IT outsourcing and IT outstaffing can be explained in lay language as a work done by a freelancer or company for another IT company. It is usually used to reduce the costs or find the right man to perform technical tasks.
Outsourcing is termed as work that is exported outside the country. Another term that is much closer to outsourcing is insourcing, i.e. employment of domestic subsidiaries.
Common IT outsourcing examples include backend development, iOS apps development, design, etc. No matter, you hire a company or a freelancer, you always run the risks of being deceived by the cheaters. Not to become a subject of a failed outsourcing case study, learn how not to get screwed.
It’s hard to smell out fraud especially if your contractor is located in another time zone. However, there are some tips and tricks that come in handy to project managers, product owners, CEOs, and business owners who want to start cooperating with external teams and deal with successful outsourcing.
10 tips and tricks to avoid unsuccessful outsourcing
The Internet is full of outsourcing success stories that you may read to get inspired and engaged in IT world. Read these stories to know what tactics and practices managers use to make their work effective and highly efficient. Below are some tips provided by our staff for you to know how to distinguish unfair contractors from successful outsourcing companies.
1. Use social media to the utmost
Imagine, you hire a JS developer Patrick. Patrick’s manager introduced him to you as a top developer with 5+ years of experience. You feel so lucky to get with Patrick as at last there’s a man you can saddle with the responsibility for backend coding. Must go to your heart. Often companies introduce to their customers bogus employees. If taking Patrick, he can exist just on paper or even he has a different name.
How can you check if a specialist really exists and his/her experience meets your expectations? Social media and online platforms that serve as professional communities are the best ways to flush out the details. Below are the most popular websites that are widely used by major companies that outsource:
LinkedIn – a perfect network that unites professionals all over the globe. Here you will be able to look through profiles, read about the core competencies and working experience of people you outsource if they are available in the network.
Facebook and Instagram are much more personal blogs but yet the good way to find out more about your employees.
Quora is the best place to ask questions on different topics. Check if a person has an account on Quora. In case he has, ask some questions related to your project.
2. Video calls
To check if you work constantly with one and the same person, call him/her regularly. It’s better to make video calls (starting with the first interview) as you are able to see who you speak to. Besides, it’s the best way to get across to your team members. Use Skype, Hangouts, Viber, or what else you are comfortable with.
To reach outsourcing success, we recommend adhering to this rule because there are cases when each time you phone you can communicate with different people. To know what are the effects of this cheating practice on your project read more
3. Independent audit
Are you sure that coding is done not by Juniors? You hired a Senior developer, but in fact got a Junior who just took up an appointment in the company. Oftentimes this happens in big outsourcing companies. Of course, it will affect the quality of code for your project. To avoid cheating in this way you can order an independent audit that will cost a couple of hundred dollars. Even a minimal audit can save the money you might spend for rework.
4. Monitor workflow
Don’t feel certain of working hours tracked by your workers? If you think that they are procrastinating all day long, ask project manager to change the workflow. Initially, it may be agreed in a contract: all people involved in your project must install a time tracking app, for example, Time Doctor or Hubstaff. These apps show if your employee sticks to the schedule and how many hours he/she spends on completing the tasks. Some apps can take screenshots of computers and provide lists of websites your worker uses during a day. If you want to learn more on how to use the apps read the article written by our partners “Hubstaff Review: Using Time Tracking for Project Management“.
5. Expert estimate
IT project is deep hack mode. Take no chances. Contracting company may recommend you to use technologies that are familiar and convenient to them. Conducting in-depth research on frameworks and technologies offered to you is a must. If it’s your first IT project and your knowledge is incomplete to estimate time, resources, and technologies, hire an expert to do this for you. Professionals will give you a piece of advice as to what technologies fit best your project. It’s better to spend a couple of hundreds of dollars instead of paying five or six-figure sum of money for something that is a damp squib.
6. Never miss a trick
If you notice that a person who worked for you is absent for a couple of days ask the team members what has happened. Probably he/she just quitted the job or is moved to a different project. You should figure out all the details to be sure that your resources are not intentionally borrowed and moved to other assignments. The best way is to ask your worker in person. If it’s impossible, take a look at his/her LinkedIn page to find out the current job position.
7. Explore QA services
Quality assurance serves as an insurance of effective bug fixing performance. You will be definitely charged for QA services even if they really don’t exist. In case you are offered different types of testing ensure that the design documentation is clear and contains all the details about the testing workflow including the names of the apps that will be used for this process.
8. Reasonable number of personnel hours
Do you have any doubts as to the number of personnel hours? Probably you have touted the fact that you need a couple of frontend developers instead of one. If you are unsure, just commission an audit from another company to make it clear if the number of people corresponds to the needs of your project.
9. Check developers
Do you trust your developers? Are you absolutely certain about their skills and time they spend? There are 3 key things to check: time spent, technologies used, and experience specified in the offer.
10. Online testing and interviews
Building a project requires careful scheduling and customizing business processes when you cooperate with an external company. You must be completely sure about specialists who work for you as well as about their technical skills. To check if a person possesses a certain number of competencies that match the project, interview him/her with technical advice-giver or professional HR manager/recruiter. By the way, there are a lot of online tests to check if your employee is qualified.
To make the list of successful outsourcing examples use 10 tips and tricks we have provided. If you have any questions or doubts about your outstaffing feel free to ask our experts.