Too often when companies outsource, they don’t see the value in building deeper relationships with their vendors. “I can hire and fire them as I please. If they don’t do the job right, I can find somebody else!”, they say.
We can tell you from experience that a successful outsourcing experience is much harder to attain if the hiring company doesn’t see the value in building a relationship with their partners.
You can’t just look at outsourcing in terms of more bodies at less dollars per hour, or as a means to push off a portion of your software development to an outsourcing team and be done with it. Just like your in-house employees, your outsourced partners should be treated like people rather than just another body in a seat.
Contract < Covenant
Accelerance outsourcing gurus Steve Mezak and Tom Cooper discussed this all-too-common mistake. Both argued for companies to look at successful outsourcing efforts less like a contract, and more like a covenant.
“When you get married, you don't usually have a contract, maybe a prenup, but that's a different thing,” Steve argues. “It's how you're going to support each other and help each other. It's the same thing with software outsourcing.”
In marriages, you both play an integral part in the ‘team’. If your outsourcing team feels like they’re an integral part of your efforts, then your developers will feel a personal responsibility in completing your software successfully.
“At Accelerance, what we've seen over and over again is the longest running and most valuable relationships happen when there's that type of collaboration. This type of personal relationship between the partner and client promotes a, ‘Hey we’re in this together’ type of attitude,” Tom added.
Software outsourcing is about achieving some type of efficiency, whether it be process, time, or money. However, in that rush to efficiency, the relationship with your team shouldn’t be discounted. These people aren’t robots, or worse yet slaves. Treat them as equals, and you’ll find you’ll get more out of your outsourcing team than you might have thought was possible.