In this third part, Outsource Fitch will explore some recommendations and tips for outsourcing your web development work.
Tips for Outsourcing Your Web Development Projects
You don’t have to be a major corporation to outsource your projects. Small businesses do this every day with little or no difficulty.
The most important thing to remember is that your client’s needs come first. Don’t sell out your client’s quality for a cheap price. Even if you make a large profit, you will end
up losing your client if the website development is of poor quality. It’s your reputation that’s on the line, not the hired web developer.
Remember to have a detailed description of your project needs before contacting a potential developer. You’ll need to let them know all project details before getting a quote or price.
Hiring a “liaison” company who works with developers in foreign lands may be your safest way to outsource, especially if you plan on doing it often. Be sure the company offers past client referrals who you can contact, creative outsource procedures that will meet your needs, and also contact the company several times with questions to be sure they give good customer service.
Note: The creative outsource procedures mentioned above simply means that the company will allow you to be flexible in outsourcing. You don’t want to get locked into an expensive contract if you’ll only need to outsource occasionally. You may need to outsource sporadically as the needs arise. Make sure the company will work with you in a flexible way beforehand.
Outsourcing can be a valuable source of additional income for you as a web developer or digital agency, if you use the method wisely. Your clients will appreciate your ability to complete their difficult projects, and you’ll come out a winner.
Recommendation on process
We have spoken to a few development companies and digital agencies in Australia that currently have remote staff in the Philippines. Based on that we have tailored a comprehensive list of processes they use to manage the team efficiently. Before hiring remote staff, we strongly recommend implementing these processes and techniques:
- Use a good project management system like Jira, ActiveCollab or BaseCamp.
- Always use the Agile Methodology. Break down your project into Stages and Sprints.
- Require the team to log the hours spent on each task on a daily basis.
- Be strict on logging the hours into the project management system.
- Select one communication channel for chat such as Skype or Slack.
- Chose an industry specific CRM (eg.: Food Catering CRM), which fulfils the needs of your industry and can be a centralised location to manage orders / workflow / customer support etc.
- Fix the working hours of the staff members. When working with overseas teams we recommend a more strict working hours.
- You can allow them to work from home a couple of days per week. This is specially good for staff retention and work satisfaction, yet request the strict working hours.
- Make sure the staff understands the overarching project goal. You don’t want to have dumb developers writing code for something they don’t even understand. This is particularly a very common mistake and the result of several project failures. This is the first sign your project will fail. If the developer can’t understand the overarching goals of the project replace him/her. They need to get the business principle before writing any code.
- Don’t explain the project with words only. Always give them a visual wireframe for all screens including its fields buttons and basic layout. The wireframe doesn’t need to contain graphic design or creative aspects. It is a visual prototype of the future system and will serve as a reference and base of the development. Discuss the project base of the wireframe.
- Start with a framework: unless this is a strict requirement don’t start building the project in native PHP. It will cost you a fortune, take time and the project will never finish. Select a framework that is popular so you can easily find replacement professionals. Here are a few of the best platforms we recommend for web development projects: WordPress (for basic websites), Laravel, Codeigniter, Ruby on Rails (for advance projects), NodeJS, AngularJS (also advanced projects) and Magento, Edge Commerce (for ecommerce stores).
Our experience in India
India was for a long time a large destination for outsourcing technical IT work such a web development, web design and system administration. However its reputation as an outsource destination has been tarnished by bad quality work, dishonest behaviour, lack of transparency, difficulty in communication and among other suspicious practices.
Due to these factors several outsource offices were relocated from India to the Philippines. The Philippines is an American colony and although has gone through difficult times in the past it is now going through great development progress in economy and education. The country work culture is highly westernized and peaceful these days. The professionals are friendly, honest, fluent english speakers. Additionally, no more late night communication with India, the Philippines is only a couple of hours difference from Australia !