The way we work and our professional environment is changing dynamically. We perfectly remember when the home office was not a standard, which it undoubtedly is today. Currently, remote work is extremely popular among software teams. Many companies have a positive attitude towards developing applications or websites in cooperation based on outsourcing.
In such a model, products are created outside of the company. Entrepreneurs prefer this solution because it does not require hiring an entire team, which translates into higher costs of the whole project. In turn, the most frequent destinations for IT outsourcing are countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Poland is the leader, as it is one of the countries with the best-qualified developers.
Cooperation based on outsourcing, however, requires unique management methods and attitudes. Such a model will work best while using specific tools. They allow managing and collaborating with team members who work in different time zones or updating work progress without regular face-to-face meetings.
How can I develop my product outside of my company? What can I do to get the most out of outsourcing cooperation?
Cooperation with an external agency
It doesn’t matter if you plan to develop your project in-house with an external team or any other external software house. In either case, finding a trustworthy technology partner will be crucial. In addition, you need a team that can advise you on which technology options to use and why specific ones will be most beneficial to your digital product.
Let’s assume you’re working remotely with a group of developers. Their job is to support your company in creating a technology solution that meets the requirements of future users. In this type of arrangement, you are the person who knows most about the company and project goals. However, you should not expect that the team will always listen to your ideas without any objections. Be prepared to answer tough questions and hear explanations why you should revise your plan. The goal of the technology team is to enable you to achieve your business objectives while combining them with technical capabilities. This is the only way to get a high-quality project.
Knowledge about the project
A critically important factor in the project is that each programmer knows and understands what expectations you set for the final product. Therefore, in the first phase of your collaboration, you should set your sights on spending time with the people who will be managing your project and giving them all the information that applies to it.
Take part in meetings online, at your company’s headquarters, or at the company to which you plan to outsource the project. These will be workshop-style sessions and will help the team understand your assumptions. You, on the other hand, will learn about the technical options related to your project. This is the point at which it makes sense to give the team as much information as possible.
It will be our job, as your technology partner, to make sure that every team member understands all the assumptions perfectly. Each developer will receive accurate information after such a process. It is the only way to get the entire team up and running to meet your expectations.
A common concern with outsourcing IT projects is losing a sense of control. However, it is possible to maintain constant contact and a sense of command over the project due to various techniques and tools.
In such a model, you can expect regular reports from programmers regarding the current progress of work. Moreover, you get access to space where project managers manage your project. Such a tool allows you to maintain the proper organization of work and keep an eye on the progress. At Applover, we regularly use Jira, a tool created to manage digital projects.
In the process, the high qualifications of the team and the structure in which they work are critical. At Applover, we approach each project in an iterative system characterized by setting goals planned over several weeks. This approach is much more beneficial for both the technical team and the clients. The latter can control the course of the project and check the applied functionalities. Moreover, such tools enable the efficient sharing of opinions concerning specific elements of the project.
The essence of information flow
When working with an off-site team, proper information flow is critical. In the case of Applover, our team gathers accurate information before starting any work on the project.
But how do you stay in touch with people working on the other side of the world? First, it will be necessary to use appropriate tools facilitating communication. In the case of everyday communication, Slack works perfectly. It is an instant messenger, thanks to which you can contact developers and receive an answer almost immediately. Currently, it is an excellent way of contact in projects implemented remotely. Furthermore, Slack has pushed traditional e-mail communication to the background in many organizations, reducing it to the essential arrangements and issues related to formalities.
On the other hand, thanks to Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, no matter how far away you are from the team working on your project remotely, meetings are still possible. It is a great way to resolve issues efficiently.
The key to perfect communication is, of course, not only the specific tools. It is also necessary to excellent speak the language that the team members will use. That is why it is so crucial to verify these skills at the recruitment stage. In Applover, each of our developers undergoes this type of verification. Only people with excellent language skills join us.
Different time zones are, in many cases, the main, if not the only, disadvantage of outsourcing. For example, if your company works in Melbourne, and the team you cooperate with operates from Warsaw or Berlin, the moment you finish your work, your team is just starting it. Therefore, it may happen that you will not receive an answer to your question until the next day.
This type of cooperation, even with such enormous distances, is possible. It is only necessary to plan the work and keep fluency in communication properly.
When starting cooperation in the outsourcing model, you should know that it will be completely different from working with an on-site team. However, with all the adversities and the lack of immediate face-to-face contact, you can perfectly cope with them when having the right attitude – seeing the importance of keeping efficient communication and learning the tools that make this type of cooperation possible