10 Steps to a Successful Outsourcing Relationship

1. Sufficient training: The employees of your outsourcing partner have to get proper training on how you work, how your product works or how a software should be used. You will also have to share the problems that you want to solve with your vendor. The outsourcing staff can help you only if they know how you work and the problems that you want to solve.

2. Check your vendor’s capability: Before choosing an outsourcing vendor, find out if your vendor has domain knowledge in the service that you want to outsource. Also find out if your outsourcing vendor is financially stable. Another thing to check for is whether there are any contractual safeguards to keep a control over intellectual property.

3. Keep one of your project managers in charge of the project: Your outsourcing vendor will have a project manager at his end to manage your project, but it is advisable to assign one of your project managers who can check if all the appropriate hand offs are actually taking place.

4. Shifting work hours: When you decide to outsource, you might also have to consider the fact of shifting the work hours of a few employees to either earlier or later in the day as if your outsourcing vendor has a problem he will not have anyone to talk to you. Contrarily you can also check with your vendor if he can change the timings of his employees to suit your working hours.

5. Make your requirements clear: Most often outsourcing relationships fail because there are no clearly defined requirements. It also helps to document your requirements and the problems that you want solved at the onset of the project. This is very important; as if your vendor does not understand your requirements he will not be able to meet them.

6. Outsource projects which don’t require frequent changes: If you have business functions where changes have to be made frequently it is better not outsourced as if you have to check out the evolving product with the user who is another part of the globe it might be difficult.

7. Plan ahead for more time and cost:  Make plans for each of your outsourced projects to take longer and in some cases to cost more especially at the onset of the project. Outsourcing experts usually advice companies to increase the estimated project time by 30% for the initial project. Once the project is in progress, you have to carefully monitor the project to see if you need to increase the time estimate.

8. Insist on keeping the same team: Insist on your vendor that you want to keep the same team who started with your project during the entire cycle of your project. A change in team members means you may have to again spend time on training.

9. Check if you have your processes & tools in place: When you outsource a project, your vendor will have to access your defect tracking system, your database, source code, or an application. Ensure that you have all this in place so that there will be no difficulty in your vendor accessing your files.

10. Develop a change process: Define a clear change process to ensure that only the changes that you want are allowed.

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