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Outsourcing: How to control quality on your outsourced digital projects

Outsourcing

The world of outsourcing can seem scary and mysterious. That’s because it often is. Most people either have their own or know someone with multiple horror stories of projects gone bad, money down the drain, and freelancers whose reality did not meet expectations.

Next is either the blame game, disputes, or we lick our wounds and remind ourselves to be a bit more careful next time. Personally I’ve been burned several times using freelancers on popular outsourcing platforms which usually ended up with me throwing in the towel with a slightly lighter wallet each time.

So what should you do to control quality? Here’s a few steps of outsourcing that can help you.

  1. Set and agree on clear, detailed deliverables

The devil is definitely in the (lack of) detail. Writing a clear set of deliverables can actually be quite enjoyable because it gives you an opportunity to delve deeper into your project and its desired outcome. Ensure each feature or function is clearly described and include examples if possible so there should be no room for misinterpretation.

Outsourcing
Setting clear deliverables can help to ensure you get what you asked for

2. Break the project into milestones with payment tied to each

Sometimes a project seems too simple to bother breaking down into separate, measurable portions. It probably isn’t. Milestones give you the power to control the quality of your project along every step of the way. Nothing is worse than giving clear deliverables, agreeing on terms and pricing, then finally being delivered a mere shadow of what you had actually envisioned.

3. Be realistic with your budget

You would be amazed how often people come to us expecting an immaculately developed mobile app within a budget of $500. I mean, you probably could find someone willing to make something for that price, but I would wager 9.999 times out of 10 it will not meet your expectations. Developer rates differ from region to region, but it is unfair to expect someone to deliver you Krug when you give them a Budweiser budget — regardless of their location.

4. Work with an agency with its own Quality Assurance procedures and a verifiable portfolio of work

Before I go to a restaurant these days I at least have a cursory look at their social media, menu, reviews and website. Maybe I am abnormal? But if you’re like me, you will want to see what I’m getting myself into first. The same should go when appointing an agency. If you want a website developer, ask to see their portfolio of work. Sometimes certain projects are protected by NDA but they should have several projects or examples they can share with you. Any agency worth their salt will have internal Quality Assurance processes with rigid standards. Most of our clients are in the EU so we ensure each project that leaves our office meets their most stringent requirements.

Outsoucring
An example of a professional agency (and a shameless plug)

5. Understand there are differences in language, personalities and cultural norms

I’m a stickler for being on time. I feel a personal sense of guilt if a project is late, no matter who is responsible! Not everyone is like this. After several decades of combined experience working in cross-cultural teams in multiple countries, we have learned how to manage miscommunications and ensure productivity targets are kept. It’s about improvising, adapting, understanding and collaborating to keep projects on track whilst making sure client’s expectations are met.

Sounds complicated?

Developers and tech-folk use a lot of industry related jargon which may leave you feeling confused, and that’s okay. If you’re not familiar and think Full Stack is a pancake meal deal, your best bet is to find a software development agency, consultancy, or software outsourcing with a competent client-facing team that can translate your dreams into a technical reality. Trienpont International would love to do exactly that, so feel free to reach out to discuss your project with us.