcing models, each with its own benefits and suitability.
This model is particularly suited to software developers who need niche skills that they don't provide; for example, software architects and user experience and interface designers. It's essentially a team of experts that business owners or someone on their staff must manage.
Another option is outsourcing project management to a partner who understands your business and its needs.
The model is flexible, so experts can come and go, but with a dedicated team manager overseeing the entire outsource department, as it were, there will always be a core group with whom you can establish satisfying partnerships. It works well with businesses of all sizes but is particularly valuable to small enterprises.
This model is particularly suited to business owners who need a cohesive expert team to take over an aspect of the business processes. The team has a project manager who oversees everything from day-to-day niggles to the finished product.
The team is self-sufficient and should easily slot into their space in the development and delivery process.
The model typically provides long-term support and is better suited to medium and large businesses.
The outsourcers worked on parts of the product or software project in the above models. In this model, the team manages an entire section of the business. For example, the mobile application development section as opposed to architecture design within the mobile application development section.
The team takes care of all the project activities in the software design and development process. Occasionally, the custom solution development team becomes an integral part of the business, effectively joining the company as a department.
The model is best suited to medium-large businesses with the capacity for another team. It's not a cost-effective option for small businesses.
If you want to get your partnership with your outsourcer off on the right foot, start with clarity.
Get clarity before you choose an outsourcing company. Set out your vision for the joint venture and the outcome. Write a list of questions you want to ask your prospective business partner to get clarity from their side.
Clear lines of communication are essential. It's no good if both sides have clarity of vision but can't communicate it properly. Make an effort to keep in contact so you're always kept abreast of progress, just not so often that it appears you don't trust them to do a good job. Micro project management defeats the point.
There are five additional parts that contribute to a healthy partnership with your outsourcing company.
Both parties should sit together to create an airtight and fair contract. Be precise in terms of what you require and the expected outcome. Include guarantees and clauses that stipulate the consequences of poor performance, missed deadlines, and other problems on the software project. Remember insurance so everyone knows who is liable for what.
Nothing ever goes according to plan. Often problems are only identified during the process, in which case plans must be adapted quickly. Try to have a contingency plan for different scenarios.
It happens that business owners' expectations are unrealistic, pushing the limits of the outsourced team. This is where communication comes in because the leader of the outsourcing team must convey their limitations as a business unit in a clear, calm manner.
Other limitations include existing technology not being advanced enough to carry out a certain process in the software project. There could also be budget limitations that hold up the supply chain. Everyone can put their heads together and see if they can develop a go-around solution to save the software project.
Both parties must be able to trust one another. This includes your trust that outsourcers can and will complete the project on time. They should be able to trust that you will remain consistent and won't keep changing the scope of the project.
Thank the team and individual team members for doing a good job. Acknowledgment can be as simple as a private word to a developer who solved a tricky problem or as fancy as an office party for reaching a software engineering milestone early.
Partnerships with peers in the industry can bear a lot of fruit. They can open up opportunities for networking and perhaps even collaboration by remote teams on new projects. However, you must work on partnerships to ensure not only mutual satisfaction but also to build a reputation as a desirable company to work with.
Laminar Consulting recognizes the benefits of good partnerships and customer satisfaction. With scalable and secure end-to-end technology solutions, Laminar Consulting is a global leader in custom application development.
Do you have a project in mind? Contact Laminar Consulting today at (888) 531-9995 to get started!
Sales Enablement Mobile Engagement Applications Enterprise Integration VR and Mixed Reality Application Development
Chief Executive Officer of Laminar Consulting with over 24 years of experience in B2B technology solutions and product Sales. As an authority in sales-marketing enablement and automation solutions, Sean has successfully integrated business technologies that delivered revenue and market share growth for hundreds of enterprise clients.