Outsourcing has been a common practice for decades now, but it wasn’t until recently when it became a more widespread option for almost all industries. There isn’t a unique reason why some sectors waited so long to embrace outsourcing. Some industries didn’t have the need, others didn’t see it as a viable option, while others simply couldn’t do it.
Among the many companies that resisted outsourcing, a not so insignificant portion did so out of fear. In their eyes, there were plenty of things to fear: low ROI, inferior service quality, reduced compliance with standards, data loss—the list goes on. Yet, probably one of the most cited reasons to refuse outsourcing has to do with losing control.
In other words, companies want to stay in charge of their projects at all times. Under that light, outsourcing would mean renouncing control of whatever project is being outsourced. That’s an understandable feeling, as no business wants to delegate entire projects and not have a say in their development. But here’s the thing: That’s not what outsourcing entails.
As many of those who had that fear found out after the pandemic broke out, outsourcing can be a very beneficial practice that doesn’t pose any risk to in-house management. In fact, when done right, outsourcing can extend a management team and help businesses in achieving higher quality outcomes. Let’s dive deeper into it.
How Outsourcing Boosts Management
Any development project has inherent risks that management has to deal with. A manager has to design strategies and road maps to guide the work, stay on top of the work being done, course-correct as the team moves forward, flexibilize priorities, organize tasks, make sure to meet deadlines, and plenty of other things. It’s a tough job that requires significant expertise and experience. Otherwise, the whole project could derail because of mismanagement.
That might be the biggest reason why companies want to retain control over projects, even if they are partially or fully outsourcing a project. Having in-house professionals monitoring the work and ensuring that everything moves smoothly feels like a guarantee that the team will align with the company’s goals and mission. By looking through this lens, outsourcing management means trusting a stranger who doesn’t have the company culture and vision ingrained in themselves.
Of course, there’s some truth to seeing development from that perspective. A manager who has worked for years in a certain company will obviously have more knowledge about it than any outsourced manager. They can also bring an insider’s look to the job, which can be very beneficial. However, that doesn’t mean that outsourcing project management is a bad choice. In fact, doing so can provide numerous benefits.
Those benefits will depend on how you engage with the outsourcing company and how you approach the management. On one hand, you could hire an entire development team (manager included) to take care of everything with minimal input from you. On the other hand, you could hire a manager to help you organize your in-house work.
When you hire an outsourcing company to take care of the entirety of a project, you can have them manage the whole thing while you provide your input only at key moments. For example, BairesDev offers end-to-end development services, which means our team of experts works on your project with their own manager. In this model, you have multiple feedback instances, but the day-to-day management falls in the hands of one of our engineering managers.
Then we have a Delivery Team service that offers you a self-managed engineering team that can work autonomously to develop tech solutions in a quicker and more efficient manner. Our Delivery Teams work remotely, but they do so as if they were a part of your company: reporting with the frequency you require and taking feedback from you when you have it. They are the best alternative to help you scale your development efforts quickly.
Finally, you can hire a single manager to help you deal with your current in-house projects. This is usually through a staffing service, such as BairesDev’s Extended Team. In this service, we provide you with highly qualified tech professionals to help you fill your talent gaps. Doing that will let you keep the development work in-house but will get you the help of a senior manager who can truly make a difference in how you tackle the work.
As you can see, the 3 alternatives can provide you with the management skills you need for your development projects. Naturally, they expand your own management capabilities in different ways. With a Delivery Team model, you get qualified engineering talent managed by a senior professional, but your in-house management still retains much of its control. With end-to-end development, you trust the outsourcing entirely, so rather than maximizing your management, you outsource it. Finally, an Extended Team gets you an elite manager to help you in-house.
Benefits of Outsourcing in Management
Some might argue that the only viable reason why you should outsource a project is that you lack the talent in-house. Of course, that’s a good reason to do it, but it’s far from being the only one. In fact, mixing in-house development with outsourcing can provide several benefits, even if you have the in-house talent to tackle your projects.
Some of those benefits include:
- Improve operational control and efficiency. If your in-house development team isn’t working the way you’d like or if they are dealing with an increasing list of tasks, then outsourcing becomes a good alternative. That’s because an outsourced manager (or managed team) can quickly step in and help the in-house staff with task prioritization, expense control, and scheduling.
- Provide continuity and minimize risks. Outsourcing is a good way to have some operational continuity when you’re going through a period of high employee turnover. Today, engineering talent is in high demand, so it’s understandable if members of your staff quit to work on other projects. Unfortunately, this causes disruptions that can derail your development efforts. Outsourcing can bring skilled and independently managed professionals to help you during these periods.
- Access senior management expertise on your own terms. Your development projects might not be enough to justify having a full-time manager on your team. Fortunately, outsourcing allows you to hire a management expert to fit your specific needs. Thus, you can hire them to help you during projects and let them go when the projects end—without extra costs.
- Develop internal staff. Even if you have managers and are happy with how they are doing things, you might consider outsourcing development, especially with complex projects. On one hand, bringing outside help can relieve your in-house team members from a part of the burden. On the other hand, hiring senior managers from an outsourcing company can bring much-needed expertise and skills that your team can benefit from. In fact, your own managers can learn a lot from professionals who have more experience or who have worked on countless projects across different industries.
Making It Work
I wanted to say one last thing before wrapping things up here. The fear of losing control is something real that affects executives and how they see outsourcing. However, it isn’t the only obstacle to overcome when outsourcing. There are plenty of other things you need to think about before outsourcing.
One of the most important ones? Hiring the right outsourcing company. Without due diligence, you might find yourself confirming your worst fears if you end up working with a subpar contractor. That’s why you need to research your potential partners and conduct a thorough vetting process to make sure you engage with a reliable company.
Finding the right provider isn’t the last thing you’ll need to worry about. You’ll also have to communicate with your chosen outsourcing team or manager to outline your expectations about their performance. In fact, you should put those expectations in writing, so you can rest assured that you end up getting what you want and nothing else.
It might all sound like hard work and, in some way, it is—but it’s truly worth the trouble. Outsourcing development can bring several benefits for your management and completely change how you tackle your projects. Think about that the next time you’re about to embark on a development project!