The Importance of Collaborating with Your Outsourced Web Development Team

July 28, 2014

By Andy Hilliard

The_Importance_of_Collaborating_with_Your_Outsourced_Web_Development_TeamWith the ongoing growth in cloud IT services and capabilities, more companies than ever are turning to outsourcing for everything from applications programming to web development.

According to Gartner, the worldwide IT outsourcing market exceeded $213 billion in 2013 and continues to grow at an impressive rate.

Taking Advantage of the Benefits

There are many advantages to outsourced web development, from direct costs savings to scalable addition of capabilities. Computer Weekly follows this market space closely and recently indicated the savings can often be as much as 40 percent over an in-house project. For these and many other reasons, many companies now turn to outsourced web development as a way of controlling fixed staffing costs while offloading projects to variable, budget-controlled resources.

However, outsourcing is no longer simply about saving on IT costs. It provides resources and capabilities that many companies do not possess and cannot obtain in an efficient manner. Meanwhile many offshore companies spread the cost of continual improvement and education over many clients, enabling them to invest heavily in new concepts and technologies.

There are a number of potential benefits of working with an offshore company. It’s important to capitalize on a focused and disciplined approach to communicating and actively collaborating with your development team to ensure your project is a success, especially since websites and web apps are becoming increasingly complex and interactive.

In a traditional environment, this vision and client expectations will produce general objectives and specific functional specifications for a project. This includes budgets, milestones and deliverables. However, the increasingly popular agile methodology used in many of today’s development projects requires a new level of communications and responsiveness. Now, a project often moves forward in a short time period of a few weeks and changes are made on the fly, with limited or no fixed specifications.

Such an environment puts a premium on ready access to key personnel and efficient interactions. In turn, this means it is important to establish the chain of contact and decision making before the project commences. This ensures those actively working on the project can provide new input and concepts while not getting bogged down in bureaucratic delays.

Using all available collaborative tools helps in this process, including:

  • Project management software

  • Time recording and analysis

  • All practical communications tools, including email, phone, video and even texting

An important part of collaborating on such projects is taking the time to conduct a comprehensive pre-launch critique and review of the alpha and beta versions of the project. This allows key personnel that have not been involved with the daily communications to provide input and fresh eyes as to how the results fulfill the original vision.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outsourced web development is an accepted and growing source for web-based projects
  • Achieving potential savings requires constant interaction between developers and the client

  • Establishing clear lines of communication and decision making, as well as using effective communications tools, are all elements of successful outsourced web development projects.

 

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