How to pick the best partner for your projects
Businesses often stumble when looking for high performance outsourcing providers. Usually larger companies run an RFP process (request for approval) and small companies may just apply an internet search to identify the right outsourcing partner. While it may seem that the greatest challenge in outsourcing lies in choosing the right partner, other factors are just as equally important. These include preparation and understanding of the process as well as the scope of a project or ongoing partnership.
Let us look at the full life cycle of software outsourcing to understand what steps are necessary to achieve high performance outsourcing. The four major phases are planning, partner selection, launch, and management.
Many businesses are sceptic about outsourcing due to negative experiences they have already made or are not looking at the process holistically. Before you outsource you need to understand whether your business is ready for it – this requires identifying which gaps you are looking to close with your outsourcing partner. Once you know where your gaps are, you know how to select the right partner.
You will need to ask yourself the following questions prior to selecting a partner. Do they have
experience with software and technologies that are required to develop your product?
Do they have the industry experience required. Does their time zone overlap with yours?
Tech leaders and business owners need to identify whether their partner is prepared to fulfil all aspects to achieve a fruitful partnership, both culturally and from a technical perspective. Such due diligence should include: retention rate of employees, way of hiring, training methods, work environment. How do employees collaborate? What work method does the partner use, e.g. “agile teams”, “scrum or a “waterfall approach”. And how do they implement it?
Also, it is important to select a partner that has the right maturity for the partnership or project fulfilment you are looking for. This can go both sides, i.e. an outsourcing partner can be too mature or to young and drag its client.
Another important topic that distinguishes high performing partners from their peers is employee retention. Many providers fail as experienced senior staff is put on a project during the initial phase and then filled up with junior people. A partner must ensure that the team members presented to you should be the team members that stay. Employee retention should reflect the standards you apply in-house.
Finally, many businesses need a partner who can provide services outside of just software development: e.g. testing, systems architecture, design and deployment should be among the services offered by the partner.
During the first few months you need to align with your partner and get the relationship started. Many businesses fail during the planning stage and think just handing over project requirements does the job. You need to communicate on a daily basis and kick off new engagement. Both way and frequency of communication must be defined by the client. Many project managers for example talk about agile work, but what does it mean in practice? Client and outsourcing partner need to nail down working terms and define milestones. Both parties need to align on communication, meetings, ticketing system and how things flow back and forth so that both parties become one team.
You can choose the best partner in the market and fail to communicate or create a client vendor relationship. The ultimate goal should be to operate as partners across different countries. Therefore it is critical to define the working relationship and achieve high performance outsourcing.
A constant view and watch with consistent attention is as important as the three prior phases we have just looked at. You can be ready to run a project with the right partner, but if you fail to monitor the project’s development and progress, you start to drift away from achieving the results you have hoped for. Both parties should manage expectations from both ends. The best way to ensure that progress is in line with your own expectations are processes. If processes and milestones are well defined, people stay on track and your likelihood of success is high!
We hope that you found this article helpful. Do not hesitate to reach out to us on LinkedIn with any questions, comments, or suggestions. We will be glad to help you out and find the best solution tailored to your needs.
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