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Practically painless drupal project outsourcing
 

Practically painless drupal project outsourcing

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    Practically painless drupal project outsourcing Practically painless drupal project outsourcing Presentation Transcript

    • Practically Painless Drupal Project Outsourcing
    • Contents Why to Outsource? 3 The UP & DOWN sides of Outsourcing 7 Choosing your Outsourcing Partner 10 Killer Outsourcing Mistakes 15 4 Ways to Overcome the Challenges in Outsourcing 19 Outsourcing – The Right Way 25 BONUS CHAPTER 31 Happy Outsourcing! 35
    • Why to Outsource?
    • By definition, OUTSOURCING is the act of obtaining goods and services from any kind of outside source in lieu of an internal one. In business, this often times means a foreign company. This practice has been going on for quite some time, specifically when there were instances where a company stood to save a substantial amount of money. The aforementioned point revealed the prevailing reason why businesses choose to outsource. The ultimate goal of any business is to save money. Outsourcing puts a company in a better position to do that. Since that's a rather broad stroke, therein lays the need to expand upon the point.
    • When a software development company considers their day-to-day expenses, it becomes abundantly clear why so many of them outsource. Let's say that the outsourcing company is in the United States. The company would have to deal with: ENERGY COSTS INSURANCE REGULATIONS WAGES BALANCE & DIVIDE THE WORKLOAD AMONG HIRED STAFF Not only can this become expensive, dealing with these types of things and the non-essential workload of these personnel can eat significantly into the profit garnered from any given project.
    • This is where the outsourced company would come in. They can handle a significant portion of some of the non-essential, less-taxing or even alleviate the stress inflicted onto internal staff. Benefits of Outsourcing Reduce Cost Foster Innovation Increase Speed to Market Focus on Core Improve Quality Conserve Capital
    • The UP & DOWN sides of Outsourcing
    • While outsourcing can provide a great deal of benefits, it's inherently a process that can quite possibly provide drawbacks. Fortunately, many of these deficiencies can be overcome through a thorough and extensive vetting process. Common Benefits To Outsourcing Include: Save Money – It can save a company a great deal of money. Concentrate on Core – Outsourcing can free up employees for more essential tasks. Improved Workflow – It can increase and/or improve the company's morale. When a staffer can stay away from tedious tasks, there's the potentiality for improved workflow. Growth – It allows the company to take on more ambitious projects
    • As earlier stated, the drawbacks to outsourcing can be hugely detrimental to any project. This is why it's always an integral to assure that any company that outsources understands exactly the company they will potentially work with before they commence assignment. Common Drawbacks to Outsourcing Language Barrier- Outsourcing to foreign companies may result in a language barrier. This can delay projects or result in erroneous work. Time Zone Difference- Time zone differences may limit the interaction between principles. Capability of Staff is Unknown- Outsourcing isn't in-house development. The ability to differentiate exemplary staff from sub-par staff will always be guesswork until certain milestones are met. Intellectual Property at Risk- Intellectual property could be at risk. However, this is genuinely a problem normally experienced by companies who have not thoroughly investigated.
    • Choosing your Outsourcing Partner
    • Choosing the right team can assuredly be enough to give pause. After all, the goal is to increase and streamline workflow. In truth, great deals of companies who outsource do not achieve the results that they are looking for. However, there are a number of things that the principle company can do to improve their chances. 1 Choosing the Software Development Model The first step is to determine the function that your business needs from a prospective firm. It's imperative that they fit the particular business model and are versed in the software development model that the parent company uses. For example, if a company uses the waterfall model to develop products - the hired company should be able to perform any of the integral steps in all 6 phases in this particular
    • development model. However, the company may not even want to hire them for any phase of development. It could be something as a routine as accounting. Regardless of the nature of the job, it's imperative that the hiring company lays out exactly what is expected of the vendor. This should be followed even if the tasks are rather simple and wouldn't normally call for explanation. 2 Defining Potential Vendors There are a number of different ways to do this. Fortunately - with the prevalence of outsourcing - there are plenty of platforms that make finding a large number of vendors easier than ever. Businesses have made great relationships through using search engines and dedicated websites. While it may be time-consuming, it's necessary to use any of the available platforms to find attractive candidates. Normally, companies decide on five possible vendors to move forward with. This could either be on direct contact with a vendor or even a reputable bidding site.
