Outsourcing development teams can be a great way to save money, increase efficiency, and gain access to the latest technologies.
However, just like when hiring internally, hiring remote teams abroad comes with its own challenges and details that you need to look for.
It is important that any company considering outsourcing its development tasks has a clear understanding of what they want from an outsourced team to get the most out of such arrangement. We compiled a comprehensive checklist for outsourcing that will guide you from start to finish of the process.
Why is it important to thoroughly prepare before outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a great way to save money and access to the latest technologies, but if not done correctly can lead to decreased efficiency, communication problems, and more. Before outsourcing your development team, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want from them. This will help ensure that the team is able to hit the ground running and provide value as soon as possible.
Not all software development partners are created equal, and not every company is a good fit for outsourcing.
Preparing for the outsourcing process is important if you want to save time and money. Having in mind what you want and need from an outsourcing team will help you avoid misunderstandings and wasted resources down the line.
Moreover, a well-prepared company is likely to get better deals with offshore development teams.
Checklist for outsourcing
A checklist is a perfect way to keep track of the most important points to consider when outsourcing. Having bullet points of crucial details is an easy and convenient way to ensure that no steps are missed when making the decision to outsource.
Below is a comprehensive checklist for outsourcing your development team. Make sure to save it as it will help ensure that your development team is able to get started as soon as possible and provide value right away:
1. Understand why you are looking for development outsourcing
Understand the reason for outsourcing. Is it because you don’t have the internal resources? Or is it because you want to take advantage of new technology or reduce development costs? There may also be several reasons.
Having answers to these questions before beginning your search is important in setting your expectations and finding the right development partner. By brainstorming the reasons, you can find answers to questions like: do you need a freelancer or a full, dedicated team?
2. Find out what kind of development you need
Not all software development is created equal. Do you need a mobile app, custom enterprise software, or website design and development? Each type of project comes with its own set of challenges that should be considered when looking for a partner.
3. Define your project goals
What are the goals of the project? What is the expected outcome at the end of the project? These questions will help you define what you need from a development partner.
For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20%, then your development partner might need to focus on improving the online store. Or if you want a new website design, your partner might need to be able to create a responsive and modern design.
4. Define the scope of work
Be clear on the project’s scope. What is and isn’t included in the project? This will help avoid misunderstandings with your development partner and keep the project on track.
For example, if you need a new website design, do you want them to also create the content or just design it? Will you be providing all of the images and copies, or do you want them to source those as well?
5. Determine the budget for the project
This is an important question that should be answered before starting the search for a development partner. Knowing how much you are willing or able to spend on the project will help focus your search and avoid wasting time on partners that are out of your budget.
6. Identify required skills upfront
It is important to be clear on the required roles and skills for your project. Are you looking for a development partner with specific expertise? Or are there certain traits that are more important than others, as good communication or responsiveness?
Just like technical skills, soft skills are equally important for development outsourcing. You should definitely know what you are looking for before beginning your search, as it will help make the process faster and easier.
7. Research potential software development partners thoroughly
Don’t just Google “software development company” and pick the first one that comes up. Do your research. Read reviews, compare pricing, and ask for referrals from friends or colleagues who have worked with a development partner in the past.
This is an important step in finding the right partner for your project. By taking the time to look into potential development partners, you can avoid costly mistakes and end up with a great partner that will deliver good value.
8. Conduct a trial period with the chosen outsourcing partner
It is important to test your partner’s abilities before you commit. This trial period will give you and the development team a chance to get on the same page, iron out any issues that may arise, and determine if they are truly the right fit for your project.
Therefore, before fully committing to a development partner you might start with a small task and see how the team performs. If you are happy with their work, then you can continue on to larger projects.
9. Agree on timelines and milestones
During the previous steps, you should have already defined your goals, scoped out the required work, and determined how much it will cost. Now is when you can start to put together a project timeline with specific milestones for certain deliverables.
This step will keep your development partner accountable and ensure that they are meeting deadlines throughout the course of the project.
10. Create a communication plan
Communication is key when working with a development partner. You need to have a clear way of communicating with them throughout the project, whether it’s through email, chat, or video conferencing. This will help avoid any misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Make sure everyone knows how to contact each other. What methods will be used and what frequency? How often should milestones or deliverables be shared? Will there be weekly reports or just e-mail updates from the outsourced company? The more clear everyone is on these points at the beginning, the smoother the project will run.
