We believe outsourcing is more than a fast Internet connection, Dropbox and Skype. Great outsourcing is the result of a great partnership between two teams. If you are looking for an outsourcing partner, here are a few pointers that may help you make up your mind.
1. What do you want to save?
It is the oldest trick in the book of outsourcing. Most companies consider outsourcing only from a cost perspective. However, there is an old saying which reminds us not to be ‘penny wise, and, pound foolish.’
Outsourcing helps you save your creative energy. It reduces the load of minute decision-making and allows your team to look at the bigger picture. In short, you don’t waste hours figuring out a wire-frame with developers and managing their productivity, schedules etc. You skip to the part where you analyze from a third’s person point of view, suggest changes, share feedback and reduce deficiencies in the design development process. Long story short, you get more creative control when you outsource.
2. Try local.
Developing in emerging economies such as India gives you the privilege of functioning in multi-cultural environments which open up channels of learning both at the technical and cross-cultural level. Sharing best practices gives you access and knowledge about a variety of tools and options available. This helps both teams in expanding their knowledge base about local tech trends, app culture etc. and decode demographic preferences smarter.
3. Clarity. Clarity. Clarity.
When you have to delegate across the globe, you make sure that you have clarity about the nature and scope of your project. You cannot expect to discuss details as they come, and hope to clear doubts at across-the-table meetings. Rare as they are in an outsourcing scenario, face-to-face meetings may not even happen. In such a case, you and your team need to be spot on about what you want from your outsourcing partner.
It also works to your advantage. Once you give a thorough, prescriptive brief to your developers, such as the set of key features along with the nice-to-have additions, you set the road map for the coding and development team. This way, you get rid of unnecessary revisions and set realistic timelines for builds.
4. Make a connection.
At the end of the day, whether you choose to outsource or not, you have to deal with human beings. Which means, you will have to do the usual dirty work of building trust, inspiring confidence and getting the team to work together. Like we stated in the beginning, outsourcing is more than an internet connection, Skype and Dropbox. It is about being able to communicate clearly and efficiently so that people can work together in spite of their geographical location.
To say the least, it is a great test of your interpersonal and communication skills. It requires an energetic leadership on your part, and smart follower-ship on the part of your outsourcing partner. This can only happen if you establish a relationship. Insist on regular Skype calls, learn the names if the coders and developers assigned to your project, and include feedback in all your written communication.
If you haven’t thought about these four factors, we suggest that you take a moment to think again. Outsourcing presents many challenges, but it also comes with its own rewards. Make the most of it!