When selecting a company, or a freelancer to outsource your software development project with, there are some elements you should take into account.
Sometimes, the initial conversations between you and your outsourcing partner can be a strong indicator if you will work well together. But it’s not always that simple, right?
Here are 11 tips we have put together, to help you with selecting your outsourcing partner:
- The size of your project
Think about your project – does it contain diverse tasks?
If it does, you should probably think of outsourcing it to a company, rather than to a freelancer. A freelancer may be an outstanding back-end developer, but he is probably not the best tester, for example. On the other hand a company has a wider range of skilled experts, which can all contribute to your project.
If your project is rather small, a freelancer might be the way to go, but make sure you give clear tasks and make sure he/she has worked on similar projects before.
- Skills & Expertise
Always check what type of projects the company or the freelancer you plan to work with has worked on before. You can easily think about or even ask them the following questions:
- When was the last time they worked on a projects similar to yours?
- Could that team that worked on similar projects be assigned to your project?
- Are there any references, customer testimonials or case studies that you could look over?
- Do they continuously invest in their technology and services?
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the company or person that is going to work on your project, their methods of work and communication. It is important for you to know some basics like:
- How long have they been in business?
- How do they see your project?
- How many people will work on your project? (Even when it comes to freelancers, it is not uncommon for them to outsource some parts of the projects as well).
- Methods of communication.
- Terms and contracts.
- References & Proof of Quality
Always look out for references. Were their clients happy with the result of their work? Do some of the clients continued to work with them?
Feel free to do a small background check, before choosing your outsourcing partner.
Make sure you discuss ahead, and know how the work on your project is going to get done. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your project in need a project manager or will you be able to handle all the aspects of managing the project yourself?
- Have you agreed with your outsourcing partner on the steps of the project?
- Is your potential partner easy to reach?
- How do they feel about deadlines? Ask for an overall estimation on your project.
- Are they proficient in your native language and/or English?
These might sound like simple questions, but you will find some of them vital, once the project has started.
- Costs & Additional Costs
Costs must be mentioned. Business is about money, after all. Make sure you know in advance how much money the development of your product is going to cost you, and have a safety net for additional costs.
Specifications might change and improvement ideas can appear during the development stage of a product, and you should be ready to take a decision.
Discuss in advance with the company or the freelancer to warn you ahead, about any additional costs they foresee.
Always pay attention and document the terms of the project. Stay informed regarding timelines, resources and costs. Ask questions if something is not clear – if the answers do not satisfy you – maybe you should reconsider working with that outsourcing partner.
- Security & Risks
Think about what kind of risks you are taking by outsourcing the project to a freelancer or to a company, and ask these questions:
- Do they have any type of data loss prevention or back up implemented?
- Which are the levels of security that they offer you?
- Do you have access to any type of reviews or testimonials from other customers?
Communication is essential, for any project. Make sure you meet or have a meeting with the project manager that will be in charge of your project, if you are going for managed outsourcing.
Learn more about how project updates will be delivered to you and how you can easily monitor the working progress and which is the best way to intervene, if necessary.
Establish the main platform and other platforms you are going to use for communication and reporting.
Again, make sure that the people you are going to work with are proficient in the language that you are speaking, or in English.
Think about the scale of your project and make sure you give clear deadlines. If the project is not a personal one, but a company project, you might have to consider working with a company as your outsourcing partner.
This means that if an employee is on holiday or gets sick, someone else will be able to replace him/her. For projects with fixed deadlines, hiring a freelancer can bring certain risks when it comes to deadline management.
Make sure you mention support, when discussing business with your potential outsourcing partner. Most of the outsourcing companies will offer you a warranty period and you can also arrange for post-launch support.
If you are planning to work with a freelancer, don’t forget to discuss this subject as well.
Tell us how you feel about outsourcing.
Have you had any experience with outsourcing so far?