A common misconception is that outsourcing, or in other words ‘team distribution’, is a failed business model for IT services and software development. In contrast, many business cases indicate that partnering with these companies is one of the best ways to flourish. Through careful evaluation of both sides, we have found that correctly engaging a partner to handle your project, or parts of it will ensure that your project is a success and that you save the most money in the process.
In this article, we are going to discuss four action items to have in place while securing your IT services partner.
As is the case with anything in life, there is a right and wrong way to onboard IT service teams. If done correctly, teams will have excellent communication, an established culture, and will have set in place they work together for the project. The structure of the onboarding process is incredibly important because it will define whether or not you will be successful.
There are some reminders that we would like to reiterate though so that expectations are appropriately managed before entering into an agreement with your IT services partner.
By managing expectations with all teams, including project management and core leadership, everyone will have the proper perspectives when walking into a project that requires distribution. Steer clear from vocalizing expectations of obtaining immediate results. If you do, the team being on-boarded will not have the proper vision in mind. They will deliver a product for sure, but not the one that you asked for, and the project will be a failure, and the wrong resources will be blamed for the shortcoming.
When outsourcing an engineering team, be sure to treat the process the same as if you were hiring a new team member internally. Give them the time that you would with a new hire to become acquainted with the project, teams, and operations. Get them assimilated into your company's culture, introduce your team members to them, and let the teams share intimate insight into the pains that the project is going to solve and welcome input into the workflows, processes, and maybe some of the features or even the way the solution may work.
Both teams, in alignment with the customer's goals, are paramount for project success. The team being on-boarded can use this alignment phase to understand the customer's organizational makeup, the implementation roadmap for their project, and gain a deep understanding of their business goals.
Many organizations pass the alignment phase off as fluff and time filler. In contrast, it cements the team into a true partnership, an enablement process for the outsourced team to carry out the project in a way that the customer wants it to be handled. In the end, all of the customer's checkboxes get marked off as the IT company gets the job done.
In an expansion of the other processes, the assimilation phase allows both teams to get to know each other. Assimilation goes beyond just becoming familiar with each other. It is essential that the teams spend substantial time with each other brainstorming, working closely together to align with the customer's pain points and the solution. Additionally, if assimilation is done correctly, it creates the opportunity to provide a more innovative solution than planned initially.
Now that all of the time has been put into structuring, aligning, and assimilating our teams, it is now time for them to produce. It is vital that in the production phase, we aren’t tempted to leave the outsourced team on their own. Initial production results should be analyzed. Make adjustments at this stage to ensure that the customer's vision is still being pursued. Make sure that the customer approves these initial results before ‘green lighting’ additional work.
Bringing in a firm to perform your IT services work including software development isn’t as easy as finding the partner with the best proposal and then telling them “GO.” It is silly to think that your vision will come to life with that mindset. Instead, if this team of engineers is treated as a new hire, the likelihood of success increases exponentially.