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    How to successfully outsource a project

    by James Holloway Partnership Director

    Communication is key to successfully outsourcing a project, whether it is to an agency or to a freelancer. Here we’ll go through the benefits of outsourcing and how you can ensure that the project goes smoothly


    Why outsource?

    There are many reasons to outsource a development project, including:

    • Cost-efficiency: You may not need a developer in full time and therefore a full year’s salary may not be justifiable. If you only have a one-off project once or twice per year you are better off outsourcing.
    • Time-efficiency: Particularly if you hire an agency rather than a freelancer, the project will be completed in a much more time-efficient manner than hiring an in -house developer.
    • Experience: By outsourcing to an agency you are getting access to the combined knowledge of an entire team who will have usually worked on various projects of different levels for different companies.
    • Broad skills and tech choices: Agencies are usually proficient in multiple solutions as a team and therefore can help you determine which is best for your project. An in-house hire or a freelancer might convince you that the platform they happen to be better at is the best fit as it is easier for them and also increases their chance of being hired for the project.
    • Project management: Most agencies will have project managers that can help ensure your project runs smoothly and that adequate communication is in place. This will make it easier for you to focus on other aspects of the business while the project is ongoing.
    • Flexibility: When outsourcing to an agency, you have the advantage of continuous support, even if a developer is absent. If you hire in-house you run the risk of relying solely on one individual and if they are absent or leave the company then you may have to start again from scratch.
    • Less effort: Takes some of the burden of you as a business so that you can focus on other priorities, also requires less time from you than managing an in-house hire would. Also, less risk for you as a business agreeing terms with an outsourcing agency. If something goes wrong or doesn’t get done in-house that is all on you.

    How to prepare

    1. Clearly state the scope of expectations – make a detailed list to make it as easy as possible for the agency to estimate cost and timings.
    2. Choose who you outsource to based on whether their skills and previous work match what you need developed.
    3. Set up a roadmap – include detailed information on the design, functionalities, and site and agree timelines, budget and communication methods/frequency in advance.

    Do I choose an agency or a freelancer?

    Some of the benefits above only apply to agencies and not freelancers. Take a look at the pros and cons of each here