How to Collaborate Efficiently With Your Outsourced Software Team?
If you are reading this article, you already know the financial advantages the work with outsourced team can offer. At the same time, you have to understand that it is often a challenge to find a good team and collaborate with it efficiently when you can’t actually meet every team member in person and have immediate access to its work. Nevertheless, it is possible, and here we gathered some basic rules to help you prepare for this type of work.
Problems of outsourcing
The main problem with outsourcing in web development is the low market entry threshold and, as a result, the unsatisfactory quality of contractors' services.
Outsourcing companies appear from small regional agencies: resources in the regions are cheaper than in the capital, but even with a strong expertise, it is almost impossible for a regional studio to get a large client: the market has already established agencies that work closely with global brands , large customers from e-commerce, banks and other popular services. Because of this, most new teams lack the experience of developing complex and serious projects, and accordingly, they lack quality control of the final product.
Good teams in the regions are forced to work with representatives of small businesses, scanty budgets and weak requirements to the quality of the product. Some developers are getting used to this so much that even when they receive an order from a large client with a decent budget they cannot show the quality of the corresponding level.
Therefore, there are some impressive examples of this type of work, and it’s just a matter of time until outsourcing will start to receive most of the big orders in the market.
Rules for working with outsourced teams
Payment of work should be based on the hourly wage or the average cost of the work of a specialist of the entire development team.
Evaluation of the development stages is necessary.
Only 2-week reports and plans must be sent by post (for control).
The client provides a prototype application or it is developed by the software development team, if necessary:
- Simplifies the understanding of the basic functionality of the project.
- Increases the overall development speed of the project.
- Clear requirements for the functionality of both the customer and the developer.
- A clear understanding of where the project will move.
There should be project management system for the implementation of the project and the ability to monitor the process and the development time spent on each task separately. Unfortunately, this access is rarely provided by developers.
Qualitative testing is on the developer side and it is their direct responsibility. When they send a project or some part of it to the client, everything should be checked thoroughly.
It is advisable that the whole project is done by one team. Try you best to avoid the situations when different teams are responsible for different stages of the project.
Give maximum feedback on the code and technology. This is necessary to explain the advantages of a particular implementation or tool. It is better to do it on a daily basis: if you miss a mistake, fixing it can take an unreasonably long time. The most optimal option is to conduct 15-20-minute discussions on code-review results every day to understand the status of bad and good practices in implementation. Without all this, it is impossible to promptly influence the quality of the received product from outsourced teams.
Validate the code. Code-review is an obligatory stage for all tasks on projects (important! - even if the changes are insignificant, team leader still has to validate the code!). Without this, the integrity of the code and architecture may suffer, and the requirements for speed and security will not be met.
Distribute the job according to the tasks, depending on the grade of the outsourcing company. Some teams show themselves well in promo-landings, others are grounded in the development of online shops for magento, others integrate perfectly with 1C.
Learn the strengths of the teams on the test task. After successful execution of the test task, a have a skype-interview with all employees of the outsourcing company. If the level of competence of one of the team members does not suit you, ask to replace the person. Based on the results you will already know whom you can trust certain tasks.
Conduct development strictly in accordance with check-lists. This is important not to forget and check the most "narrow" places of the project at all stages of its creation. An error made during the design phase can only float up during testing and implementation, when the entire system is already developed. It is a risk of losing a lot of money and time.
And most importantly: share the gained experience. This is important for the development of our market and the global improvement of the local net.