Cooperating with an outsourcing company may raise some justified concerns, especially when it comes to collaborating on a day-to-day basis. It’s better to begin thinking about this early on in the selection process, and ask questions about your potential partner’s daily routine, procedures, habits, and so on.
Their answers may give you some solid insight into which contractor to pick for your software project – in some cases, it is enough to bet on a small agency; in others, a big software company is a much better option.
And once you’ve chosen a solid technology partner to work with, there are a number of things that you can expect from them on a regular basis. The items listed below help distinguish great partners from those that are merely competent.
7 things to expect from your IT partner
1. They are focused entirely on your project
Even though your partner may be a big organisation serving many clients at the same time – you will have a team of experts dedicated solely to your project, fully focused on delivering value and working up to your expectations. You will know it’s a good company, if they take their time to deeply understand your business needs and requirements during the early stages of cooperation.
This way, the outcome has a better chance of being useful for you, your employers or customers, depending on who the end users are.
2. Their working routine is well-structured
When you start a cooperation with an external partner, you can expect well-organised processes and a basic outline of the work to be delivered in the long run. You know what hours people work, the best time to contact them, and when the desired outcomes will be delivered to you (e.g., every two weeks, once per quarter or no sooner than after a year of cooperation).
Moreover, their scheduled meetings are consistent with their fixed agendas, so you know exactly who should be participating. There’s always time to report impediments or project blockers in a scheduled meeting, or to have a discussion about the way they work and how they can optimise the process, which fosters transparency.
3. They practice transparent communication
Openness and honesty are two values that are absolutely indispensable on a daily basis; they keep the project on track and push the work forward in the right direction.
Transparent communication should go both ways and be rooted in having good and efficient language skills – in the official language that you chose for your project. This may sound obvious but in outsourcing – and especially when offshoring to a distant country – the reality may surprise you. That’s why it is so important to check the language skills of the key people who will be involved in the cooperation process, and not only the people who are signing the deal.
Plus, you may expect that you will be notified of any issues or opportunities that appear along the way. A solid partner won’t hide anything from you.
4. They take a proactive approach
This is strongly associated with seizing opportunities and preventing potential problems from turning into serious issues. Your IT partner will keep their eyes open for anything that could be beneficial to your project, like new technologies, business options or emerging and promising trends.
They won’t wait for you to take initiative – that is what an average supplier would do. If you bet on the right software company – a true technology partner – their proactive approach will allow you to achieve and maintain a competitive edge.
5.They also pay attention to non-functional requirements
It’s not just about the specific functions of your software. The list of non-functional requirements (NFR) that a solid company will deal with on a regular basis is also pretty impressive, and you may expect to have everything covered.
NFRs pertain to how your system should operate, rather than what it should do and can apply to, for example:
- response time, etc.
There are many things to consider along the way, and a good partner will ask you about your priorities and what you want to achieve. They will also have their own suggestions regarding the most important aspects of your project and what NFRs should be the center of attention.
6. They provide you with regular updates
In order to maintain control over your project, you will need to receive regular updates from the development team – as often and as detailed as you like. A reliable and transparent partner will also provide you with permanent access to general progress updates for the project in order to keep you and your stakeholders informed.
This way, everyone knows where they stand: what has been done, what has to be changed, what lies ahead, and so on. This kind of approach is good for both sides of the cooperation, because it fosters transparency and prevents chaos.
7. They help you flexibly adjust to the changing environment
Potential changes in the world around us can appear out of nowhere and pertain to virtually every part of your business environment, and this can have a negative effect on your processes. The concept of VUCA – the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of situations that occur nowadays – is still valid today, even though it is over 30 years old. For example, there may be a total shift in the political situation and business regulations (e.g., due to a pandemic) making it necessary for everyone to change the way they work, literally overnight.
How your partner handles these kinds of issues will prove their competence. You may expect that a good company will quickly and flexibly adjust to the changing environment and guide you through even the most demanding situation as flawlessly as possible.
These are all pretty important things to consider, at least in our opinion, and you should definitely think about how to include them in your RFP process. The right IT partner shows you the way to success in the field of technology. Your day-to-day collaboration is nothing to be afraid of – they’ve got you covered and, in the end, they will deliver the expected outcomes. But, of course, project success depends on your approach as well. Open-mindedness, responsiveness, high levels of engagement, transparency, and adherence to following procedures that everyone has agreed upon are required from both sides of the cooperation. This is how a beneficial and long-term partnership is created.
Are you looking for the IT Outsourcing Partner? Check our downloadable 100% free RFP template and make sure you choose the best one!