Keeping outsourcing partnerships strong over time can be difficult. Here, we show you some practices to carry out in order to keep them healthy.
Business relationships can be very rewarding to any company – especially when it comes to outsourcing partnerships where teams are located in different places or cities – in terms of lower costs, innovation, and quality.
Nevertheless, keeping those relationships strong over time can be difficult due to normal wear out and routine. Even though it’s not easy, there are certain practices to carry out to prevent this from happening.
Read more: 8 benefits of working with an offshore software development center
Here, we will tell you 7 tips you should consider to keep your outsourcing partnerships healthy to guarantee great profits for your company:
1. Guarantee open communication, and set clear expectations
Something that is essential for the proper development of the project is that you make sure your partner fully gets your needs. They should understand the scope of the project, the target audience you want to reach, and the goals you are willing to achieve. Here is where communication takes the leading role when it comes to outsourcing.
Read more: Communication in Agile software development… does it matter?
In order to work together towards the same goal, the key is to maintain an open conversation between you and your tech partner, and share your action plans to know if the aims and objectives of the development can be met successfully.
Business requirements, as the ways of thinking and working, advance, and change constantly to be able to adapt to the evolving market. That is why, over time, the expectations with which you started may become different. You need to make certain that your outsourcing partner understands you throughout the entire development process.
Ensure that both parties are clear on which mechanisms and tools will be used to guarantee ongoing and fluid communication.
2. Ensure yourself you are on the same page with your outsourcing partner
For the proper functioning of the partnership, you have to share some core values, work methodologies, and objectives, as well as a similar corporate culture, among other factors.
The first thing you need to know is how the working environment inside the outsourcing company is. Take into account things that the company does to boost a great working atmosphere such as team cohesion, transparent leadership, how the company promotes the potential of its employees, or how they work towards improvement, etc. This information will give you a hint about how the ethical standards in the workplace are.
Sharing the vision of business and having work methodologies alike will help make the relationship with your outsourcing partner last longer.
3. Define the process in detail
In outsourcing partnerships, it is necessary to specifically define how each part of the process will be so that it develops more efficiently. Make sure that from the beginning of the partnership, all the tasks that should be carried out (goals, metrics, estimation, scheduled calls, planning, or retrospectives meetings, etc.) are completely clear, and both parties agree on the terms and conditions to achieve them.
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Defining the process can be challenging if you are working with virtual teams, but you can implement some good practices to manage them effectively. Do not forget they represent your company abroad, and they are an extension of the on-site team’s best practices, which is why you have to express everything clearly, even things that may seem to be implicit. This way, the other company can get involved and add greater value to the teams and processes in which they are working.
4. Follow the progress closely
If something is not working out well, you need to be aware of that quickly enough so that you are able to solve problems and make modifications before it is too late.
By following the development of your outsourcing partner closely and measuring performance indicators, you can notice if they are achieving the pre-established goals, and you can give them real-time feedback and be one step ahead of future complications.
If you avoid potential problems throughout the evolution of the project, you will also avoid possible future disagreements.
5. Lean on your partner’s capabilities
The most important part of an outsourcing partnership is being able to benefit from the abilities and expertise your partner has. Since they are experts in software development, they are a special asset you must exploit.
Do not forget that the people working inside the outsourcing company are talented IT professionals, with specialized skills, who are trained not only to work with the best technologies but also to manage offshore projects efficiently.
6. Listen, and you will be heard
When you are working with a partner, you need to learn that not everything is about you. Communication is not a one-way street, so if you want to understand your associate and build trust, you should start listening more.
There is nothing more important than the fact that your partner feels comfortable talking to you.
If you show yourself open to listening and helping, it will be highly appreciated by the other one, which is key to keeping the relationship fresh. This is the best way to fully comprehend what is on your partner’s mind. Thus, you will not only be able to work better and be more focused, but it will also help you to create a pleasant and trusting environment.
7. Let the outsourcing partnership be closer, and have fun!
It is important to know how to balance a relationship that is both professional and personal. We are generally used to having a formal working relationship, which is why we often forget how important it is to maintain good communication outside the office.
If your outsourcing partner is abroad, it will be great if you can schedule some visits to the development centers of your outsourcing company.
See the experience of Coalfire’s visit to Hexacta headquarters
To get to know your partners thoroughly, you can spend quality time together, even outside the office, and have personal conversations about topics such as family, interests, or experiences.
Do not be afraid to have a more informal relationship with your tech partner and, why not, take some time to go out and have fun.
To sum up
Outsourcing partnerships may fluctuate over time, which is why we should pay close attention to them, as they are a key part of success in software development projects.
A fruitful relationship requires maintenance, so by carrying out these practices, there is a strong possibility that your business association will last for many years.
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