When you start cooperation with outsourcing companies, you always get access to new opportunities and expertise. At the same time, you are more exposed to certain risks that can undermine your experience. However, by comprehending and analyzing possible issues, you can prepare for challenges and actually avoid mistakes that can cause problems.
Software team extension, being one of the most popular outsourcing services, requires a certain level of preparation and focus for companies to ensure that they will be able to find a common ground with developers and set up an efficient collaboration environment. GBKSOFT, a top software outsourcing provider, has gathered the main mistakes the companies tend to make when working with extended teams.
Choosing Cost Over Value
Lower cost is the reason that drives companies to resort to outsourcing instead of hiring developers in-house. However, making it the decisive factor in choosing a team extension provider would be unwise.
Every country has its own software development market which establishes average rates. However, if you encounter unusually low rates in a certain region, it may show that the company chooses to save on something. It might be a qualification of developers (for example, junior ones will be working on your project instead of middles or seniors who might be more appropriate) or they forgo some links in the development cycle to decrease the number of hours required for the project.
If you decide to start with such a partner, you might get unpleasant results: for example, you will need more hours, and respectively money, to finish the development than was planned at the beginning.
So, try to evaluate the offers from a possible partner from different angles, including their expertise and experience, approach to processes, communication, and collaboration.
Treating Your Development Partner as an Outsider
Any outsourcing company is a third party, and some tension may arise. However, acting like your extended team is not as essential and valid as an in-house team isn’t the right path. Team extension services are designed to supplement and speed up your development, and without adequate collaboration between your team members and outsourced specialists, it will be impossible. Two teams, being separated, might be working simultaneously on the same tasks or develop features that couldn’t be compatible at all.
From the beginning, align your company for mutual cooperation, and ensure that the extended team will be able to dive into the process, receive all relevant info, and be synchronized with other team members.
You can also consider visiting your extended team once or twice a year to create a deeper connection.
Good onboarding is a key to successful cooperation. When the extended team joins your development, they need to catch up and understand what is happening and how it is happening. Without guidance, it might take a lot of time to figure things out. And while the developer is busy with understanding the context, already completed tasks, written code, they are not productive to the project.
However, if you think through the onboarding process from the beginning and prepare documentation and product overview, define their role clearly, and give access to all required data for efficient work, you increase the chance for quick kick-off and useful contribution from the extended team.
Requirements are important, but there is not the only item you need. A roadmap, based on the product vision and your plan for its development, will determine in what order and how the required features should be created.
Again, the lack of a roadmap will bring only chaos into the process and generate irritation between developers, managers, and other people who are involved in the development. Moreover, you are also risking your money, as it is quite possible that you will need to drastically shift focus or dismiss the features that were already done and hence, invested in.
Therefore, think about the long-term perspective, create plans (however don’t forget to leave a place for some changes, as software development demands some flexibility to stay successful), and convey this information to your development team in an adequate manner.
Looking for Bodyshop Rather Than a Partner
If you are looking only for developers who will code, execute tasks, and won’t bring any additional contribution to the project, you may lose a lot. Even if you are sure of your internal expertise and management capabilities, stay open for the opportunity to involve the extended team on a higher level.
Usually, outsourcing teams have already gained a significant amount of experience in development and tried a lot of ways of how things might be done. Moreover, such companies are more interested in projects where they aren’t just a bodyshop, but an active participant in decision-making.
So, the outsourcing team may be interested to take more ownership over the project than you have expected at first. And it is good, as they can suggest how to optimize processes or offer interesting solutions that will only become beneficial for the results of your project. In the case when the extended team has already worked with the same types of software or the project from the same industry as yours, you may leverage their expertise and relieve yourself from the certain scope of work and pressure.
To Sum It Up
The most important thing to remember while cooperating with the extended team is that it takes efforts from both sides to ensure positive outcomes. If you aren’t paying attention to your cooperation and working on creating seamless communication, you will most likely be unsatisfied from such an experience.
However, your partner should be also ready to communicate and devote time to synchronize and plan. Hence, talk with their approaches to collaboration from the beginning and choose the ones who will have a real match with your processes and expectations.