Tag Archives: #outsourcing

Freelancer vs. remote employee vs. custom software company. What is the best option when hiring for software development?

 

No matter the size of your company at some point as you grow you will need to  hire developers.

Finding good talent is where the problems usually begin. Hiring can be a long, complicated, often overwhelming process and hiring tech talent is usually at least 5x more difficult. Unless your company name is Google, Apple, Facebook or a unicorn, with salaries and perks to match, hiring developers is more like 10x as difficult.

If you are facing this dilemma, why not consider using remote workers? It’s a solution that not only gives you access to the best talent, regardless of where they live, but is also cost-effective. Continue reading Freelancer vs. remote employee vs. custom software company. What is the best option when hiring for software development?

Outsourcing: professionals’ opinion

In the second post of this series I said that clear communications was the single, most important factor when outsourcing, whether locally or globally.

I said this based on conversations with my management, since NTR does remote development for both large companies and startups.

I asked my friend Miki what she thought and she agreed. But, since we are both hyper-focused on communications, she suggested posting the question to Silo, a startup tech forum. Here is the question she asked.

What is the single, most important point when outsourcing local or global?

Anything can be outsourced, not just sftwr dev. Biz outsource recruiting, benefits/payroll, design, marketing, sales, etc. Personally, we outsource shopping, cleaning, child-rearing, etc.

For an outsourcing series at http://blog.ntrlab.com/ tell me in one sentence the single, most important advice you can offer when outsourcing.

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image credit: here

The first response was from Silo founder Moshik Raccah, “To me, the most important aspects for successful outsourcing are setting expectations and communication. It’s also the hardest to get right.”

Sagit Weiss, Founder and CEO at Crowdacure, was quick to chime in. “Agree. Clear expectations and communication”

Computational Biologist Doron Lemze added an astute warning to which few pay enough attention, “When you outsource think if you can live with less control on the element that you outsource.”

Irene Lefton, with a career fostering global services and customer success added more detail, “Align objectives with your contract terms – both parties need to benefit and it needs to be clear what the team will do and what outcomes are expected.”

Israel Rand, VP Business Development & Sales at Labgoo, elaborates the value and yield of good communications, “I think that communication is the most important piece in outsourcing! If both, the user and the outsourcer have an open good communication channel, then there aren’t any surprises. The rest will follow (expectation, pricing, changes etc.)”

And Oleksandr (Alex) Andriyanov, CEO of American Programming Company adds, “From my humble prospective Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies should keep in mind Business Value for the Customer. This way everything else is coming in place.”

Finally, Gal Nirel, an online and offline entrepreneur, expanded on what’s involved and, sadly, the cost of not doing it, “I outsource to achieve a business goal, the benefits can be reducing the time to customer/market, cost or other company’s resources. Since outsourcing has its risks the most important element in my view would be to mitigate it by setting clear objectives, KPI’s and the resources to manage it and stop/modify it if necessary. If you can’t manage it well, you can’t outsource it well.

Writing it with pain for my friend who just closed his business this week burned his entire seed round on a bad, poorly managed outsourced product project…”

There you have it. My totally unscientific sampling confirms without a doubt that clear, well thought-out communications are the key to successfully outsourcing a project, whether large or small.

No real surprise, since good communications is the secret sauce in every successful venture, from marriage to management to parenting and anything else you can think of.

Outsource: communications

 

 

What is the common thread that runs through every successfully outsourced project, whether a new website outsourced to the designer you met at Starbucks, your payroll to a recommended company on the other coast or a new product to an overseas development team?

Crystal clear communications — which aren’t all that common.

Joseph Priestley said, “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”

Russell Hoban warns, “After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?”

Good communications are what sustains all human interactions (the result of every interaction is a form of relationship) and this is especially true when you reach outside your employee framework to get something done. Good communication with employees needs to come from the heart.

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image credit: here

Your own people have experience deciphering what you really mean, even when you aren’t as clear as you should be.

Outsiders lack that experience, so it is your responsibility, not theirs, to make sure you are understood.

It’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is on the same page, whether it is a large project involving remote teams doing product development or a small one outsourced to an individual.

And while managers in established companies can afford to hire project managers, it is more typically DIY for startup founders.

My company, NTR Lab, provides remote software development teams for both startups and scaling companies. Nick (our president) says that poor and/or incomplete information has wasted more time than any other action, even pivoting.

My friend Miki, who writes for startups, vented her frustration with them by writing 5 Rules for Interacting with Contractors and Other Non Employees; she sends the link and insists they read it before they start working together.

If you need still more motivation keep reminding yourself that if you can’t/don’t/won’t make the effort to fully communicate from the start, and over time, then you don’t get to complain when the results aren’t what you wanted.

Outsourcing

Do you use Uber or Lyft, order takeout, subscribe to Plated, buy from FreshDirect or use MollyMaids?

If so, you are outsourcing.

If you ever had someone else mow your lawn, paint your home or design/build a website you outsourced.

Outsourcing simply means having someone else do the work.

You can outsource everything — even your life.

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image credit: here

In terms of business, outsourcing means hiring outsiders to perform tasks that would be done internally if the time and/or talent were available.  

What it’s called — outsourcing or contracting — is more often a function of location — the workers location, not yours. Continue reading Outsourcing