11. Include a requirement for weekly reports from the outsourced team
This is a good way to track the progress of the project and ensure that everything is on schedule. By having these reports sent to you every week, you can quickly identify any potential problems and address them before they become too big.
12. Determine the level of supervision required on a day-to-day basis
This will depend on your experience and comfort level. On one hand, you may be comfortable simply reviewing the work that has been completed at the end of each week. However, some projects will require more supervision from start to finish in order to ensure that everything is going smoothly.
If this is a new project for both you and your development partner, it might be a good idea to start with more supervision and then slowly back off as you become more comfortable.
13. Define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved
This will help avoid any confusion about who is doing what. What are the developer’s specific duties? Who is responsible for quality assurance? How often should reports be sent out? All of these factors should be outlined in the agreement.
14. Find an outsourced team with your specific technology stack expertise
Does your partner have the required technical expertise that you need? Are there any specific tools, protocols, or workflows that must be used on this project? All of these factors should be made clear from the very beginning so as not to run into issues later on.
15. Find a team familiar with your business sector
Find out if the outsourcing company has experience working with other clients in your industry. Can they provide any success stories that you can reference?
It’s important to work with a development partner who understands the business sector and has experience working with clients like yourself. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and focused on achieving success throughout the duration of your project.
16. Understand payment requirements and methods
This is an important question that needs to be answered before starting a project. How will payments be made? What is the payment schedule? Will there be any advance payments?
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the payment process so there are no surprises down the road. This will also help you determine if the development partner is within your budget.
17. Make sure there are no communication barriers
Another crucial question to answer before starting a project is – what language will your development partner communicate with you in? Will there be a need for interpreters involved for both parties?
It’s always best to find a development partner who speaks well the same language as you. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings and everyone is on the same page when it comes to goals, deadlines, etc.
Generally, English is the most common language for development teams around the world. However, there may be some exceptions so it’s always best to clarify this beforehand.
18. Find a team that matches your company culture
Are you looking for a team with an energetic and outgoing personality, or would you prefer somebody more serious and professional? Ensuring that both cultures match is an important part of the selection process as it will help avoid any potential issues and make for a better working relationship.
19. Be clear about intellectual property rights
This is an extremely important aspect of your agreement. Who will own the intellectual property rights to this project? Will you be able to use this project in your portfolio? Will the development partner have the right to display or sell this work without giving you any credit?
You should identify who owns what, and whether there will need to be separate agreements written up for things like displaying/selling. This will save you both time and hassle.
20. Sign a confidentiality agreement (NDA)
A non-disclosure agreement will ensure that parties are legally bound not to disclose any confidential information about each other or their business practices/personalities.
It’s always a good idea to sign a confidentiality agreement (NDA), whether you’re outsourcing development work or hiring someone for your own team. This will help protect you in the event that something goes wrong.
21. Make sure there is a termination clause
No one can predict the future, and sometimes things just don’t work out between two parties – it’s important to have a plan in place for this type of situation. A termination clause should specify the conditions under which either party can terminate the agreement, and what will happen to any intellectual property that has been created up until that point.
It’s important to have a termination clause in place so both parties know their rights in the event that things don’t work out. This will help avoid any legal complications or hard feelings down the road.
22. Summarize and represent important discussions in written form
Make sure everything, including important conversations that were discussed through calls or emails, is represented in writing. This makes it easy for your outsourcing partners to keep track of all the important details and tasks, and that nothing escapes their attention.
Outsourcing is a powerful tool that can help you scale your business if used correctly. A clear checklist ensures that you’re asking all of the necessary questions and setting up any agreements beforehand so there are no misunderstandings in the future. This will help both parties save time and money while avoiding potential problems with your project.
Hopefully, our checklist will accompany you when you’re looking for your next outsourcing development team.
And if you are looking for a development partner, that checks all the requirements mentioned above, MaxinAI is here to help you out! We’re a global team of developers with years of experience in various industries and domains. Schedule a free consultation call with our experts today and we’ll come up with a custom solution specifically tailored to your project.