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Five tips on how to avoid outsourcing risks
by Patrycja Dobrowolska, Inbound Marketing Specialist, Future Processing
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Nowadays more and more companies decide to outsource. This trend can be easily observed and comes as no surprise, since outsourcing can offer a myriad of benefits. If your organisation lacks specific expertise, outsourcing IT skills can be a smart business move.

Therefore, you would hope that suppliers and customers alike have learnt from the mistakes of previous deals. However, reading the trade press, this is not necessarily the impression one gets. On both sides of the outsourcing relationship companies seem to be making the same mistakes again and again.

That is exactly why we decided to offer some advice on how to avoid the most common risks and make outsourcing a success.

#1 KEEP COMMUNICATION LINES OPEN

Successful outsourcing is more than just pure cost-savings, which is often listed as the main benefit. However, on its own it is not enough, as projects can still fail. It seems that the key to successful outsourcing is open communication on both sides, therefore you should establish not only frequency but also a clear method of communication and use it.

For outsourced relationships to really succeed, the clients should clearly express their expectations, which will empower the supplier to deliver the best service. Be specific about what you want. This essential point is so often forgotten, especially by companies that are under pressure to quickly deliver something they don’t have the internal resources for.

#2 DEFINE THE SCOPE OF THE CONTRACT

Appropriate business agreement can be crucial to the success of your software development outsourcing. The contract must reflect what was agreed on during the negotiations - specify the scope of the project and focus on business outcomes that both sides want to achieve.

Make sure that your outsourcer understands your business needs. Provide a detailed plan and discuss it beforehand. However, remember that sometimes your initial requirements change along the way, so be open to suggestions.

#3 MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE

How to choose the right supplier? It is important that you look for someone with knowledge and expertise, who will always try to deliver software developed according to industry’s best practices. Look for outsourcers with vast expertise, who have similar goals and will understand your business.

Last, but not least, pay attention to time difference and location – they say that travel broadens the mind, but in case of software development outsourcing, trust us, the closer the better.

#4 BE AVAILABLE

Despite the common belief that outsourcing will free you of additional workload, this is not the whole truth. No matter how good your vendor company is, no matter how much expertise they have, you still need to remain involved, because nobody knows your business as well as you.

You should be responsive and always have up-to-date information on what is currently happening in your project. Your commitment can have very tangible effects on the outcome. It is certainly easier to achieve if you base your cooperation on partnership rather than just client-vendor relationship.

#5 LET GO

Allow your outsourcing company to implement their own way of working. Trust that they are the ones who want what’s best for your business. Concentrate on what you want to achieve with outsourcing software development, not how you want it to be done.

Try not to get caught up in micromanaging, let them work according to their processes and leave the room for your outsourcing provider to define the “how”.

This, of course, is not the end of the list. One thing you should keep in mind though is that outsourcing, as with any other business venture, comes with risks. In order to avoid them you should keep an open mind, adapt to changing requirements and, last but not least, hire the partner you trust.

Successful outsourcing requires commitment from both sides, unless you want your recipe for success to turn into a recipe for disaster.

If you want more tips on how to make outsourcing a success, download Future Process’s catalogue.

Future Processing is an experienced Polish company that specialises in providing offshore software development services.

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