Check-sheet of IT-outsourcing: we work without risks
From the translator: original of the article written by Alexander Shaporod for the blog of his company Django Stars. They develop mobile applications, and share their experience with readers.
Outsourcing in IT has a number of advantages: for example, it allows you to save money and, if necessary, get expert help in certain areas. Nevertheless, there are problems, risks that can be avoided very difficult, if at all possible. But if you know about them, you can significantly reduce their impact. How? About this and talk.
"Management of digital projects" .
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Threat 1. A partner does not have enough strength or expertise to finish your project
If an outsourced company or specialist is involved in the work on the project, and the development is almost entirely outsourced, the question arises: "Can these people be able to complete the project?" Most specialists everywhere say about their capabilities, knowledge and experience, but on In fact, this often causes problems.
How can you be sure that you attracted a really strong team or specialist, rather than the redboys, to work?
Potential partner needs to be explored. Here's what you need to consider first:
Maturity of the company or specialist: how long they work in their field, what projects they implemented, how many in the company of employees.
The number of large projects and significant customers in relation to their total number.
The site of the company. Often companies indicate the main facts about themselves on the site, and it is not difficult to verify them.
Social activity in the media. Leaders in their field often share experience and knowledge in articles for various media.
The level of specialists in the company, as well as the "balance of power": does the company have enough people and opportunities to fulfill your order (for example, to create a mobile game)?
Reviews about the company in the network.
If there is an opportunity, it is necessary to communicate with the current or former clients of this company.
If possible, talk to the responsible specialists in person: so you will understand if you can establish communication, which is extremely important when outsourcing projects.
Ask to write a test piece of code to implement your project.
Threat 2. Loss of control
There is no doubt that in some cases companies lose control over their projects when they leave for outsourcing. Lack of communication and visible results are the first signs of the problem.
Even before the start, discuss how you will interact, as well as the methods that will be used to implement the project.
Find out what methods of work were used by the partner before. What are their pros and cons, what have they achieved?
Make sure that your partner can offer the right (for you) solutions in different situations.
If you prefer other methods of solving work tasks, but you, for example, have less experience - let the partner work: intervening in this case means disrupting the normal course of the project.
Demand complete transparency of the process, including following the plan items and adherence to deadlines. As a client, you must have access to the materials of the turnover.
Threat 3. Vendor lock-in
It's about the fact that your partner uses some proprietary tools to implement the project, which will not be replaced in the future. Analogy: in the village there is a single Internet provider that works very poorly, but it will not change, because there is no alternative (this situation is well shown in South Park).
Check the possibility of maintaining the project in working order after it is completed by the forces or by the forces of other partners. Most "white" companies will not build any proprietary solutions based on Python, Ruby, .Net or Java - they work with popular systems, frameworks, applications. Conduct market research: is there an alternative to the current partner?
Make sure that the code written by the partner's specialists will be ready for processing by other specialists.
Preserve the ownership of all the results of the work of the partner, make sure that any components of the project are available to you at any time.
Document all processes, ask for the same partner.
Threat 4. Covert costs
Sometimes it happens that the cost of work, prescribed in the contract, ultimately exceeds the originally planned amount. This happens if you have not provided all the important points.
Pay attention to how the company evaluates the various stages of project implementation and, most importantly, the cost of individual works, as well as the project as a whole.
What types of contracts does an outsourcing company take: fixed cost, fixed cost with a subscription for further project support or something else?
Check the moments such as the presence of VAT and other "hidden" payments. It is better to do this with a professional accountant /economist.
Identify your own requirements for the project, make them as clear as possible for the partner. This will allow you to calculate the budget without threatening to receive additional expenditure items after it is completed.
Threat 5. Information Security
It is critical to maintain the rights to the results of the company's work on outsourcing. This is your intellectual property, and it must remain so.
Do you sign with the NDA partners?
Does the partner company have experience with important customer data?
The presence of successfully completed partner projects implemented for large companies or the public sector is a big plus.
Threat 6. Where is the partner's office located?
Outsourcing is good when you are with a partner in a single time zone. Otherwise, dealing with another company can be a challenge.
The time zone and mode of the partner must match yours.
Distance and availability: can you visit the partner's office if necessary and without any problems?
Which bank does your partner use to work, where is it registered?
What payment methods does the partner use?
Where is the company you are working with registered?
Is the political and economic situation in the country of registration of the partner stable?
In fact, there are many important moments when working with a company or individual specialists on outsourcing. The key we listed above, so if you stick to the plan and work, given everything said, there should not be any problems.
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