The Simple Guide to Working with Outsourcing Companies

Hiring an outsource team of developers is often as popular as creating your own in-house team, especially for little companies on a low budget and with a one-time product to deliver. Сustomers often look for outsourcing developers as it’s easy, fast and often costs less. However, although some clients are fully satisfied with such cooperation, others continue to describe their negative experience gained from working with these companies.

In our simple IT outsourcing guide, we’re going to explain how to make your communication with the team of developers efficient and deliver a well-designed product with minimal expenses.

Getting Acquainted with the Team

After finding the company you can entrust your project development to, it’s high time to describe your ideas and explain what outcome is expected.

Usually, you need to mention such details as:

  • General idea
  • Features to implement
  • List of supported devices
  • Target audience
  • Business model
  • Desired monetization approach
  • Cooperation terms

After all these details are delivered – whether in paper or via a phone/Skype call – business development manager estimates the time required to deliver the product and its cost. However, a full estimation can be provided only when the planning is over.

Planning the product development

Planning is the most important stage of product development. During this process, all steps and expenses are discussed, so it may take about a month to come up with a good development plan for a complex project.

At this stage, qualified specialists work together to find the best solutions specifically for the product you’re creating. Usually, the team includes a project manager, developers, QA engineers, analyst, and designer.

At first, a list of requirements including all the features to be added and their expected performance is created. After that, the company works on user stories (the description of everything a user can do in the application, on the website or with the program) if you’re hiring an outsourcing software development team.

Then wireframes are created to see how the product will look like on the final stage of the development process and also for testing purposes. After wireframes are complete, product manager and QA engineer review the prototype of the product and validate the required documentation.

Pricing models of outsourcing companies

While the company is checking and estimating your product, let’s take a quick look at the pricing models.

Currently, the most popular pricing models include Fixed-Price approach, Time and Material model, and Dedicated Team option. Fixed Price model is great for short-time projects with defined requirements and timelines. When this approach is used, the company assigns a team to complete your task and product management to conduct the process. The total price of the development is based on the estimation of resources and working hours. As the company takes full responsibility, it signs a contract with the customer confirming all the terms.

Time and Material model is used when you already have a team of developers but wish to expand the staff for a specific project. This way, qualified specialists from an outsource company are hired to complete the task. Customer pays for the hours outsourcing developers spend working on the project, covers software and hardware expenses, etc.

The last one is Dedicated Team model. When using this approach, you can hire an entire team to join your company and work on your project as well as maintain and update it when required. Dedicated Team option is great when you need development services, however, are not interested in creating a team of IT specialists within the company on your own. Also, when working with the developers, you can manage the entire process by yourself. So think of choosing this pricing model if you’re ready to hold the reins.

Details of the development process

After all the terms and plans are done with, it’s time to get directly to the product development. Agile approach is considered to be one of the most popular and effective ones, so we’re going to review its main stages in our outsourcing guidelines description.

When applying Agile approach, you can minimize all possible risks by dividing the job in sprints. Each sprint is dedicated to a small part of general functionality and is previously discussed with the client prior to its development and implementation. The team begins working on the sprint after its scope is approved.

Once the sprint is finished, QA engineers start testing to see if there are any bugs or performance issues. According to this approach, development, testing and issue fixing is done at the same time which greatly helps with saving time and resources.

When the development of a specific feature or part of the project is finished and properly tested, a checklist is sent to the customer for further confirmation. In case the client is not satisfied with, for example, results of Android app development services, the team proceeds with application improvement.

As for the payment terms, once work is done outsourcing company sends an invoice to the customer and gets back to the development of another spring only when the payment is complete. As pieces of the puzzle come together, developers test the product few more times and, finally, release it.

What to do for the best result?

Discussing your future product means checking every single feature of it with the team responsible for the development. Thus, it’s better to make sure that the communication process goes in a fast, pleasant and efficient manner.

Here are a few tips on how to make the discussion of your future project productive:

Explain. Your project is entirely your idea, so make sure the team gets the full picture.
Review the pricing. Finding a pricing model which suits you best is vital, and it can minimize expenses right from the start.
Describe expectations. Whatever team you choose, they need to know what outcome is expected to understand how to deliver the product.
Share ideas. It doesn’t matter if you have a full plan of the project or just its rough draft – your developers will need every single piece of information you can provide.
Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to discuss the product in details – ask developers, QA and product managers for help if something is unclear.

Thus, when choosing the right team with the help of our simple guide to outsourcing, pay attention to the general workflow of the company you’re working with and be sure to clarify each important detail from the very beginning. Finally, prior to diving into the process, look for a pricing model that will serve you best, and thoroughly discuss the project with the team. This way, the delivery of your product will be fast and cost-efficient, and you will surely join the satisfied customer side.

About Author

Nataliia Kharchenko is a Technical Writer at Cleveroad. It is web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. We are focused on helping startups, small, and medium businesses create competitive and winning software. I enjoy bringing a digital world closer to people and writing about technology, mobile apps, innovations, and progressive management models.

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