Booking & Management

How to Keep a Manageable Team on Outsourcing?

December 15, 2022 • 198 Views • 17 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO

One of the main fears, related to hiring a dedicated development team, is the possible issues with management. In fact, most potential clients, who are looking for an outsourcing team, are frightened of the fact, that they won’t have complete control over the working process. Frankly speaking, this is a common misconception and communication gap. Actually, there are numerous examples of successful projects, which were developed by dedicated software developers only, with no in-house employees at all. Yet, the key factor for such success is the correct cooperation planning.

List Outsourcing Team Management Aspects

Planning Matters!

When it comes to any new project, one of the most crucial factors is proper planning. Truly, this can ensure half of the success. This stage includes various activities like choosing the type of outsourcing agreement, whether it is a time and resources or a fixed price contract, writing precise SRS documentation, considering and estimating the overall project scope, and other routine business activities.

For some people, these actions may seem unnecessary work, which is being done just for a tick. However, in reality, this monotonous work will show great results in the future. For instance, if you plan your project responsibly, you will get a chance to notice some drawbacks or probable issues, which may occur in the future, and find a way how to avoid them, not to mention the main purposes of the planning like creating a precise roadmap, calculating the required time and resources, overall cost, choosing right tech stack, and thinking through the project down to the smallest detail.

Still, all the foregoing is true both for in-house and dedicated teams. But how to prepare yourself to work with an outsourced team and most importantly, how to create the most effective cooperation and outsourcing management?

Communication Approaches

Clearly, the first thing to consider is the way how you are going to communicate with your remote team. You have to understand, that most likely, your outsourcing team will be located thousands of kilometers away, somewhere overseas. Clearly, in such a case, it will be complicated to communicate with each other, not even to mention the overall managing and tracking processes. The most common practice in contacting your dedicated development team is online communication. Yet, it includes not only means of communication like messenger or regular calls. In fact, it is a complex business process, which also includes the terms of contacts, whether it is an agile or plan-driven development approach, etc.

For example, how regular and transparent communication will be: is it once a day or a week, or do you want to be in touch 24/7, constantly messaging and discussing various working aspects? Also, you have to figure out who are you going to contact: a project manager, or an entire team at once. Or, maybe, you would like to have a hybrid approach, mostly contacting the project manager, but having a team call once a month.

Obviously, the final choice is made by the client. However, we would like to give you some advice. When we are working with our clients, who are hiring a dedicated development team, we prefer to use a hybrid approach. As a result, we have a special chat, where all team members can discuss some aspects or possible issues directly with the clients or their representatives, as well as answer their questions and keep them up to date. Additionally, we regularly practice 1 or 2 online communication meetings per week, when we can discuss various working aspects in detail. Such a combination allows for more convenient contact, keeping both sides in touch all the time, and having some additional detailed reviews to ensure, that client sees the whole picture.

Trust Project Management Outsourcing

Here, in Incora, we highly recommend choosing the project management outsourcing option. Clearly, when you work with a dedicated development team, in most cases you don’t have physical access to all the software developers. Thus, having a separate project manager may be not the best idea. Instead, most companies, which propose outsourcing team services, offer project management outsourcing as well. As a result, the project manager will have direct access to all team members and it will be easier to contact and manage the progress of the development.

Moreover, the separation of the PM from the development team brings some additional drawbacks. For example, if your project manager is located in Canada and the team is based in Ukraine, you have to take into account the difference in time. In this hypothetical case, Ukraine is 7 hours ahead. As a result, the available comfortable window is limited to only a few hours. Clearly, such a difference directly defines how effective communication is. Choosing project management outsourcing helps to deal with all such issues.

Split Your Goals into Small and Clear Tasks

Absolutely, one of the main drawbacks of outsourcing management is the communication itself and all other factors, somehow related to it. Thus, one of the best approaches is to limit the need for communication as much as possible. Taking into account all the above, limited and regular communication helps to avoid numerous annoying inconveniences like the difference in time, or consultation on each change or feature, even the smallest ones.

Instead, using the “Less is more” principle, you can divide the complex task into small and simple tasks. As a result, the remote development team will fully understand the logic and project requirements and will be able to proceed with the job with fewer consultations, completing tasks one by one. For you, as the client, it will not only save time but help to easier monitor the progress by simply checking what tasks were already done.

Lean on Your Team

Don’t be afraid of delegating some tasks to your outsourcing team. Remember, that you are working not only with the developers but with a company, which is competent in product management, has needed specialists on staff, and is interested in your success no less than you. Therefore, delegating part of your duties can become a win-win strategy, giving the outsourcing company authority to make its own decision. As a result, you can get not only an in-house team of experts and their vision but a different perspective. So, it can help you to improve your business strategy and achieve better results.

