In case you don’t know where to start, read on! Here, you will find a detailed list of tips on how to transfer a project to an IT outsourcing company. Once you read it, outsourcing IT projects should become a lot easier.
Define the general scope of the project
First, write down what the project you are working on is about. It doesn’t have to be an essay. Instead, opt for a brief description of what platform it will be used on, who will be using it, and how many users it should be able to handle.
Next, define clear project expectations and requirements, such as the timeline and the amount of money you are willing to spend. In addition, you should come up with a communication plan. In short, it’s a document outlining who communicates what information to whom, as well as when it’s supposed to happen. That way, you will be able to avoid miscommunication and stay in the loop.
Finally, determine what outsourcing company you are looking for. Are you looking for a team with experience in a specific industry? Should it be an outsourcing giant or a smaller software house? Does it have to specialize in a certain programming language? Answering such questions will make it much easier for you to find a suitable company to work with.
Conduct in-depth research
Other than that, you should look for websites with ratings and reviews of various IT companies. For instance, you could check out Clutch or G2. Checking out industry-relevant publications and asking business connections for advice is also a viable option.
Whenever you find a company that seems promising, write down its name. You could do it in a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper. Once you have written down a few names, thoroughly analyze each one.
Start by examining their portfolio, reading their customer reviews, and browsing through their website. Additionally, you should consider setting up discovery calls. It will help you get a feel for what each outsourcing company has to offer and how much it’s going to cost you.
Finally, you need to decide which outsourcing company suits you best. If possible, discuss it with your business partners or senior management. Their input will be invaluable in helping you make the right choice.
Gather the necessary documentation
It might not be the most exciting topic to read about, but it’s definitely worth the hassle. It will prevent you from being taken advantage of. Key documents you have to prepare include a non-disclosure agreement, a statement of work, and a data processing agreement.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
A non-disclosure agreement is a document signed by two or more parties planning on exchanging classified information. Signing such an agreement with an outsourcing company is incredibly important. It protects you from having important details disclosed to external parties, including potential and existing competitors.
Statement of Work (SOW)
A statement of work is an outline of all the details associated with the project that the outsourcing partner will be working on. It touches upon quite a few important things, from project stages and features of the software to browsers and devices used to test it.
Data Processing Agreement (DPA)
If the project involves processing sensitive data, you will definitely need to sign a data processing agreement. In it, both parties agree to how the data in question will be stored, processed, and protected. It is crucial for staying compliant with data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.
Sign a contract
When drafting any kind of contract, you have to ensure that both parties’ expectations and deliverables are clearly outlined. Ideally, you should do it together with a lawyer. Not just any kind of lawyer, though. If possible, it should be someone who is experienced in drafting outsourcing contracts. With such assistance, you can be confident that the contract you are signing is fair to both you and the outsourcing company.
An agreement in writing is necessary for a fruitful partnership. It will keep both parties accountable and help ensure that responsibilities are fulfilled.
Provide clear instructions
Before handing over the project, clear instructions should be provided to ensure everything is delivered as desired. When providing such instructions, be clear and concise. You don’t want the outsourcing team to be unsure as to what you want.
Providing clear instructions ensures the outsourced team will know exactly what you expect and how you want it to happen. It will significantly reduce stress and enhance productivity, as well as make it easier for the outsourced developers to produce something you will be genuinely satisfied with.
Prepare a knowledge transfer plan
If you have already made progress on the project with an in-house team and don’t want to start from scratch, you should prepare a knowledge transfer plan. In other words, determine how the developers who worked on the project will pass on the most important information about it to the outsourced team.
While the developers could just talk things through, it would be best to write everything down in a single document. It should include things such as information concerning the technological stack used, detailed descriptions of key algorithms, and links to design files.
Set up multiple Q&A sessions
It’s worth noting that such a meeting should take place after the IT outsourcing company has already had a chance to read through the project documentation. Otherwise, the meeting will lack substance and won’t be as productive as it should be.
Aside from that, you should record everything using a tool like Zoom or Skype and make sure that the entire team has access to the recording. The information you share or the conclusions you come to might come in handy in the future.
Identify dependencies and give required accesses and data
The key things you should provide access to are code repositories and internal project management tools. If you are starting a project from scratch, have someone set up environments for software development, quality testing, and production.
In case the solution the outsourced team will be working on is already used by real users, you should also prepare a staging environment. It will allow the external team to test and deploy code without interfering with the existing system.
Monitor the project
To make monitoring the project as effective as possible, keep two things in mind. First, put in the time and effort, and reply to any messages the outsourced team sends you in a timely manner. If you agreed to have daily meetings, attend each one and pay attention to what is being said.
Second, provide the project manager with actionable feedback. While it might be time-consuming, providing the outsourced team with constructive criticism is beneficial to you. It makes you more likely to end up genuinely satisfied with the results of the project.
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To begin with, research the companies you are interested in working with. Choosing the right outsourcing partner is key to avoiding things like unexpected delays, miscommunication, and dissatisfaction with the final product.
Next, you should take care of the necessary documentation, provide clear instructions, and give the outsourced team required accesses and data. Other than that, you should keep on monitoring the project and stay on the lookout for potential problems. By doing the things listed here, getting satisfying business results with IT outsourcing should be a breeze!