10 Tips to Better Outsourcing
Today, an increased number of software development companies are using outsourced service providers. These development companies are getting more involved with their distant work partners and hope to remain in control of their overseas development. Developers and their clients want to know more about the outsource companies policies, staff and also ensure they are getting the best value for their investment.
If you are looking to use outsourcing for your company's projects, here are 10 tips for making remote work transparent so all parties are happy:
- Realize “transparency means trust." The reputation needs of both parties is important. While an outsourcing company must be transparent in everything they do, the client must honor their commitments as well. Once trusting relations form between all parties, the path to excellent cooperation begins.
- Find a win-win approach concerning the wishes of the client and the service provider. They are often different. The client wants to decrease costs and enhance the service quality. The service provider is more interested in making more profit and lowering service delivery costs. These things should be addressed in the contract so everyone is one the same page.
- Be responsible. Outsourcing should not mean outsourcing the risks. The parties should clearly state all their terms in their contract and follow it thoroughly.
- Increase the level of confidentiality. Keep the client informed. They will better if they know what is going on with the project. If there is proprietary information, the outsourcing companies should put that in the contract so the client knows what they will and will not have access to.
- Be honest. Always by truthful. If your company is having trouble meeting a deadline, inform the client straight away. It is always better to try and find a solution to the problem as soon as it arises.
- Inform your clients proactively and continuously on what is going on the project’s progress (feature implementation and testing status, open issues, plans for what's next, etc.). Choose a weekly or daily period (depending on the project’s scale and methodology) to update your client on what stage of work you are in without waiting for them to ask. If possible, provide the client with the latest successful builds as per your agreed terms and get their feedback for moving forward. Participation from both parties is ideal.
- Be a Good partner, not an executor. All parties should feel as though they are respected and working collaboratively. This helps guild great teamwork. Outsourcing service providers need to study their client’s business and goals and always be suggesting solutions for growth; not just regular tasks.
- Keep extra costs transparent. It is always beneficial relationship to show all possible extra expenses. Things come up. Things like training, team building, competency development, research, hardware and software, etc. The best way to handle these costs is to be honest about them from the start and get approvals for additions and changes. Clients like to know where their money goes and feel comfortable knowing they are being treated fairly.
- Keep Communication Open between the client and the service provider only to the management levels. Organize clients communication with people directly involved in the project on its different levels, the ones the client actually “pays to” to get the job done. Let the client meet and/or interview the staff for the project but make sure that you are the one who suggests the most skilled specialists on the shortlist. It will help the client feel the pulse of the project and the outsourcing company to be more transparent.
- Organize effective outsourcing meetings - again, both the client and provider needs to stay involved. Here are the three levels that should be included in this communication:
- operational level, which includes project managers or leads cooperating on regular (daily) basis regarding ongoing tasks;
- mid level expecting department heads to negotiate any concerns on current work or planned projects; suggested at least once or twice a month;
- strategic level - where company/business leads define strategic long-term cooperation approaches. Such interactions should take place on a quarterly basis
Currently the world of outsourcing is a competitive one. Both parties should always be honest, open and collaborate on existing and sudden progress and issues. Doing so will ensure a successful relationship for both parties.
Sergiy is COO at Agiliway and a seasoned professional in the field of software development outsourcing.
He has more than two-decade's hands-on experience in developing distributed teams of as many as several hundreds software developers both in Ukraine and abroad. In his work Sergiy has proven to be knowledgeable in BPO and software development outsourcing. He has gained considerable skills in remote project management, troubleshooting and facing challenges determined by cultural issues in different countries.