    • 3 The Vetting Process This is essentially going through all of the interested parties and determining whether or not the relationship will work. The vendor should have a proven track record of providing the solutions that the availing company would need. Additionally, their prior workload should be voluminous and - if possible - exceeding their price point. At the very least, they should exhibit proficiency in the capacity that the hiring company is looking for. 4 Determine the Cultural Fit If the company satisfies the aforementioned, the last step is determining the cultural fit. The vendor and the hiring company needs to have similar workflow, expectations and output. While one can't reasonably expect for many companies to work the same way, the hiring company should expect them to be somewhat autonomous. A business owner expects
    • their in-house staff to perform with little governance; the same has to be said about the company they are choosing for the outsourced work. This can prove problematic, as it can be difficult to ascertain another company's workflow without hiring them. This is usually why many business owners decide on visiting the facility in which the company works in just prior to - or shortly after - hiring a company. This is very important in software. Companies use a plethora of different models, methods and tactics to get the job done. While an in-house team can work with a lot of different vendors, the relationship is much better when they share similar software development models.
    • Killer Outsourcing Mistakes
    • Killer outsourcing mistakes can pull your business down and ruin your profits. Therefore for a business owner, there are a few things that they should avoid. Curiously Low Bids The first thing comes rather early on in the process. If a business has received bids from qualified sources - using one of the many platforms - it is always been something of a red flag when they receive curiously low bids. Companies that outsource are generally looking for a way to save some money, although this doesn't mean that they should go for the cheapest price available. This usually is the mark of an outfit - or even worse, a sole entity! That doesn't have the ability to garner the results. It could even be the mark of a company who is trying to become privy to company secrets for their own financial gains.
    • Absence of Proper Documentation Another common mistake is the business owner not being clear enough in their instruction or documentation. While a contract should cover much of what is expected out of the vendor, it's very important for the company to speak more about the scope of the project and some of the finer points of what it entails. This is crucially important because a great deal of outsourcing is done by companies who may not speak the same language. As such, there should be clear and extensive detail - and affirmation - when speaking about the project. Ignoring Red Flags Another common mistake that the business owner face is ignoring red flags. For example, if a vendor is chronically late for development meetings - there's a good chance that they simply aren't the right fit. There isn't anything particularly stating that this company will be able to adhere to strict deadlines. Another example is the contact that can be hard to
    • reach. While a significant time zone difference may be a factor, it should not be a problem to get in touch with any point of contact during standard business hours. Language Barrier Lastly, a company that may not quite understand the jargon is another problem. Language barriers may exist, but most industries use the same words for most functions and aspects.
    • 4 Ways to Overcome the Challenges in Outsourcing
    • 1 Minimize the Language Barrier With over 6,000 different languages spoken across the world, language barrier is one of the major problems that you are likely to face while Outsourcing to foreign countries. Here are few tips to help you get over the language barrier: - Do the research to find a country that is both skilled and has language compatibility Countries like India have long been outsourcing hotspots, due to cheap labor and infrastructure capabilities. But India has largely been an outsourcing leader because of the prominence of the English language in the country. - Adopt a multi-layer communication process A multi-layer communication process will involve:  Verbal communication  Email
    •  Illustrative communication through diagrams, data/process flow and high and low level design documents - Follow few ground rules of video conferencing  Speak slowly  Speak at a time  Let other person finish before interrupting  Look at each other while talking  Try not to distract by talking here and there with others  Sit with an Agenda  Send MOM after the meeting with ARs on both sides For maximum benefit from outsourcing use simple language and try to bring down the frustration and hesitation if any by adding a bit of humor. With these simple tips you can expect a major leap over the language barrier!
