Outsourcing tips. Part IV: Project Planning

Outsourcing tips. Part IV: Project Planning

So, you have decided to outsource a project and have already chosen a provider. What’s next?

Analysis and design is the most important part of the project. It is the stage when you build the foundations of your product and if it is done properly, your project will be a pleasure to develop and use.

Do develop a technical specification

technical-specification-300x55Get a comprehensive document developed by your in-house BA or do it as a separate project with a supplier. This  document will help you organize project development and be your anchor in case of any disputes.

Plan several milestones

If the project lasts a couple of months(or more) it is good to have several milestones, so you can test intermediate versions and direct the project to the correct result at early stages.

Plan a fair amount of time for testing and big fixing

This one is self-explanatory, isn’t it?

Team, Team, Team

You do take a lot of time to consider a new hire, don’t you? A member of your outsourced project is a part of your team. Make sure the project has a logical team structure and every member is tuned to accord with the rest of the guys.

It does not mean that you should hire only senior developers, it is even often inadvisable. Build a team that is balanced, with a couple of senior developers who will be responsible for their part of the work and  more junior team members lead by them; do not forget about QA, etc.

If you are confident in your provider, allow them to build a team for you. They know the strong and weak sides of their employees and so they will be able to use those characteristics to your advantage.

Now, when almost everything is ready for the project start, there is an important question to ask yourself is:

Do I want to be involved in the development process closely?

From now on there are two ways to go:

Fixed Budget/Price. If you have a clear list of requirements and no time on your hands, it might be a good idea to let the supplier handle the project in its entirety. This way you will get the expected result with minimum involvement form your side.

This method is good for small and middle-sized projects, when you know exactly what you want. So, a technical specification is a key to success.

Time and Material. If you prefer to exercise full control over the development process, you should probably go with Time and Material model. It is perfect for long-lasting projects which are gradually upgraded, flexibility is important.

Communication tips for this stage:

  • In terms of communication this stage is the most important. Set it as your highest priority to establish a close connection with your provider. Make sure you are on the same page in terms of project characteristics and requirements. Some might argue that this should be the provider’s responsibility, but without the customer’s involvement it is virtually impossible.

Now we are ready to start development. How? See our next article.

If you have any questions about the tips offered – let me know at jane.matsesha@ocsico.com

Links:

  1.  Some information about development approach we are using https://ocsico.com/approach

Related articles:

  1. Outsourcing – main ingredients of your success
  2. Answering the question “Is outsourcing for me?”
  3. Choosing and getting to know the supplier
  4. Project planning
  5. Project start
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