Okay, so you have an idea, business plan and the industry experience.
The next challenge – Look out for resourceful, talented team to build your idea into an online business within your startup budgets.
OUTSOURCING is the best way to find a team or a partner who can work with you and help you build your product.
Learn More about Outsourcing Benefits and Challenges Here
Startups and Small Medium Businesses are increasingly outsourcing Web and Mobile Development work to offshore companies where the skill set are great and doesn’t push the budget off limits.
Outsourcing might seem as your best bet for your business concerns; however, finding the right company to achieve the desired results isn’t a walk in the clouds!
The problem with finding the right offshore company to outsource IT or software projects is unfortunately quite common.
The most pertinent question here is:
How to find a company that is capable enough to deliver among the crowd?
Many of us have heard some shocking stories about outsourcing.
How someone spent thousands of dollars during a course of 6 months and did not get any satisfactory results.
The most common methodology used by a majority of people is Google search.
They open Google, enter a couple of keywords of required expertise and go through a list of companies analyzing and choosing the one which seems most appropriate.
Money often becomes a decision maker and unfortunately this leads to some wrong choices and substantial number of failed projects.
There could be few reasons for failure over here. Let’s take a look:
- Late Deliveries: You think the outsourced team is working dedicatedly on your project.
However, it turns out that the team is working on several projects for many clients and consequently does not devote sufficient time to your project which results in missed deadlines.
- No Project Management: The outsourced company allocates staff for your project but lacks a Project Manager.
This makes it hard for you to manage the project yourself, especially if time zones are different.
- Lack of Understanding the Requirements: Team starts working on your project without understanding the complete project specs and the result is completely different from what you needed.
- Inflexible Engagement Models: Your requirements as a business keep changing; however, the outsourced team does not have any means to track their tasks or effectively manage, hence, this too results in a disaster.
- Human Resources: The outsourced company has a high attrition rate, so the team working for your project changes frequently which affects your deadlines.
- Lack of Confidentiality: The outsourced company violates NDA and steals your trade secret.
- Miscommunication: The outsourced team is good but there is a language barrier between you and the point of contact. This results in miscommunication.
Here is a Step by Step Guide to help You Find a Perfect Outsourcing Company
In order to avoid the above-listed mistakes or at least to reduce the associated risks, there needs to be a way which can help you find that reliable outsourcing team.
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Step# 1 Understand the Outsourcing Engagement Model which your Business needs
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Apart from the various engagement models, there are a slew of methodologies which can be adopted, based on a particular business’s requirements.
Agile methodology is an effective alternative to traditional project management methods which are typically used in software development. It helps work teams to effectively coordinate and respond to unpredictability with the help of incremental, iterative work cadences which are called sprints.
To put it in simple words, Agile methodology basically refers to a unique way of managing IT projects and development teams.
Here software is developed in small and measurable releases making it a steady cycle. Here each of the releases is built on the success of the previous functionality which is thoroughly tested to maintain quality.
The Agile methodology can be used when there is a need for implementing new changes.
The amount of freedom that you can get with Agile is relevant to the project. Herein the new changes can be easily implemented at a low cost owing to the frequency of the new increments that are being churned out every moment.
Scrum Methodology is a part of the Agile framework which was developed to help in completion of complex projects.
It aims to cure the common shortcomings of a typical project development lifecycle which can be caused due to a number of reasons such as, changing requirements, unrealistic demands of cost, time and quality of the product.
Projects broken down into tasks and built with one small piece at a time fosters creativity, and enables teams to respond to feedback and change.
Developed originally for formalizing software development projects, Scrum can work well for any kind of complex work.
Scrum can be easily used to enhance teamwork, communications as well as speed.
Scrum is the leading agile development methodology, used by Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Learn More about our Development Methodologies Here
Step # 2 Sources from where you Find your Outsourcing Company
There could be a number of sources from where you can scout for your next outsourcing team. Below are some of the common sources which are usually the chosen means to look up for a new outsourcing team.
Looking up a search engine is by far the primary step through which one can look for options for outsourcing. On the basis of the required skillset or technological expertise make a list of keywords which would give you the best and most relevant results and start your quest.
Once you get the search results, take time in shortlisting and select the most relevant results based on online reviews of those particular companies and their industry reputation.
Now that you have a list with you, go ahead and sieve through the most useful ones and take it forward from here.
Online marketplaces can be your best bet when you are looking for offshore outsourcing partners.
There are various online marketplaces for IT services that are readily available to businesses and which make offshore IT outsourcing more accessible as well as manageable.