Everyone is Equal!

We are not agitating for socialism. However, it is important to treat your dedicated development team, as well as any other colleague equally. Creating a friendly community improves the motivation of the whole team. If you treat your staff right, you can avoid unneeded confrontations and achieve better results. It is not a secret, that in comfortable conditions, people are willing to work better and be more productive. If your company culture is well-designed, you will automatically get a great output.

Apart from being nice to other people and treating them as equals, you may also try to get to know them better. For instance, each time, when we start working with new clients or employees, we try to get acquainted with their culture, customs, and traditions, learn their history, etc. Such practice is not only a gesture of goodwill, or some formality but a great way to better understand how to build communication, and avoid awkward situations, or even offenses. For example, it is an insult for Ukrainians to compare them with russians. Yet, without learning the context of your future outsourcing partners, you may unwillingly offend them.

Unquestionably, business relationships are present in any country. Nonetheless, it does not mean, that nation’s history or culture does not matter. Regardless, this advice is relevant for both partners, so both the client and employees have to get to know each other, it is not a one-sided responsibility.

Find a Responsible and Trustworthy Companion

Eventually, all the foregoing has no sense, if you are dealing with an unreliable company. In fact, it is probably the most obvious yet the most important aspect, which defines the final result of your cooperation and directly impacts all previous factors. To make it simple, if you have chosen an irresponsible outsourcing team - unfortunately, most likely you will spend lots of time and resources, not getting even close to the declared business objective.

Frankly, there is no perfect tutorial on how to find the ideal team for your project, which will work in 100% of cases. Yet, it is possible to define some key factors, which can help you to make a correct and balanced choice.

First of all, don’t ever underestimate the “word of mouth” method. So, if you know someone, who previously worked with dedicated software development teams, ask for advice and recommendations. People, who have a higher level of expertise in this field can simplify your work a lot by advising whom to work with and whom to avoid.

Do your own research. Do not only rely on somebody’s words. No matter how much you trust this person, always remember the human factor. Even if you got a recommendation from your friend, who worked with outsourcing teams before, do not hesitate to check the advised company by yourself.

Recommendations are great, but consider them as a way to narrow down the list of options, not as a 100% method of choosing a dedicated development team. If possible, gather various suggestions, create a list of them, and search for additional information about the company, its previous projects, feedback from the clients, position in various ratings, etc. In case you didn’t manage to get any suggestions from the people you know - move in reverse order. In other words, check the specialized ranking websites, choose a few preferable options, and look for their social media, clients’ feedback, or any other information, which can help you to better understand who you are dealing with. To better illustrate what we are talking about, let’s consider a concrete case.

How to Choose a Dedicated Development Team

Let’s suppose, you are looking for a software development team, which is able to develop your product from start to very end. After some research, you have met Incora. So, what are your next steps to figure out whether it is worth considering and hiring?

First of all, check the website of the company. Clearly, the easiest way to do so is to simply google the name of the company, and, most likely, you will find the original webpage. In this specific case, apart from the regular info about the company, contact forms, and other ways to get in touch with us, you can also find a case studies section, where you can easily find all the projects, the company worked on. Actually, it is a well-spread practice in software development. Besides, it is worth paying attention to the company’s website, its design, and its functionality. Consider it as a representation of the outsourcing company’s possibilities and skills.

Despite the fact, that you can find all the needed information on the website, do not hesitate to proceed with further research. Try to check if there are any additional mentions of the company on specified platforms. The easiest way is to check one of the company’s accounts on social networks like LinkedIn because usually, all such information is listed there as well.

As a result, surfing the Incora LinkedIn account, we can find a few posts about the rewards from various platforms like OnlineDegree, Clutch, FindBestWebDev, and GoodFirms. The main methodological approach for this research is “the more - the better”, yet do not forget to pay attention to the authority of the platform. Moreover, some companies are working with team extension, which means that they will not be as successful and evident as the competitors simply due to the fact, that most of their projects were “white labeled”.

Summing up all the above, we can assume that Incora is a legit software development company, which has noticeable experience in EdTech. Apart from it, some of its projects have shown their effectiveness. Still, the company proposes a team extension option, and if we pay more attention to the fact, that many of the examples from the case studies section are white labeled, which can be considered as a reason for only a few mentions during the last year.

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All that is left for you - is to apply the same research methods to the other competitors you are considering and figure out who is the best choice for you.

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