The State of Software Outsourcing
Software outsourcing is on the rise. Both large- and medium-sized organizations increased outsourcing IT budgets this year, and 37% of companies that outsource application development plan to increase the amount of work they outsource in 2018. Companies are now planning budgets and projects for the new year, and to prepare for software outsourcing projects, there are steps to be taken to strengthen the team.
In order to hit the ground running, here are six steps companies can take to prepare for software outsourcing.
1. Determine the internal team’s strengths and prepare to outsource the weaknesses
Step one is all about understanding what skills your company already has internally. Then, more importantly, finding the gaps and skills missing. For example, maybe your team has all of the back-end developers it needs but no one for quality assurance. Understanding what skills are required to complete upcoming projects, what’s available internally, and what is not the essential first step.
Be sure to understand what it means to choose an outsourcing team. Read our blog on common outsourcing myths to learn more about what to expect.
2. Organize a project management software (and training, if necessary)
Now that your company has decided what projects or tasks to outsource, it’s important to be organized. Choose a project management software and make sure everyone (internally staff and outsourced team members) have the proper training to use the system. Whether it’s Basecamp, Trello, or Asana, ensure all team members are on the same page.
3. Choose accounting and document-sharing platforms
When your team is far along on a project, you don’t want to have to organize small items such as these. Before the project begins, arrange the accounting software you will use, whether it be Xero, Wave, etc. to record payments. Make sure the outsourcing team sends invoices on a consistent basis (whether monthly, weekly, etc.). This way, everyone will understand what’s expected, and there are fewer chances of surprises.
Furthermore, it can be frustrating for any team member to have to search for documents among various platforms, so choose those ahead of time too. Perhaps the internal and outsourcing teams will share a Dropbox folder or a Google folder, either way, make sure everyone has access, and they know where to place all documents and images.
4. Write and edit contracts and non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
Your company most likely already has contracts and NDAs in place for working with outside vendors, but they probably could use a revision. When working with a software outsourcing company, you can use different types of contracts. Decide what works best for your company and revise contracts accordingly. Update all NDAs so each team member can sign them quickly and begin working.
5. Select a time tracking/payment log tool
When plugging along on a project, managers will want to quickly see how much time is being spent in each area of the project so they can adjust expenses accordingly. There are many different tools out there, from Toggl to HubStaff, so find which one works best for management. Those who need to can then familiarize themselves with the platform, completing any trainings necessary.
6. Assign roles, specifically management
To make things easier for the outsourcing team members, assign roles early on. The last thing you want is someone on the team sending an annoying, company-wide email asking a question that can only be answered by one person. To avoid confusion, remain transparent, keep a good working pace, and clearly assign management roles so all team members (internal and external) know who to report to and who needs updates on development progress. Then choose a communication platform such as Slack so team members can talk in threads without bothering the entire company.
Your company can complete many of these tasks ahead of time. As we head towards 2018, it’s important to organize a lot of these objectives now so your organization can kick-start the new year.