What is the right way to start an outsourcing relationship, if you were to outsource software development? Do you know? At Flatworld Solutions we have been providing expert software solutions over the last 14 years. Over the years, we have chartered out our own approach towards getting the outsourcing relationship onto the right start. How important is communication? Should a joint workshop be conducted before the onset of the project? Should there be an onsite team? Read on to find out more about how to start a successful outsourcing venture.
We strongly recommend commencing an outsourcing relationship with an onsite workshop. A small team of 2 or 3 team members can travel to your site and understand your requirements for a period of two/three weeks. Everything from the communication model, the initial roadmap and the joint development process can be discussed in detail. You can share all the details about the product/software project and also get acquainted with the team who will be working on the project.
After returning from the onsite workshop, the team can begin training the rest of the team in accordance to what was learned in the workshop. This way, there will be accurate knowledge transfer to the offshore team. A ramp-up project can then be started to help the team understand the project. In this phase, everything with regards to the project, such as the communication plan, the testing environment, the tools, the procedures and the joint repositories can be tested out. If deficiencies are discovered, appropriate revisions can be made.
Here is a typical workshop plan that you can use:
1. Familiarize the offshore team with the software project/ product
- Explain the architecture and code structure of your software product
- Share details about the existing texting infrastructure, such as the coverage, test plans, environment and framework
- Tell them about the current development infrastructure, like the formats, the coding standers, the repositories and the tools
- Give explicit details about the access and control capabilities, the used frameworks and the tools
2. Familiarize the developers with your team
- Explain about the roles on your side, whether it is product management, development, deployment or testing
- Talk about the expertise distribution inside your team
- Introduce the team to the primary points of contact for business/technical questions
3. Set up the development/ testing environment and process
- Give the offshore team access to your existing repositories. Next, set up a local repository, define the check-in and set out the branching rules and procedures
- Define the mechanism that has to be used in the process
- Provide access to your defect tracking tools and set up a local database. Also give details about defining defects in procedures and workflows
- Describe the procedure for status reporting, classify the tools for tracking the status, set up the communication tools to be used and define the procedure to be used
- Describe the procedure for work bundle demonstration and acceptance
- Familiarize the team with your testing strategy, the test converge and the traceability requirements to be used
After the knowledge transfer and the ramp-up is completed (three to six months), the stabilization phase begins. The team will be successfully stabilized after the first milestones are achieved and the sub-projects are completed. In the optimization phase, the post-ramp up activities will be taken up by the team. The last stage, known as the continuous operation and improvement stage is where new versions will be implemented and the process will be improved.
It very important to start off the outsourcing relationship in the right manner, as this will be the key to the success of your project. With proper knowledge transfer, timely process decisions and improvements along the way, you can be sure of achieving your targets on time.
Have you outsourced software services? If yes, how did it go? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. We, at Flatworld Solutions love to hear from you!
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