Imagine that one day, your co-worker or your boss comes and tells you that the company lacks IT resources, thus the project is behind the deadline. Someone suddenly suggests hiring a Software Development company to help resolve the problem. However, you can’t help wondering: How to proceed? How to work with them? Let’s check out our Ultimate Guide for newbies in the Outsourcing field.
1. The Requirements
First, you must identify: What are your requirements?
Maybe you are only short in resources and need to hire several developers for a few months.
Maybe you have an entire project (or part of the project) that you want to outsource to a third party like a Software Development company. If you divide your project into small parts, do you plan to outsource to only one vendor or multiple vendors at the same time?
Working with multiple partners might cause you trouble in project management, but you can profit from different expertise and knowledge (simply because one vendor might be good in one field but not so good in another field).
2. The Search
After identifying your needs, the next step is to find an outsourcing destination. India maybe? Or China? The Philippines? Perhaps Vietnam! You should probably do some research about the IT sector in the country first:
- Is the country politically and economically stable?
- Are there any barriers or incentives for the Software development/IT Outsourcing sector?
- Is the IT pool talent abundant?
And your list can go on, depending on your requirements.
After the destination was chosen, you can start thinking about which expert to choose, by setting several criteria like:
- What is the company's size? (Big company with abundant resources in various tech field might be better than a small one)
- What is the company’s experience? (Do they have experience working on the same project as you? If yes, ask them to provide their case study so you can double-check)
- Do they have any certifications? (Certification is not everything, but sometimes, it is reassured when you know you are working with a certified partner).
3. The Bidding & Proposal
“Love 100 people, shortlist ten, and then pick only one to marry” is a famous joke in Vietnam. It seems ironic, but is also true, and works pretty well in your partner search journey. You can pick 100 companies based on certain criteria, shortlist only 10 potential candidates to interview and ask them to submit the proposals, and finally, decide the one you are going to marry (work with).
A good proposal must give you an obvious solution to your requirement. It should state:
- The technology used
- System architecture (if any)
- Scope of work
- Project cost
- Project timeline
- Resources plan
The short-listing process is pretty much the same for everyone. Not all marriages are meant to last, so is the partnership. The winner is the one who chooses wisely, therefore just make sure that you are not blind by love or by any spell.
4. The working mode
“Newlyweds should sit down and make a checklist”. You can find this advice in many crappy magazines, and even from your acquaintances (grandpa, grandma, uncle, auntie, or even from some old ladies that you probably forget the name). Knowing your partner's desire, limit, the breaking point is a good start for a healthy relationship. And, it also works with your business partner.
After picking one software development company, you should sit down comfortably and talk about how you are going to make it work. The first thing to be discussed is the working model.
In the IT Outsourcing field, you will hear a lot about 2 basic models: Project-based and Dedicated team.
- Project-based model: The model is simple: you have a project and you outsource the entire work (or part of the work) to your partner. They make a plan and inform you about the cost. You accept and define some acceptance criteria with them. The cost and timeline are fixed (except in case you wake up one day and decide to change your entire requirement just to make their life a bit harder). You have control over the final output and the deadline, but not the resources. At the end of the project, you will have 2-3 weeks to do the UAT (user acceptance test), find bugs, and ask your vendor to fix them. For this model, it is also important to negotiate the warranty period (which is normally from 1 to 6 months depending on project size).
- Dedicated team model: The cost is not fixed, neither is the project duration. But don’t worry, the good news is you can choose the resources working for you. You can start by asking your vendors to send you some candidate's CVs (tech leader, project manager, developer, tester, etc.). After that, you can start interviewing them and then form a team. This dedicated team will work and report directly to you (so you can screw them up as you like).
5. The management
Managing Software development vendors is harder than managing your love partner (except if you have multiple lovers at the same time). You must take appropriate measures for controlling cost, reducing potential risks, ensuring service deliverability, and deriving value from your vendors in the long run.
The tip to success is a clear process for your organization and mutual communication between both sides. The second tip is very crucial as many projects failed due to the lack of communication.
That’s why in NTQ, our core values are “One team” and “Omotenashi”. “One team” means that we want to form one and unique team with our customers, while “Omotenashi” is a Japanese word for hospitality.
If you are still in search of an ideal Software development partner, why not contact us and profit from our best mind and enthusiastic team?
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