Effective Cooperation With an External Development Team

Everyone has come up with an exciting business idea at least once in their life, right? Usually, it ended only with thinking or chatting with friends. However, if you’re among those who have decided to make such an idea a reality, have an appropriate budget, but lack a suitably qualified team, outsourcing may turn out to be ideal for you. 

Outsourcing is nothing else than establishing a partnership with an external team of specialists. There can be many reasons for discovering such cooperation. One of them is that you don’t need to hire people with a specific specialty, you don’t know how to build teams or have the resources to develop teams. If you’re wondering what you can gain from such a collaboration? Undoubtedly, these are time and money. And by choosing an experienced team – high quality of your product! This article will present how to effectively collaborate with a group of external programmers and IT development teams. 

Be clear in communication with development team 

When establishing cooperation with a new business partner, we do not know his work style. Entrusting the implementation of the product to an external development team is on us to ask in detail about every detail. Of course, professional software house have specific processes that are used to introduce new customers to the specifics of the work, but if there is an aspect that is a priority for us and has not been discussed – let’s take over the reins! 

The main goal of the outsourcing team is to combine your business needs and expectations with technological capabilities. Thus, set clear expectations, lay out any legal issues and visions related to the usability layer. The more specifics are defined at the beginning of the cooperation, the more confident there will be fewer corrections and delays later.  At the same time, be open and listen to the offshore team’s ideas. When giving feedback, try to convey all information you are thrilled with and those you don’t quite like. Honest communication is essential and keeps the partnership comfortable and convenient.

If you’re worried about your ideas being misunderstood due to a language or cultural barrier, make arrangements with your team to paraphrase any key findings and have a written list of results after meetings. You can also try showing examples, taking a screenshot, making a point, or conducting a benchmark on another page – it will be much easier to challenge when you prepare comprehensive feedback.

Be aware of the time zone difference 

Deciding to work with an external development team, you can choose a company from your country, or a nearshoring company, or a company from another continent. When managing a company in the UK or USA, analyzing the rates of developers’ earnings in Europe, it is worth noting Poland – a country ranked third on the Hacker Rank “10 Top Countries with The Best Programmers” list. This means that your time zones don’t entirely coincide, but conversations with the team don’t take place every day either, and usually, these are pre-arranged meetings that suit both parties. The team will, of course, contact you in urgent cases, but usually, the response can wait quietly until you work your standard hours. Setting a specific time to review updates from the project team can be effective. Your project will most likely have a project manager or other contact person assigned to it, regardless of the hour in your city. Notifying the contact person will get the information sooner or later. 

And if you’re worried about a lot of text message exchanges and their effectiveness, keep video conferencing in mind. It may be an obvious way of communication for you, but it’s always a good idea to emphasize the validity of such conversations. Opt for regular calls and urge others to turn on their webcams – seeing someone’s immediate reactions and emotions is always a positive. Calls also save time, as neither party has to make the long journey and spend more time on the project. 

Monitor work progress

Not all your meetings with the outsourcing agency will necessarily involve the whole project team. Some of them are summaries with the project manager only. Try to review any past and future tasks during these conversations. If the solution proposed at the beginning will have to be modified due to other aspects – write it down as precisely as possible so that each participant has a clear picture of the project progress. 

There are many reasons why the plan may be less delayed. It is not always the fault of the programmers. The project team consists of different developers, designers, and testers. Sometimes delays affect the work of others; try to be understanding and understand the flow of work in the outsourcing team. Sometimes the wait is also caused by a lack of access to information that they can only get directly from you. Thus, it is always worth betting on specific rules of communication and cooperation that will improve the whole process. 

Trust the Project Manager

By familiarizing yourself with the project team, you can more or less understand the structure in place at the company. However, the Project Manager is usually the contact person for most issues. By establishing cooperation with a professional outsourcing agency, you can be sure that the separation of duties and responsibilities will occur appropriately. Therefore, do not focus on micromanagement. You are not able to control every detail and take this into account. It’s in your and your offshore partner’s best interests to ensure that the team can self-manage and succeed.

If a team of external developers is just a support for your internal team, don’t treat them as secondary when assigning responsibilities. Don’t just give them what your team couldn’t handle or messed up, but don’t just give them trivial tasks either. Offshoring is a great cost-saver, but when choosing a business partner, be guided by its previous projects and, consequently, by quality!

Treat offshore developers as part of your team 

To make the relationship between your internal team members and the outsourced ones as good as possible, try to treat the offshore programmers as part of your team, only working remotely. Include them in your communications and keep them informed about significant changes. The worst mistake you can make is separating people involved in the project based on “us versus them.” This will cause conflicts in the team and make it challenging to work on the proper project flow. Even though you have different jobs, you are playing with the same goal! 

Make the most of IT outsourcing to help your business grow

When looking for programmers for your project, you don’t have to look far, but you can bet on a team in any part of the world. Outsourcing saves time and money, and if you’re not sure – think how much time and resources it takes to get to know the market and recruit the right specialists. By applying the above tips, you will make your new product development more accessible. Find a reliable and professional technology partner and focus on what matters most – your core business.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.