what are outsourcing mistakes

How YouTeam Addresses the Most Common Mistakes of IT Outsourcing

Regions such as Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and Latin America are known to be top quality suppliers in IT outsourcing. Universities there are producing hundreds of thousands of IT graduates each year. For the past 20+ years, European and American companies have been choosing to hire software developers from these regions for outstaffing and outsourcing projects.

Obviously, when we speak of the emerging markets, the quality comes with some useful cost benefits. Coders in such regions cost significantly less than developers in Western Europe and the U.S., for instance. However, going the direct route to outsource partners does not always get the results a company needs if it has no previous experience in IT outsourcing.

Outsourcing horror stories are common these days. Cost savings aren’t enough if a software project experiences massive delays or poor communication and planning. Other challenges sometimes include cultural differences between providers and clients. Plus, there is always a concern about what protection you have as a client if you are in a different country and under completely separate legal jurisdictions.

These and numerous other challenges are feared when it comes to outsourcing IT projects. Here’s where we, YouTeam, as a marketplace for building remote dev teams, can help you run your projects safe.

Let’s take a look at the most common IT outsourcing risks and outline how YouTeam is built to avoid them or to keep them on track.

Top IT Outsourcing Risks, and How YouTeam Helps To Avoid Them

#1: Time Difference = Lack of Communication?

Even though outsourcing is about hiring a remote team, your team’s location still matters. The geography impacts the time zone difference between your office and those providing a service, so this has to be taken into consideration. If you feel that having real-time calls or online chats would be useful to monitor and manage the project, then an 8+ hour time difference isn’t going to be very helpful. It could cause serious delays and miscommunication between those managing and those delivering the project, as the developer team would be logging off around the same time the clients’ working day was starting.

Not only does the location impact the relationship between a company commissioning a project and the firm delivering, but what happens when you’ve got multiple teams of developers or just engineers in different parts of the world? More often than not, they need to work even more closely together than a client and provider. If you are in London, and one team is in Poland, and another developer is in Mexico, that could cause a real headache when it comes to communication and project management.

To avoid the trouble, you can specify where you want your team of developers to be located. YouTeam can help facilitate cross-team management and communication to ensure multiple teams or engineers work smoothly together if it isn’t possible to put together a team working in the same firm.

#2: Language Barrier = Poor Communication

When it comes to communication, you need to be confident that you can work closely with a team of developers. More often than not, difficulties aren’t always technical. Communication is what drives a huge difference.

Developers need to be sure they’re understanding what a client needs. They need to be strong and competent enough communicators to ask the right questions, or to ask for clarification when they need it. Communication skills can make or break a technical project, no matter how skilled or experienced a developer is. So what you really don’t want is an insurmountable language barrier.

At YouTeam, we only add teams with English-speaking engineers on board. Our vetting process ensures that you’re working with developers who have a clear proficiency and understanding of the language.

Through a careful selection process, we ensure you work with the right partners who can turn your technical ideas into fully functioning technical solutions and products. Transforming an idea into reality is a challenging problem-solving exercise for both parties. This can’t be achieved successfully when neither party can communicate what they need.

We understand the importance of clear and confident communication. Our process ensures that clients can work directly with developers and that those they are working with have a proficient and confident grasp of your language.

#3: Overpaying The Local Price When Hiring Offshore

One of the advantages of outsourcing is cost savings. But the question is, how do you know that you are paying the right rate for the work being delivered and the skills required in a particular country?

YouTeam is a marketplace that lists engineers from the top development agencies.  After passing thorough screening processes and technical skill assessment (find more on how we vet software engineers), agencies are allowed to add the developers that passed the vetting to the platform. Everyone can see the rates of engineers listed, so YouTeam creates a competitive environment.

Prices are regulated by fair competition between vendors, which is possible due to the openness and transparency of YouTeam’s marketplace.

