Most of us have been tempted to outsource some or all of our development work to an offshore team in order to save money. But is this the best idea for your business?
The short answer is: It depends. To better understand the pros and cons, I polled a group of entrepreneurs from YEC about what one should know before deciding not to hire an in-house team. I asked them the following:
I’m considering working with an offshore development team. What do I absolutely need to know before going this route?
Their best answers are below.
1. You Will Spend Extra Time Managing
Be prepared for the reality that you may need to spend extra time managing the project and maintaining quality assurance. The money yousave in hourly wages may be offset by a longer than expected development timeline. - Justin Bailie, FR8nex.com
2. There Will Be Communication Problems
If you know going into this that there will be a language barrier, you will be fine. Make sure you detail out everything very clearly, then have your mom take a look at it and see if she understands. You want multiple people (besides yourself) to be able to follow your directions.
Even then, expect a few things to fall between the cracks. Also, make sure that you‘re staying in constant communication with the development team. Get updates on a daily basis so that you know if something isn’t going as planned. This will help with the language and time barriers. - John Rampton, Host
3. You Must Clearly Define All Deliverables
Make sure you very clearly define roles and responsibilities. Pay by deliverables rather than by the hour. Check in with the team regularly, and if you get the feeling it won’t work out, discontinue the relationship right away. - Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind
4. You Will Pay More Than You Expect
In my experience, often you try to outsource to cut costs; however, you end up paying for that in one way or another.
Either you pay additional fees due to unforeseen complications that arise midway through the project, or you pay by investing more than the normal amount of time in project management. - Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
5. You Need to Set Up a Regular Check-In Schedule
Working with an offshore development team can be tricky due to time zone differences and physical distance. Make sure to plan ahead of time by scheduling a regular check-in cadence from day one.
Regularly scheduled check-ins will enable all stakeholders to keep momentum going from the start of the project. - Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
6. You Need a Great Screening Process
You have to pick very carefully there are many outsourced development firms. The key is to understand what matters most to the success of your project and then closely screen the development firm accordingly.
I would speak to their past clients, review their portfolio, assess their remote work processes and examine their developer profiles before selecting a firm. - Randy Rayess, VenturePact
7. Paying a Premium Can Go a Long Way
You get a bit of leverage when you are a contractor’s top source of revenue or income. There are special benefits in how you‘re treated too, which are well worth the extra cost. Let them price at a premium as long as you‘re receiving high-quality work. Penny-pinching will only cause unnecessary tension, which can quickly sour a relationship
Invest in having an offshore team long-term because the work will only get better over time as long as you treat (and pay) them well. - Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
8. Define the Goals, Expectations and Specific Tasks Your Team Will Take Over
Defining these is crucial for keeping everyone on the same page. Your team will then receive the training they need. After you train them, make sure to be in touch with them constantly, so if they have questions you’ll be able to answer them before anything happens. - Alfredo Atanacio,Uassist.ME
Quote: Scott Gerber