Outsourcing is not a new topic for us! On a different publication we had, we already discussed why we believe that development is the best part of the product to outsource when you are doing your MVP.
Today, we bring the topic to the table again to share a bit of our knowledge in order to make outsourcing a good experience for all the parts.
We all heard of stories from founders and investors who had bad experiences with outsourcing, be it because of poor code quality, lack of communication, bad specification and delays as the main reasons for that.
I won't say we are perfect. However, we do try, and believe that you can take advantage of outsourcing if you know how to do it!
Taking advantage of outsourcing
1 - Outsourcing is much more than hiring someone to do a job for you - it's also about having someone that can help you understand your product's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and complement them. Outsourcing is about having someone that helps you think. So make sure to hire someone that does more than writing code - hire commandos that make your team stronger.
2 - Your relationship with the service provider is critical - the team needs to be aligned with you and your goals. In part, this means that you should, from the beginning, define expectations, spend time formulating what your product is trying to solve, and why you hired them in the first place.
3 - Don't let communication ruin your product. Ask the team you're hiring what tools and processes they use to work and communicate with their clients. Make sure you have great communication tools and practices from the beginning, that guarantee constant feedback loops during the whole process.
4 - Use outsourcing to gain access to new and broader expertise. Instead of having just the knowledge of one person, you benefit from the collective experience of a team of specialists that have a wide range of knowledge in different fields, technologies and practices, and which is going to keep you up-to-date with newest advancements. Take advantage of that.
4 - Last but not the least, take advantage of outsourcing to focus on other parts of your business, as your clients. Take the time to hear and understand them, while having a great team of developers and designers taking care of what it's best to be outsourced. Use this to improve your product.
Maybe you already understand our point of view but you are now wondering how do you find the right company to outsource your development?
How to find a good outsourcing partner
You can start with your network! That simple? Oh yeah, we know how much we forget this simple but effective tactic.
You may already have a friend, a colleague or a partner that needed to outsource a website, an app or even a software. By getting references, you will start with a list of agencies that your network trusts.
Another really simple tactic is to find out who developed your favorite app or website.
In some cases, you can see who developed a website or an app in the first page but, in case you don't find it quickly, you can always send an email asking.
Google can also be a good place to find good agencies, However, don't forget that first results of any research are not always the best ones. What I want to say is that you are looking for a great development agency and not an agency with a great SEO. You should look for evidence of their work and skill, like thorough case studies, clients testimonials or open source contributions.
Find a good outsourcing partner will not be easy but this is an option that you should definitely consider!