Everyone loves saving money. In fact, I am pretty confident to say that most of us have at least once googled for a promo code only to save 10% on an online order.
Companies do it, too, but in a slightly different way. One of the most common way is offshore outsourcing, as shifting projects or jobs to an external third party can save you a lot of money and provide sometimes better results. But how to do it right, not lose a fortune and get high quality services?
Below I’ve gathered a few things to consider before hiring a software outsourcing vendor.
1. Company size
First of all, regardless of what some say, size does matter - at least when talking about the size of a vendor company. The ideal number is considered to be around 100, as it makes project team scaling nice and pleasant, and Agile can operate well in such conditions, bringing on board short feedback loops. Moreover, if something doesn’t work out, it’s not a big deal to replace a specialist on the project. In one word, projects go smoothly and everyone is happy. Anything bigger than 100, however, adds to much unnecessary complexity and therefore can extend the length of a project.
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Make sure you know not only what the company says about itself, but what its clients think. Once you have classified the company as a potential partner, your job is to find out their actual flaws. Do they keep the customer up to date with the progress of the project? Have they delivered what was promised? How often did they miss their deadlines? Do the research: ask for vendor for references, check clutch.co. or even reach out to their previous clients and ask a few questions. Perhaps they worked on a similar projects and can give you a few tips?
3. Proof of expertise
Knowing who you are going to get is something that definitely gives a piece of mind, but having a proof is a different thing. Some companies pretend to be software development agencies without any developers and hand over your work to someone else that might not be the right fit for you. One way how you can avoid that is asking very specific questions about developers expertise and observing what happens after you ask for CVs. Good outsourcing vendor will be able to answer most of your question and provide detailed CVs of their developers in a very short time.
4. Timezone and location
Different time-zones can be a blessing. Having a developer work for your while you’re sleeping or out of office can definitely speed up the projects delivery. Therefore, businesses should not fear hiring overseas outsources, despite not working with one before. Agreeing to frequent status-updated and working times can solve a lot of difficulties, and ruling out a great outsourcer only because they are located far from you seems foolish. There are plenty of great outsourcing vendors in Europe, both Eastern and Western, and their experts might be better educated and have more experience than your local counterparts.Arrange a video conference, find out more about what they can do for you and based on that pick the right vendor. In the end it’s what they can do for you should matter the most.
5. English fluency
Yes, sometimes it might be ok to hire somebody with a basic English. However, when it comes to developing (often) complex software (by a team in a different country!), your best choice is a team that speaks fluent English. This will not only save you time that you’d spend explaining what you really want, but it can actually save you tons of money, as in some cases poor communication can result in expensive technical errors. (As if software development wasn’t difficult to create already.)
6. Speed of team gathering
Is your project kicking off very soon and you need to gather a team ASAP? Consider the vendor that can fulfil your needs. Easier said than done, but sometimes it can be as simple as remembering to ask how long it takes for the vendor to gather the team ready to work. Transparency is the key to get the expectations sorted.
7. On-site help
Very often offshore companies limit their communication means to Slack or Google Hangouts. However, the old-fashioned face to face communication brings a lot of benefits, especially when dealing with a complex problems. Therefore, when looking for an outsourcing vendor, it’s worth considering one that is not only happy to have you over to see how things are coming along, but one that is also willing to have their specialists flown to your office. Such details become crucial in case of facing complex problems that require deeper understanding and are combined with software integration on-premises.