Whenever the word outsourcing comes up the words ‘risks’ and ‘challenges’ come up as well. Let me show you that those risks aren’t as scary as they may seem, that they are easy to mitigate to produce successful results.
The remote nature of all outsourcing projects may be viewed as a challenge but there are always ways to solve this issue. Business trips should be frequent, at the beginning of the project, especially when trust is built and requirements are gathered. Face-to-face communication is usually needed for gaining trust, and helping the client let go of full control and delegate some of the responsibilities to the team. So once the team has met with the client and gained trust, everyone is happy to work remotely. It is important to make sure that the client knows who the people are and sees them as equal partners in the project. 80% of the work can be performed remotely and there is amazing technology on the market to make communications seamless.
Sometimes when a project is being completed remotely some outsourcers may be tempted to relax until the next client visit or deadline, and the workload is not divided properly. Project managers using the correct monitoring and time management software tools should control the team members and gage the main parameters on a regular basis as well as motivate staff to do their best.
The risks for the developers is getting a little bored which may happen because often not the most challenging projects go to outsourcing. All developers want to be involved in something new and innovative. A lot of old support projects are often relocated to outsourcers, which poses a risk to lose good developers who want to be challenged and can get freelance jobs to do that. One of the solutions is rotate staff, modernize products of the clients supported by the team, and keep the jobs 70% work and 30% fun.
It doesn’t happen often but sometimes the client starts a project and then ‘disappears’ thinking their job is done until it is time to pick up the end result. When emails are ignored for a period of time, it is unfortunately a solid reason to stop the project. If the IT team doesn’t get regular feedback, chances are the end product will not be what the client envisioned. Constant monitoring and feedback are the two prerequisites for success. After all, it’s a two-way street.
Being ‘too nice’ and automatically approving each stage of the development can seriously hurt the project. The outsourcing team needs criticism like they need air; it is the very foundation of their decision-making process. Criticism shows that the client is aware of changes and is present fully in the process. The more detailed the criticism is, the better the results will be.
The best way to overcome outsourcing risks and challenges is to get good project managers. Skipping the management on the side of the client can bring chaos and lack of control. And if the outsourcers aren’t represented by a single contact point, the client will drown in correspondence from designers, developers, programmers and testers. To conclude, any project requires a project manager from the client and one contact point from the outsourcing team who can cooperate professionally without getting the whole company involved.
The points above seem obvious, but practice shows that very often they can be neglected. So I hope you can use this post as a checklist of outsourcing challenges to keep all these risks at bay.