Your business or organization is doing important work that delivers incredible value to customers and users. With your focus on strategy and how best to serve your existing customers (and to secure new ones), you must outsource a number of important tasks — software development included.
But outsourcing comes with certain challenges that are only magnified when you need strong collaboration with outsourcing team members, as you do in software development. How do you establish smooth and effective collaboration with your software outsourcing company?
Here’s a look at why outsourcing is so common, typical challenges that companies face as they outsource software, as well as key factors in successful collaboration with your outsourcing team.
You can only do so much in-house, and you can only afford to pay and manage so many in-house resources needed to see your strategic vision become a reality. When you choose to outsource software development, you’re choosing to secure innovation and flexibility that you could never create or maintain within your org chart.
Outsourcing is known to boost capacity. When you find the right vendor and when you enjoy solid collaboration with outsourcing team members, you find that you have on-demand support when you need it from professionals who understand your business and how to deliver the results you need.
You also get quality results when you have a strong relationship with a good software outsourcing team. But while the reasons to outsource are many, the outsourcing experience remains filled with challenges.
The Challenges of Outsourcing
When you have an issue with an in-house team member, you can walk down the hall or take the elevator to that team member’s floor and have a brief conversation. It’s not always so easy to communicate with your software outsourcing team.
Sometimes your partners are located in different time zones or on different continents, which makes collaboration with outsourcing team members more challenging. Communication certainly suffers in these situations, and it’s not perfect even when outsourcing teams are located in your same city.
Outsourcing also poses a threat to in-house team members, whether that threat is real or imagined. Your own employees will see you outsourcing and wonder whether their positions are the next to be outsourced.
Liability and security add extra challenges to the outsourcing experience. How can you hold the outsourcing partner accountable? And how can you make sure that your own company’s information and integrity remain safe, secure and intact?
Choose the Right Partners
Many of these challenges can be headed off as you search for outsourcing partners. Ask prospective partners how collaboration with outsourcing team members has been addressed in the past, how they’ve perfected communication and the ability to deliver the desired results.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references, too. A good software outsourcing team should be able to share the information of those they’ve worked with in the past and who can share about the experience.
In short, choosing the right partners from the start is what leads to smooth collaboration with outsourcing team members.
Set Expectations Early
When you’re ready to move forward with a specific outsourcing team, make sure all parties understand the expectations. Sign a mutually agreed upon contract that outlines what the responsibilities of each party include. This document should be flexible and dynamic, but it serves as the sole record of expectation should problems arise.
But most beneficial: The simple of process of writing and agreeing to a contract helps everyone involved get on the same page. This type of agreement is a strong way to pursue effective collaboration with outsourcing team members from the start.
Develop a Culture of Communication
Communication deserves a second mention because of how vital it is to collaboration with outsourcing team members. Without good communication, a vacuum appears in which your strategic vision falls by the wayside and you get deliverables that aren’t what your company needs.
And it’s not necessarily your software outsourcing team’s fault if you’re the one who failed to engage in good communication. Communication is a two-way street. If both parties can perfect the communication aspect of a relationship or project, the results will be exponentially better than otherwise.
Use Software Outsourcing to Seize Opportunity
Software outsourcing can be your company’s path to seizing opportunity and growing revenue. But it can also be a path to frustration. If you can find a strategic partner that offers effective collaboration with outsourcing team members, that partner is worth its weight in gold.
Spend the time needed to find that right partner. Make sure you’re on the same page before you engage in your first project. And commit to making constant communication the hallmark of your relationship. When you can commit to this type of agreement, the results hold the power to transform your business.