Choosing the Right Tech Partner: a Step-by-Step Guide
Posted Sep 22, 2022 17 min read
Hiring a full-fledged in-house team for your product development might be challenging. A company’s size doesn’t matter. Small startups and global enterprises face such issues as the demand for software engineers is skyrocketing. Many businesses now seek affordable and seamless solutions to cover their staffing needs in a shorter time, involve leading experts, and not sacrifice quality.
How? The answer is simple: outsourcing. It offers a flexible, relatively cheap, and fast-growing environment rich in talents and opportunities. Deloitte reports that 70% of the respondents choose outsourcing because of its cost-efficiency, while 40% claim flexibility as the key advantage.
However, the wide choice of vendors may confuse you and complicate the task.
This step-by-step guide will explain how to select the right outsourcing partner for your business needs. Our seven tips will help you make a wise decision.
Estimate Your Project’s Scope
The project’s size is the first to consider when selecting an outsourcing partner. The choice depends on the number and complexity of the tasks you want to outsource.
If you have an in-house team and need to expand expertise or outsource only certain tasks, hiring an independent contractor or turning to outstaffing may suit you best. Do you have a large project and need full-cycle development? Then, it’s worth considering more complex outsourcing options. Namely, you can build an R&D center or find a dedicated software engineering team.
When making your choice, stick to your business goals and the project’s complexity.
Later on, the chosen vendor company may ask you to write a product requirements document or a brief to specify your objectives and needs more accurately.
Verify Technical Expertise
The hired team’s expertise is crucial. It ensures your tech partner’s skills are relevant to your needs. The hired professionals should come up with the most applicable solutions to meet your requirements.
However, finding, hiring, and training the required IT specialists for your team is not a piece of cake. The market has already understood that it’s not easy to recruit seasoned software engineers with rich experience.
Outsourcing provides access to a much wider talent pool, giving you a sufficient choice. But how to find the right development company among hundreds of those claiming to be the best?
Here are a few steps that will help you verify the candidate’s technical expertise.
- Ask for a discovery call and prepare questions concerning the developers’ experience.
- Request the developers’ CVs.
- Find and examine the case studies on the vendor’s website.
The following tips will help you get more insights regarding your potential tech partner’s expertise.
Pay Attention to Portfolio
Examining the portfolio is necessary when choosing an outsourcing partner. Prioritize companies having experience proven with successful projects’ examples. Pay extra attention to the options containing case studies related to your industry.
When studying the company’s portfolio, you will see if a particular team can find time- and cost-saving solutions that lead projects to success. It will also show if the developers follow the latest trends and operate the appropriate technologies.
Study Customer Reviews
The easiest way to check the outsourcing partner’s reputation is by looking at their customer reviews. Thus, you will validate the vendor’s reliability and see if they’ve met their clients’ expectations.
Don’t limit yourself to reviewing feedback on the company’s website. Numerous platforms provide a comprehensive overview of major development agencies’ services:
- Clutch is a well-known B2B platform with leading IT, marketing, and business companies’ profiles, clients’ reviews, and ratings.
- GoodFirms is another platform for sharing information about software development companies. It enables software buyers and service seekers to find the best candidates to hire.
- Google My Business. Google helps businesses create their profiles, connect with customers, and describe their services with this tool.
- Extract. This platform verifies and ranks software development companies checking their reliability with numerous metrics, including technical expertise, clients’ feedback, reputation, etc.
Communicate with the Candidate Team
Transparent and efficient communication is vital for any project’s success, though it’s often underrated. A well-established mutual understanding between the client and the hired team directly impacts the workflow. So you pay attention to it when choosing your outsourcing tech partner.
Miscommunication may become a critical challenge. If the hired professionals don’t offer regular contact to verify deliverables and coordinate work moments, it may result in constant delays and budget issues.
To verify the candidate’s communication skills, consider the following factors:
- Communication tools. Ask the candidate which tools they use for conducting project management, updating results, and requesting approvals.
- Workflow organization. You should agree on the calls frequency and the presence of individual team members. Pay attention to the time zone differences.
- English speaking skills. Fluent English is crucial for effective collaboration and mutual understanding. Ensure to discuss this matter if hiring an offshore development company.
Ensure Project Management Efficiency
It’s crucial to operate a robust PM system to improve collaboration, increase team members’ productivity, and communicate updates to all stakeholders. So when you choose an outsourcing software development company, pay attention to the project management tools they use.
Numerous PM tools are used by developers and design teams, from Jira and Trello to Monday and Clickup.
Many PM systems include Kanban boards, Gantt charts, custom dashboards, and other features that help enhance workflow and collaboration efficiency. So it’s worth asking the candidate which PM platforms they prefer and why.
Don’t Forget About Security
Before entrusting your project to an outsourcing partner, ensure the chosen company is reliable and ready to comply with all necessary security regulations. Most IT products are subject to certain data privacy restrictions. A competent vendor will help you choose the right engagement model and offer to sign a contract based on the discussed terms. NDA is another must-have for ensuring confidentiality.
On top of that, a reliable partner should have a transparent pricing system and guarantee an open client-vendor relationship.
Outline the Deadlines and Budget
At the initial development stages, it’s often hard to estimate the project’s exact timeline and cost. However, it’s worth setting approximate limits and agreeing on them before making the final decision.
Stick to your product requirements and objectives, relying on corresponding documentation. Most clients need the vendor’s help to outline reasonable objectives, so it’s worth asking the team to send you a template and provide relevant recommendations.
The price and duration of software development depend on numerous factors. Here are the key ones:
- The project’s scope and complexity.
- The number of the required features.
- Tech stack.
- Backend infrastructure.
- UI\UX design.
- The desired platform type.
- The chosen team’s location.
Remember that the selected engagement model will directly impact the development time and costs. For example, dedicated team or time & materials models are suitable for complex projects requiring flexibility and an agile approach. Meanwhile, the fixed price model is good for a startup with a predefined release date and a strictly limited budget.
Consider the Team’s Location
The chosen team’s location will directly impact the project’s cost, working process, and communication flow. In this regard, there are three possible approaches:
- Onshore. The vendor is located in the USA.
- Nearshore. The vendor is located in a nearby country like Canada or Mexico.
- Offshore. The vendor is located in a distant country with a significant time zone difference like Ukraine, India, Australia, etc.
Note that offshore solutions are often the most cost-efficient. For instance, an average software engineer’s hourly rate in North America is $40 – $270, compared to $25 – $85 in Eastern Europe and $15 – $50 in Southeast Asia.
It’s a common mistake to assume that lower prices indicate poor service. Normally, this considerable difference is due to the regional economic situation and the market’s specifics. Finding a reliable offshore tech partner may give you a chance to reduce the development cost without compromising the quality.
Find a Trustworthy Tech Partner
Finding an appropriate development team might be challenging. However, the outcome is usually worth the effort. According to the survey, 78% of the businesses are satisfied with their outsourcing relationships with the chosen vendors. So if you follow the lead and choose wisely, your project has all chances to succeed thanks to a fruitful collaboration with your tech partner.
Looking for a reliable team to join your project and provide efficient technical support?
Feel free to contact us and share your ideas!