Expand Production Capacity
Outsourcing software development can be an efficient way to expand a team’s production capacity without taking on more employees in-house. Businesses big and small are beginning to take advantage of new technologies to hire talented organizations all over the globe to help with specialized projects that grow the company.
However, outsourcing often requires intense collaboration between the in-house team and the development team. To foster effective collaboration between the two teams, businesses need to build networks of trust and communication between all employees. These bonds require project managers and CEOs to set standards early and keep lines of communication open, so they can address questions in real time. Both parties share the responsibility of speaking openly and honestly about the state of projects and about any challenges that arise.
Here are five tips that can streamline collaboration with any development team, whether they are down the street or across the globe.
1. Choose the right partners from the start
A good outsourcing team will have a lot of experience collaborating with a variety of different companies. While vetting opportunities, ask how challenges have previously been handled and communicated.
If this is the first time your company will be hiring a team, ask for a reference and multiple case studies. This organization is as vital to the business as an employee, so it is worth finding a partner that you can return to whenever the company needs a helping hand.
2. Establish a written agreement with the team
Writing the contract is an early opportunity to collaborate before the work gets started. This work also allows a project manager to set expectations about communication and deadlines so that there is no confusion on either side. The contract may change over time, but the written version will allow both teams to use it as a reference, should problems arise.
3. Decide which communication tools to use
There are dozens of online communication and collaboration tools available now. However, to avoid confusion, stick to one or two channels that are well-understood by both teams. Try Skype, Appear.In, or Slack for day-to-day communication; Jira, Trello, and Asana can help with project management.
Commit to checking these channels every day to resolve any last-minute questions as they arise.
4. Set clear deadlines
It may be challenging to prioritize projects as they come up but be as transparent as possible so the development team can tackle projects in order of importance. If every deadline requires work to be completed “as soon as possible,” there is a high likelihood that more important projects will fall off the radar.
Discuss deadlines with the project manager of your development team and agree on a reasonable date. If the team cannot deliver by that time, expect an early warning and a solid explanation for why they missed the deadline. Open communication from both sides is a sign of professionalism and will allow for a longer-term partnership.
5. Get involved in the projects, but do not micro-manage
If the development company has earned your trust, sit back and allow them to work. However, make sure someone is available to answer any questions in real-time and provide developers with as much information as possible.
The team and the project manager will save time by sticking to regular meetings and allowing coders the liberty to work unhindered. Trust that the developers will follow the vision, and know that there is always time to make edits if needed.
Software outsourcing can be a boon to any company looking to increase productivity and hire some of the best talent from around the globe. However, if the development team is working remotely, it can be hard to establish reliable communication and collaboration between the two sides. Use these tips to set expectations early and create open communication; you may even forget about the time difference by the time the team finishes the project.