How In-House Dev Teams Should Work With Outsourced Teams

Why Do Companies Hire Outsourced Development Teams?

For both managers and development staff team members, there are simply just not enough hours in the day to check off every item on a to-do list. When smaller tasks continue to pile up, they end up snowballing and causing extended project deadlines, missed items, and general mistakes that require fixing before product release. 

Outsourcing IT needs and software development is a great option when in-house teams can no longer handle their workload. The extra hands of an outsourced team get projects completed on time and within budgetary requirements while helping keep morale up. 

Although outsourcing is a life-saver for busy companies with too much work to do, it sometimes seems a bit of a daunting project. While it’s true that outsourcing requires a few tweaks to workflows and may take a little while to get used to, companies of all sizes undoubtedly benefit from its many advantages. 

The trick is understanding how managers need to work with their outsourced team members and how in-house developers collaborate with their third-party colleagues.

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Tips for Working With Outsourced Team Members

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    Make sure that the outsourced team sees the vision and the goal for the project. - Although the world is already operating in a virtual manner, establishing a new project and ensuring that both in-house and outsourced teams are on the same page is a challenge. In-house dev team members must take the time to help the outsourced team get accustomed to their processes, work environment, and generally just help make them feel welcome.
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    Communication must remain the top priority for every team member whether working in-house, virtually or as part of an outsourced team. - The only way that projects get done at all is through constant and effective communication.
    When working with an external team unfamiliar with their new coworkers, this is even more important. In-house devs should take the time to communicate daily with their outsourced counterparts. This can help both parties stay on the necessary timeline through real-time problem-solving and brainstorming, while also helping outsourced engineers feel like a part of the team.
    Also, ensure that communication is not only frequent but clear and concise. Outsourcing companies are often located in countries where English is not the team’s first language. To avoid miscommunications or issues, in-house team members need to strive to communicate in simple, easily understood terms.
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    Strive to treat an outsourced developer just like a new in-house coworker. - When companies start an outsourcing relationship with a new team, its members become new virtual coworkers. It’s a good idea that both sides make an effort to make the other feel welcome and excited to get started on the projects ahead. Not only will this camaraderie help boost the work environment and foster co-working relationships, but will also improve productivity levels both in-house and outside.

Pointers for Managing an Outsourced Team

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    As communication is the definite key to success in the world of development, managers should encourage and facilitate frequent communication between their in-house and outsourced teams. - Without strong and regular conversations and discussions with a virtual team, companies set themselves up for failure. Simply handing over a set of project requirements won’t cut it.
    Thankfully, there are programs such as Slack and Skype to make instant messaging easy. These programs are a huge help when challenges and problems arise as they allow for real-time responses. Obviously, regular voice meetings and video calls are also a great way to get the team together for updates and ensure that everyone remains on-task.
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    Use project management tools to keep projects organized and visible to all parties at all times. - When working with any kind of development team, whether in the office, virtually, or in another country, it’s difficult to know the status of each individual team member’s tasks. With project management tools, it’s easy for managers and other team members to track progress. Asana, Basecamp, Monday, and Trello are all great tools that allow managers to assign tasks, create deadlines, and set goals or milestones in a visually referenceable way.
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    Before work begins, establish a leadership hierarchy with the outsourced development team. - While this sounds a bit harsh, knowing who to escalate issues or questions to in the existing company is a good idea. The third-party employees then know who is responsible for formally checking in. Also, it’s essential to establish a general game plan for cross-team management.

While the idea of working with a team of fresh faces sometimes feels like a challenge, working with an outsourcing company helps businesses achieve their goals, get projects done on time and within budget, and reduces workloads for in-house employees over time. All it takes is consistent communication, project organization established from the get-go, and a positive working environment for everyone involved.

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