    • 2 Climb the Cultural Boundary Cultural differences have been regarded as one of the most serious challenges in offshore outsourcing projects. A successful outsourcing project is one that overcomes the challenges and makes a profitable alliance.  Educate the outsourcing partner – Take time to make them analyze and understand your work culture. Make sure they adapt themselves into it.  Be upfront with concerns – If you have any concern raise it and try to come up with a solution by discussing it with your off-shore team.  Understand where other people are coming from – While they learn about your culture, make an effort to understand theirs and include a bit of it in yours. An effort from both sides will minimize the cultural gap.
    • 3 Time-zone Gap is actually an advantage Whereas time-zone gap is a major turn off for most of the companies who consider outsourcing, very few are aware that this is more of an advantage than disadvantage. If you partner with an off-shore team that is 8-12 hours ahead of your time-zone you can efficiently utilize the time-zone gap to make your project go round the clock. While you sleep your off-shore team works and when you wake up your project is ready for you to review. Following tips can add on to the advantage: - If you start early, ask your off-shore team to start 2-3 hours late; off-shore team from India are more than eager to start late. - Maintain 80% of the communication (minor feedbacks) through email, chat or project tracking tool while rest of the 20% communication (major feedback or project blocker) should happen over video or voice call.
    • 4 Intellectual Property need not be risked When you outsource your project to a new team you run a huge chance of risking the intellectual property. While there is no way of judging the actual capability of a team before handling the project; however there are few measures you must take to ensure the minimum risk. Don’t risk a high budget project by outsourcing it to an altogether new team. Instead try with a low-budget project (preferably an inhouse requirement) without a rigid time constraint. This is the best way to decide the actual capability of a team; although it involves little risk but it can lead to the foundation of long term relationship with the correct off-shore team. Never transfer the requirement through verbal communication. If you have no time to write specs make sure to involve an analyst to write stories. A time to time review of the stories will make sure that the project is leading in the right direction and you’ll always have time to provide early feedback!
    • Outsourcing – The Right Way
    • Maximizing output is - at least initially - one of the easier things to do in outsourcing. Of course, there are certain things that a business owner can do to make their efforts a bit more worthwhile. This depends on a particular company's workflow, culture and the scope of the project. While that may be the case, there are three things that encompass the process. Here, we'll discuss some of the most important. Assigning Work Assigning work is rather simple. If the company doesn't utilize a slew of vendors, the onus is generally on the company being outsourced. That said, it's important for the company to understand what the vendor does well and what they may not be that experienced in. One of the most important things is to make sure that the principle company has a good understanding of the vendor's experience level.
    • Effective Communication & Proper Documentation Other than that, it's important for the principle to provide the tools for the vendor to succeed. Proper documentation is always important for any developer, but even more so for a prospective software development vendor. To that same vein, the hiring company should engage in effective communication to discuss requirements with the vendor's developers. This line of communication will produce favorable strategies, including easy methods to use if any exist. Understanding the Team It is important to understand the staff that they have available to handle the tasks that they need. This allows the hiring company to have a good understanding of how much work the vendor could handle.
    • Managing Work Managing the workload can be done in a variety of ways. One of the most popular ways is through a few points of contact. For example, it's important for the business owner - or project leader - to talk to the other of the same designation. From there, it could be two other contact points. A senior engineer could correspond with the other senior engineer. The last point of contact could be any member of the "rank and file" to another of the same. Not only does this make sure that everything is getting done on time, but it also promotes a level of unity between the two offices. This is done through regular meetings, task statuses and feedback correspondence. Don’t let your project go off the budget! Download the free budget template.
