Managing Custom Development Projects Using Outsourced Resources

by tmhr consulting

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tips for interviewing contractors The design development testing and implementation of a custom web application can be a daunting effort at the best of times. But doing it with outsourced resources has its own requirements and issues.

At tmhr consulting we have been designing and developing custom web applications for many years. Recently we added the same services for mobile applications to the mix. In this article we will concentrate on how we will make the best use of the outsourced resources and when local resources should be used.

Why Local vs Outsourced Resources

When we are determining who should be on our team for a particular project there are a couple of factors that come into play. The first is the margin available for the project. The next is if there are specific reasons why local resources are required: security, need to work with client directly, attend meetings, other.

Outsourced resources can be used for many projects and for many parts of projects. When we are considering which resources to use for a project we always have to determine whether outsourced resources will be appropriate.

Using Local Resources

Using local resources can be easier because you always have the ability to at least call the person and talk to them on the phone. In some cases you have the ability to actually meet the person in person .

Using Outsourced Consultants

The decision to use outsourced remote consultants is a very simple one:

  • They will not be required to deal directly with the client.
  • Will not have to attend regular meetings.
  • Excellent communication skills in English are not required.
  • Working in a different time zone will not affect the project development or support requirements.
  • There aren’t any security or other specific requirements do not have to be met by the consultants.

Things to Keep in Mind

When using outsourced resources there are other issues that need to be considered:

  • Getting to know the person.
  • Treating them like an employee and not just a consultant.
  • Getting to know them personally.
  • Use questions instead of commands to direct what needs to be done.
  • Remember that you and the consultant cannot see expressions so use emoticons to express your emotions.

Must Consider Style including Skill Set

When working with consultants it is very important to not only understand what needs to be done but also the priority of the tasks and be able to convey those priorities to the consultants. But you must do it in terms that allows them to understand the tasks and the priorities. So you need to understand that designers see and look at things like colour, fonts, spacing etc. differently than programmers. You must also understand the style of your consultants.

Style includes Skill Set

Here are some of the different style and skill set factors we use:

Programmers

  • Cost and type of billing
  • Speed
  • ┬áLevel of direction required
  • ┬áProgramming languages
  • Web or desktop programming
  • Analyst abilities
  • Database abilities

Designers

  • Cost and type of billing
  • Speed
  • Level of direction required
  • Copy and paste
  • Create own art from scratch
  • Cartoon style
  • Corporate style
  • Web sites
  • Logos
  • Icons
  • Mobile games
  • Character animation
  • etc.

It is important to understand the consultants style for project placement but also it helps you when dealing with managing their work.

Summary

So when determining the type of consulting resource you need to determine not only the skill set but also the style of consultant, knowing the style helps you better understand how to manage those consultants once you won the project work.

Tell us about Your Experience

So tell us about your experiences with using consulting services and what works best for managing them.

Have you had success in using outsourced consultants? What is the one thing that you found made your relationship successful?


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