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News for January 2013

3 Tips for Choosing an Outsourced Team

Hiring An Outsourced TeamSoftware developers all over the world are so talented that outsourcing is becoming a competitive advantage. Businesses can easily find great development talent at low costs via online marketplaces like Elance.

But outsourcing part of your software development team does take strategy and planning. There are many things to consider when outsourcing a project to a virtual team. We take a look at 3 things that have proven to be the most important at Serpico DEV.

Have the Right Expectations

The provider of the outsourced team is usually a separate company with its own goals, motivations and agenda. But the path for the success of the software project still rests with the company using the outsourcing services. Ensure sure that the requirements are well defined and that appropriate course corrections are made early on in the project’s lifespan.

Making the whole exercise successful can only happen if the right expectations are in place from the beginning of the project. Have a well thought out plan for the outsourced team and make your expectations clear. Clearing up any miscommunications on your expectations from the start saves valuable time. Failure to do this will lose you this time and the opportunity costs may be a lot higher than what the outsourced team can compensate for later on.

More than Just Cost

Cost is a major factor in many outsourcing decisions, especially offshoring. Selecting the least expensive vendor often backfires and ends up costing the client much more than initially thought. Choosing the least expensive vendor just means you have chosen a company with very little leeway in its profit margins. It also may be that the outsourced team is just not very experienced or good.

Make your decision based on track record and quality of the team, even if it does cost more. You want your project to be completed on time and within budget and the cheapest team you can find may not provide that. Successful vendors may be better bets even if they’re bit more expensive, given the realities in outsourcing and offshoring.

Build Effective Communication

This may be the most important aspect of choosing an outsourced team. Constant and quality communication among all stakeholders in the project is essential at every stage of the development effort. The project manager of the company is eventually responsible for the success of the effort and may need to use every communication mechanism available to communicate with every member of the development team. Using only any one method exclusively may not work as effectively as using all of them on a schedule.

Oftentimes a virtual project management tool can be used to facilitate this communication quite well. These tools often eliminate the need for lots of emails and conference calls as the project manager can see what everyone is doing at any time. Agile methodologies are more realistic when it comes to making sure communication is facilitated properly. It will prove very beneficial in quickly identifying issues or bugs that may surface before they become too large of an issue.

Conclusion

Obviously there are many more considerations when building and leading an outsourced team. Once you select the team based on cost and the right fit for your company, effective communication really is the key. As a project manager, if you can get the outsourced team to communicate and collaborate on a consistent basis, you will see much higher project success rates.

For more information on our software development services, please contact us.

Posted: January 30th, 2013
Categories: General
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Daily Scrums Keep Your Team On Track

Daily Scrums

If I made the fortunes for fortune cookies, my next fortune would read, “You will be more successful when you hold daily scrums”.

Daily scrums are a valuable tool in keeping a team on track to achieve the goals they set out to do. They keep teams organized and “on their objectives and to help them avoid being thrown off track by less important concerns.” EffectiveMeetings.com outlines 9 rules to starting and maintaining productive scrums.

At Serpico DEV, each project’s day starts with a quick team meeting, or “scrum”. A scrum should last about 15 minutes and focus on what everyone’s goals and challenges for the day are. It’s a great way for everyone to get on the same page. Who joins the scrum? Everyone does. Project managers, developers, team leads, testers and designers. We believe that everyone on the team needs to be at the morning scrum. When everyone knows what everyone else is working on, a synergy unlike anything else is created. Projects get done faster and more efficient.

If you are working with a remote team, the morning scrum is not a “nice to have”, it’s a survival tactic. It’s a way to create a sense of accountability in the whole team, while at the same time getting people, who are spread out by thousands of miles, talking and communicating.

Start experimenting with daily scrums today. Learn more about scrums by contacting us.

Posted: January 11th, 2013
Categories: General
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