What tasks are good for IT outsourcing and what are not

Some projects are more suitable for in-house production. Consider this option, if:

  • you need to work constantly on a simple task like the interface testing or similar pages creating. Junior developers for a full day will cost much less for you than an outsourcing company, and manage the job well enough.
  • you work on an R&D project, and this is not easy (or impossible) to define the timing. Outsourcing may be too expensive in such case.
  • the project has high security requirements, and any outsourced employee creates a security threat, potentially.

The task is good for outsourcing if it is clear-cut and has a defined deadline. Go with this option, if:

  • You need a website or application. It is easy to estimate expenses and final result, which is necessary for IT outsourcing.
  • Your company lacks competence in any tech. If you need to use C instead of Python once or twice, it’s more convenient to hire an extra person on outsource for that.
  • Everything is on fire (not literally, of course). In this case, you just don’t have time for getting a team.

How to choose your perfect worker

Outsourcing begins with a team picking. How to choose the right one?

First, even if you think you’ve already met “the One”, request offers from a couple more teams. You will get more market data and make an informed decision.

Second, pay attention to offer itself. You should be careful if:

  • Outsourced team makes an offer immediately, with no questions asked. It is not common that everything is clear; probably your potential candidate just doesn’t understand the issue quite well for ask the right questions.
  • The price is weirdly high and there are many outlay items that are not quite relevant. And it’s not just about money: less experienced teams usually ask more from the beginning, just in case.

You can be sure your candidate is good if:

  • He asks a lot of questions in order not just to write code according to the brief, but to create a useful product.
  • The hour rate is higher, but there are less hours for the task in total than in other offers; it shows an employee knowing well what to do.

Third, check out the portfolio. Similar cases will show the expert level. And if the software development team launched an app with poor navigation and interface a few months ago, there are no reasons to believe it could do better today.

Fourth, meet with your potential team. Specify their methods, figure out their opinion on the product. Too common answers are a bad sign. You need not the cheapest option, but the team who can do the best for your project. It is better to spend time searching than redoing what was already done.

❌ The way to fail: choosing by price.

✅ The way to succeed: choosing by experience and skills.

How to put the task right

Development specification usually consists of three parts: concept, design, and functional description. There are one main rule for every part: the more details the better result.

you need a website or application. It is easy to estimate expenses and final result, which is necessary for IT outsourcing.

  • Discuss with a team, whether you missed anything important, if there are any other options you didn’t mention, and is it can be done at all. Do not forget that developers can’t read your mind: if you missed something in specification, it will be missed in a final product.
  • Give all the information. The team should understand not only what they work on, but also what they work for. If your employees have the whole picture, they can optimise business process, and probably even a product itself. So, if you want to launch a basic online store and then in a few months add a recommendation system and a personal accounts, it is better for your team to know the plan from the beginning.

❌ The way to fail: general description of your idea.

✅ The way to succeed: detailed description and answers to all the team questions.

How to interact with a team

Sometimes an outsourcing vendor promises you two backenders and two frontenders for your project, but after all it looks like all the job was done by one employee, and not even a full-time one. This can be easily explained by the business model of outsourcing companies — if there are too many projects in process, developers are torn in between.

Meet developers who will work on your task and do your best to keep in contact with them. The more you meet, discuss and plan, the better result you will get.

❌ The way to fail: giving the specification and waiting silently till the product will be ready.

✅ The way to succeed: staying in touch; checking out the work in progress; answering questions.

How to work on complex products

Project includes design, front and back, testing, and analytics. But outsourcers usually have a narrow tech specialty, so one person won’t be able to manage all the tasks properly. So, he will give it to a more experienced developer, or, in a worst scenario, do it poorly with his own skills.

The solution is to work with meta teams. In this case, you select well-experienced experts for every specific part of the task.

It is important that all meta team members were able to communicate, make decisions together, be on the same page. The tighter their contact, the greater the result will be. You can even use an extra expert to organise the team communication — a product manager who understands the task well and can answer any questions.

How to use IT outsourcing after all

  1. Do not outsource everything you have on your hands. There are type of tasks that are not suitable for giving away.
  2. Choose not by the price, but by skills, experience and enthusiasm.
  3. Do not expect somebody to read your mind. Explain your idea as detailed as you can.
  4. Do not leave the team alone with the task — be ready to answer any questions.
  5. If you are looking for a team to develop something huge, go with a meta team.