These online marketplaces expose companies to hundreds of vendors across the world and have emerged in response to provide the most relevant match making and give the most optimal results for basic project management requirements.
Referrals through Friends and Colleagues
Have some of your friends and industry colleagues or business partners refer some company to you. This can be one of the most reliable ways.
However, you need to screen the team’s credentials carefully as what worked for your business partner might not work for you.
The company might not necessarily have enough expertise in your project or does not match the selection criteria. Keep them in the list but do not choose, just yet.
Directory listings are another popular way to look up the most optimal choices in freelancers across the web. Below are some of the popular sources through which one can look out potential outsourcing teams.
- Clutch: Clutch can actually help you in researching and reviewing your choice of outsourcing partner in offshore locations. Clutch gives you a basic idea about firms offering varied services by having information about their services and their reviews.
Here companies are mapped based on their performances and people contribute their experiences as well by submitting reviews.
- Reddit: A social news site wherein people can post links to useful content on the web. Here people can give out their votes to what the rest of the world is talking about.
- Craigslist: This is a great place for posting ads based on your business environment. Craigslist is basically a classified advertisements website that has separate sections for jobs, housing, etc.
Businesses can post their requirements here and wait for the most appropriate responses.
- Smashing Magazine: A wonderfully informative website and eBook publisher, Smashing Magazine can help you scout for the right person for your business needs through its jobs section.
One can check for the type of job which can be freelance or full time.
Step # 3 Understand the Skills and Capabilities of the Company
Choosing the right offshore team for your project is a critical step to successful outsourcing. Your outsourcing partner should be capable to bring the best and the brightest on the table.
Since outsourcing is a demanding process and involves high business stakes, it is only relevant to have only the best of the best working with you at all times.
In fact, there should be specific skills that your outsourcing team should possess in order to give their best performance.
Below are some of the most important points that you need to consider before you go ahead with your chosen outsourcing team:
- Industry Experience: It is important that your check your outsourcing team with their experience in the similar industry as your requirement. The team should be familiar with the type of task you are assigning and must have a successful experience to back up their skill set.
- Working Model: It is imperative to note that you ascertain their working model well in advance before going ahead with the deal. Whether they work on hourly basis and what are their rates. These things need to be considered before you sign on the dotted line.
- Development Process: It is also important to note what all software has the outsourced team worked on in the past. What is their development process and way of working?
- Communication and Collaboration: You need to ensure that the communication and collaboration process of the outsourced team is at par with your company works on.
Collaboration, communication tools and project management tools are necessary for you as a business to keep in touch and know the progress of the project in real time.
Assessing communication skills is a must. This is especially critical for offshore clients since the mode of communication would be Skype/Hangouts/VoIP apart from the telephone. If there is a communication gap, your project can go haywire.
- Security and Confidentiality: As a client, you need to make sure that your project and business details are secure in the hands of your outsourcing partner.
Before you start working with a team, it is most important that you check their contract policies and pay attention to conflict resolution terms that they follow. You should be interested if their contract agreements specifically mention the courts for conflict resolution. It must also have NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
- Timely Delivery: It is critical to ensure that your project will be completed on time with the desired quality. Deadlines are critical in business and working with a team that does not honor deadlines will throw your project off the hill.
Step # 4 Consultation and Requirements Analysis
Requirements analysis or consultation is the most important phase of any project management; irrespective of whether it is outsourced or not.
A requirements analysis gives you a clear picture of what the project deliverables are and what would be the defined scope of work according to which the tasks will be taken up.
If the requirement analysis is not done properly, it can result into project deliverables not meeting the business requirements which in turn would result in waste of time and money.
This early phase of consulting involves understanding the specifications of the project, gathering information and documenting all the business requirements.
This process enables a better understanding of the business idea, industry and subject brainstorming ideas and consulting the client to build a right proof of concept, solution and making a detailed proposal based on which the right expectations are set.
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It doesn’t matter whether your organization makes use of an outsourced or in-house team approach; there are pretty much chances that you are already connected in a globally distributed IT development circle.
Conventional management tools and practices are sometimes insufficient in order to address the challenges of businesses who are readily embracing IT outsourcing in order to stay ahead of competition.
As a business, you need to take a strategic approach to IT outsourcing and choose the resources wisely. A less expensive solution might not be the one that gives you the most competitive advantage that you seek.
Investing in a relationship with a reputable IT service provider that takes the time to assess your needs and offers a wide range of services is a cost-effective way.
Keeping in mind the above-discussed pointers and staying clear of the common mistakes can help you locate and find the best outsourcing team for your project which can also mark the beginning of a mutually successful business relationship.
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*GSLI: Global Services Location Index