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Simple tips to manage an outsourcing team properly

Reading Time: 6 minutes

You can achieve anything when you have a decent team of developers who know their job and do it with determination and passion. But what is more important is to manage them right. Poor management leads to failure in most cases.

Moreover, when talking about outsourcing team management, we have to answer more questions as outsourcing has nuances. In this article, you will find the answer to the most important question: which side should provide project management and what cooperation with the outsourcing company really is. 

tips to manage an outsourcing team

A proper approach to software development outsourcing

Outsourcing now is a fast-growing market, and numbers confirm that fact. According to Statista, by 2023, its spending will rise to 1.3 billion dollars. More and more companies start outsourcing, in most cases due to cost savings or lack of specialty in their region or country.

You must accurately determine what exactly you expect from the outsourcing company and what services you need before searching for an outsourcing company to work on your project. 

First, develop a picture of an ideal outsourcing software development cooperation that can satisfy your needs to the fullest extent. Accurately defined requirements give a checklist of what company you want to work with, and according to the list, you will start searching. It makes the process faster and easier. Also, it increases the chances of hiring the most qualified company.

Secondly, choose an outsourcing model that fits you the most. You already have your requirements for the project, so it will be no problem for you to choose a proper outsourcing model. It is a crucial step as the model will shape the whole development process and terms of cooperation between you and the company, so decide responsibly.

When it is time to search for a software development company, you have all the necessary criteria which narrow your search field to the companies you need only.  

Get to know outsourcing company closer

Discuss details of cooperation

To have a smooth and productive development process with the company you want to hire, discuss all the details before signing the contract to avoid troubles in the future. The most essential points to discuss:

  • How often do you want to arrange meetings with the team and/or?
  • Do you want to have access to a task management system to track tasks execution progress, for example, JIRA?
  • Does the outsourcing team take full responsibility for the project? And what level of your engagement, as a client, in the development process?

Of course, these questions are not common to fit all situations. Develop the points you need based on your situation, demands, or potential challenges. Once you have well-defined requirements and confidence in what exactly you want to get, then there is high time to move further to the next step.

Small practice first

It is a win-win case when you start from easier and smaller projects or tasks for you and the outsourcing company. It will be a trial to see your cooperation and working process in practice. It allows you to estimate a company’s  expertise and gives time to solve possible emerging issues. It is the best way to deal with problems gradually when they arise, not gathering a bunch of them. 

Besides, working on small projects before big projects decreases a possible budget wasting, but at the same time gives you experience and the ability to adjust the working process before starting the main one

Project management is insanely important

There is a myth that project managers only schedule meetings, divide tasks, and do paperwork. To ruin the myth, here are a few more facts about project managers:

  1. Project manager is a leader of the team

The PM controls the working process, solves the issues that emerge during development, and controls everything to go smoothly. 

  1. Controlling the quality of the development

A project manager is responsible for the quality of the product. That is why having an expert PM means proper resource use and quality product results. 

  1. Risk management

The meaning of risk management is to find the right approach to reveal risks as soon as possible and find a way to solve the problem. Risk management is vital for the success of a project as there is always the risk that something goes wrong, and you have to be able to deal with such challenges.

How does managing an outsource team differ from managing an in-house team?

  • Be in constant communication with the outsourcing development team 

First, you need to understand that the outsource team is usually far away from you, in contrast to the in-house team members you see daily in the office. Communication is an inseparable component of healthy cooperation, so the project manager should constantly communicate with the outsourcing team. That will make the outsourcing team not just an addition to your in-house team from other countries but the same team member as everyone else.

  • Managing an outsourcing software development team requires coping with different cultures

Outsourcing teams are rarely from your country or region. In most cases, they will be a few countries away from yours. Such a distance causes cultural and language differences, so consider it. National holidays, traditions, time zones, all these factors matter. Do not forget about them.

  • Using more tools for managing an outsourcing tea

PMs have to use more tools to manage a software development team successfully. These are tools for tasks, communication, online meetings, and daily reports

Why it is better to let the outsourcing company PM manage the development

When hiring a project manager to manage a software development team, the best way is to give this opportunity to the outsourcing company’s project manager, not yours or someone else from the outside.

The reasons why it is better to have an internal outsourcing company project manager are the next:

  • already have experience working with local team members, and they have an aligned development process, which saves you time;
  • local PM acquainted with all the company’s processes, which again saves you time and budget;
  • same cultural background, language, timezone, and location of the project manager and the development team impacts positively on making these possible barriers easily solved.

What do we have in sum?

Proper outsourcing team management requires the Project Manager to have specific skills and conditions. Keep in mind that before searching for an outsourcing team, you should:

  • define your needs;
  • choose an outsourcing model;

While managing the team, the project manager:

  • communicates with the outsourcing team constantly;
  • uses all the necessary tools for management;

Tips for managing an outsourcing development team will make the process much easier and more productive.

References:

statista.com

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