    • Status Tracking Setting stringent milestone aids to be bit more comprehensive. These milestones can be weekly, at a specific point of development or even arbitrary. Status tracking is an important part of the relationship; however, it's one of the easier ways to do. There are also litanies of platforms that allow for this. Ask your Developer to provide you daily status in following format daily in morning and evening:-
    • Subject- Today's Goal - Date If I could do only 3 tasks, what would they be? 1. Task 1 - [Expected Hours - 2 hours] [Actual hours - ] 2. Task 2 - [Expected Hours - 2 hours] [Actual hours - ] 3. Task 3 - [Expected Hours - 2 hours] [Actual hours - ] This email format has proven to be Keep the tasks action oriented and short. very beneficial in maximizing Additional Tasks underwent- resource management. 1. Task 1 - [Expected Hours - 2 hours] [Actual hours - ] It also ensures that your project is constantly accelerating! 2. Task 2 - [Expected Hours - 2 hours] [Actual hours - ] Is there anything you need from your Lead today or tomorrow? 1. I need clarification on _____. XX mins meeting today would be great. 2. I need clarification on _____. XX mins meeting tomorrow would be great.
    • BONUS CHAPTER Outsourcing with Sprint/Agile Methodology
    • Scrum models allow projects to progress via a series of iterations called agile sprints. Each sprint is typically two to four weeks, and sprint planning in the agile methodology and Scrum process is essential. How it works? Agile Sprint The main activity of Scrum project management is agile sprint. The agile methodology and Scrum process is iterative and incremental, so the project is split into a series of consecutive
    • sprints. A sprint is usually between one week and a calendar month. During this time, the Scrum team (product holder, development team, scrum master, managers and stakeholders) does everything to take a small set of features from idea to coded and tested functionality. Sprint Review At the end of a Scrum sprint, the team conducts a sprint review. During the sprint review, the team demonstrates the functionality added during the sprint. The goal of this meeting is to get feedback from the product owner or any users or other stakeholders who have been invited to the review. This feedback may result in changes to the freshly delivered functionality. But it may just as likely result in revising or adding items to the Scrum product backlog.
    • Retrospection Another activity performed at the end of each sprint is the sprint retrospective. The whole team participates in this meeting, including the ScrumMaster and product owner. The meeting is an opportunity to reflect on the sprint that is ending and identify opportunities to improve in the new sprint. Benefits of Scrum Project Management . Scrum project management is a key to achieving better governance, transparency and coordination between multiple teams and stakeholders. It also enabled the client to streamline project administration and significantly reduces the cost of managing offshore suppliers. Download your FREE Copy of Scrum methodology followed at Ebizon!
    • Happy Outsourcing! Now that you know all about software development outsourcing, you can do what's considered Happy Outsourcing. With Happy Outsourcing, the company has the ability to do much more than just saving money. While that may be one the most significant goal, a good software development outsourcing relationship will also result in quality development at the same time. If all of the above advice is followed, the hiring company will be one of the many enjoying the fruits of great software development outsourcing. Outsource with confidence… Contact Now!
    • Priyanka Jhamnani email: priyanka@ebizontek.com Phone: +91-971-702-0312 With an impressive background in project management, worked and managed teams across the world, Priyanka skillfully ensures that clients’ objectives are met as she oversees Ebizon's web development engagements. She has been instrumental with success of many outsourcing projects. As Head of Client Services, Priyanka facilitates engagements with clients while proactively collaborating with them as their main point of contact. For more than 7 years, she managed web development projects remotely for customers based in US and Canada using ‘Agile’ methodology. Her “upfront,” “honest,” and “expert facilitation” in managing remote teams — particularly in best practices for outsourcing projects, helping improve team's output and manage cross-cultural differences has been appreciated by clients many times. In 2010, Priyanka was invited by Drupal4Design Camp held at MIT, Boston to present Case Study on "Scaling Drupal with Confidence – Tweentribune.