#4: Poor Project Management

Software and IT projects are more successful when there are project managers keeping everything running smoothly. When outsourcing, clients run the risk unless having one in place is specified beforehand, that they will be working with developers directly but without the benefit of a manager supervising them.

You don’t need to worry about that with YouTeam. Each team may be hired along with an experienced PM who will work part-time or full-time. But only if you need it. If you choose to work with a Project Manager, you can be confident that this person will be communicating your project needs to the team and will be responsible for results.

#5: Paying Upfront = Not Enough Control Over The Quality

When companies start working with an outsource partner, payment terms should always be agreed up-front. Often, firms of developers will expect a percentage of the overall project paid before work can commence. This is industry practice and smart insurance against clients who might want to get something for nothing.

However, there is also the risk that a firm might claim to be starting a project, take a deposit, and then not deliver. Clients are at greater risk, not only because of the money but also because of the time that can go to waste. YouTeam has a solution for that.

With our time-proven payment system, money paid upfront goes to YouTeam platform security account and is released to the contractor only at the end of the respective servicing period. The clients also leverage an additional 5 business days window in which they can review and comment on the work performed. If any objections are raised, the invoiced funds get frozen on the security account until the issue is resolved.

It’s similar to booking a room via Booking.com where you get charged in advance, but the landlord receives the money only after your stay. An arrangement like that ensures the security of the payments and gives clients more control over the result of the work.

Scheme of five steps of making secured payment on YouTeam

#6: When Engineers  Are Not That Good In The End

Connected to the problem mentioned above: What if you green light a project, only to find that the team/project match is not as good as you thought? Maybe you aren’t getting the level of skills and experiences they said they’d assign to this project. Or they aren’t actually very good at communicating. Or they fail to respond in a timely manner despite an already agreed urgency to the project.

To avoid these risks, YouTeam, besides meticulously vetting all engineers and firms that get listed on the platform, offers a replacement service within the first two weeks of a project. It won’t cost you anything. If you aren’t happy or things aren’t working out, we will source a new team in 48 hours.

You must also know that we ban partner agencies for any failures that affect the quality of the work done.

#7: When Agencies Change Developers During  The Project

Team turnover can put projects of any size at risk. Unless there is clear documentation throughout the process, one or more team members leaving could result in a tech project falling apart. If knowledge and talent walk out the door or is swapped for a new person because of some internal procedures of a firm, it isn’t always clear that someone else will pick up where they left off.

To avoid that risk, YouTeam ensures that the same team members from the partner agencies are going to be working on your project from start to finish. As far as reasonably possible, we guarantee continuity throughout, with a swift replacement process in-place should anything go wrong.

#8: No Culture Fit

How can you be sure you are going to work with developers who are culture and values fit for your company and your team?

It is one of the greatest risks when working with people from a different country. YouTeam interviews and vets developers before they are listed on our platform, and we work hard to carefully align not only the right skills, years of experience, but also cultural/values fit for every client.  We take the guesswork, uncertainty, and risk out of every outsource IT project.

#9: No matching industry experience

Industry experience isn’t always necessary, but it can be useful. Our clients usually search for engineers with relevant experience. If you are working with a developer or team of developers who’ve built eCommerce or education sector apps before, then it stands to reason that they will be skilled and competent in solving the same problems they’ve encountered before. It should make the project run smoother and be completed more efficiently, hopefully also costing less money.

YouTeam lists the sectors where developers have the experience, as well as their portfolios, and if you can’t find a suitable team, our Team Advisor will search and find them for you in a matter of days.

As you can see, YouTeam understands the challenges companies face when outsourcing IT projects. We know what can go wrong as we outsourced projects ourselves (that is how the idea of YouTeam came along). So we created a platform and service for companies to overcome these challenges and provide them with the best talent pool of developers and agencies we can find. Gain all of the benefits of outsourcing without any of the risks. Let us know about your project, and we’ll help you find the best matching teams. It’s completely free.

Written by
Galina Divakova

Former Head of Marketing at YouTeam, a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for building remote dev teams.

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