The outsourcing decision has been made, so what should you do next? In order to do IT outsourcing right, you need to carefully follow a detailed process that consists of best practices, practices driven from experiences of thousands of companies who had done it before and made mistakes you can simply learn from and easily avoid.
According to many industry experts, here are the perfect steps to do outsourcing right:
1- Determine What You Need
Your business is constantly moving forward and your internal team is growing everyday, so you need to determine a few things first before you start your search, and these things are:
- What you should be outsourcing Vs. what you should not be outsourcing.
- Why are you outsourcing it? And what should happen if the cause ceases to exist.
- What are your exact needs and requirements in details?
- What are your expectations from the upcoming partnership?
- What are the resources you are willing to put aside for the outsourcing partnership to succeed while not hindering your internal processes?
Once you have all of the above answered, you will be ready for step 2!
2- Research & Ask Around
Don’t you just settle on choosing the first IT outsourcing company that comes your way. Sometimes a big chunk of the timeline followed to achieve something is spent in the planning phase, so again, take your time researching and planning. You can build a list of initial candidates by doing the following:
- Asking friends, employees, business partners, investors and acquaintances in your network to refer companies they know.
- Going after your competitors and some companies whose products you admire, and searching for the outsourcing companies they might have hired to develop a specific product that you absolutely loved, if exist, add these names immediately to your list.
- Post a few requests for offers here and there and wait for applicants.
3- Shortlist And Make Some Calls
You should have a good list of candidates by now, so what’s next? It is time for shortlisting the best, and start making some calls.
Eliminate the companies who fall short when it comes to providing what you need, especially those who have some bad customer reviews or bad follow up processes, or are simply too pricey for you.
4- Make Your Decision Based On The Right Criteria
Once you start reaching out to the outsourcing companies you have shortlisted, you need to start negotiating a few terms, to finally settle on those who fit best with the following criteria:
- The budget limits.
- The flexibility your project requires.
- The talent pool and technical expertise your project needs.
- The timezone and language best fit for your schedule and employees.
- The Full package offering, some outsourcing companies offer really good free services when it comes to things like security and customer support and follow up.
- Compatibility of cultures.
- The deal breakers and the back up plans offered by the outsourcing company.
And most importantly, don’t settle for an outsourcing company residing in another continent just to save yourself a few dollars, base your choice on the right criteria now, and save yourself the trouble later.
5- Prepare The Paperwork
Now that you have determined the outsourcing company you are going with, it is time to prepare your legal documents.
Consult with your legal advisor, read every word in the contract, negotiate the terms and make it all clear when it comes to some critical points, such as: deal breakers, accountability, confidentiality, payment terms and taxes.
6- Communication, Process & Personnel
You have just signed the deal, and now it is time to start. This is what should be set straight for a smooth process of project development and delivery:
- Set your communication frequency and methods right, from your side and their side, both the preset fixed meetings and the urgent flexible ones.
- Assign the right personnel form your side, and get to know the personnel assigned to the project from their side, make sure to get to know each other as deep as the project requires.
- Set up your emergency plans and appoint critical persons for critical times.
- Follow up regularly, and make sure the deliverables are all delivered on time with quality.
7- Keep The Partnership Or Send Your Thanks And Wrap Up Right
Once the project is finished and delivered, determine if you want this partnership to continue for an on-going follow up for the current project, or for future new projects.
Or simply finalize things and send your gratitude and abide by the termination points agreed upon, and take your product home safe and sound.