How to Manage Outsourced SaaS Development Team?

By Srikanth
8 Min Read
How to Manage Outsourced SaaS Development Team? 1

The rise of SaaS and PaaS has made it really hard for companies to justify having large in-house software teams. Nowadays, brands usually outsource their IT needs to providers so they don’t have expensive programmers on their payroll.

If you just check the data, you’ll notice that 92% of G2000 businesses use some form of outsourcing. This, in itself, should be a clear indication that the system works and can yield benefits to the client. The most common targets are Eastern and Central European software engineers, who provide the same work quality as Westerners at significantly lower costs.

Still, that doesn’t mean that IT outsourcing doesn’t have its fair share of problems. The biggest challenge companies are facing is the lack of control and having to share intimate data with, often unknown, external providers. This is why hiring and management are such important aspects of working with SaaS software developers.

Choosing the right partner

The best way to handle IT outsourcing is by hiring a responsible, veteran partner. That way, you’ll solve most of your future potential issues even before they happen. That being said, here are a few things that can help you out when interviewing potential partners:

Hire an HR company

According to a study done by Deloitte, HR experts can hire talent that is a few times better than who you would hire. The IT experts and companies hired that way are less likely to leave the company resulting in lower employee turnover. On top of that, the entire process is smoother and faster.

Even the figures back this up; HR outsourcing and hiring is increasing by approximately 8% on a year-to-year basis. So, if you wish to save yourself trouble, you can simply hire an HR company to do the heavy lifting for you.

Check their previous SaaS

You don’t necessarily have to check online reviews to understand if a vendor is a good fit. The best way of assessing a provider is by subscribing to one of the tools they previously made and checking its features. If a platform is running smoothly, looks good, and is intuitive, this is a good indication they can create something similar for you.

Ideally, you should be looking for someone who makes software for the industry you’re working in. That way, they’ll understand the business and general requirements.

Pay attention to language proficiency

Language barriers shouldn’t be understated when outsourcing help. Even if they have enormous software knowledge, some vendors barely speak English, which can cause issues down the line, especially if you’re working in a complex industry.

If you wish to learn more about what an experienced company brings to the table, we suggest you click here to do some extra research.

4 Ways to manage outsourced SaaS teams

Although each type of outsourcing is different, there are certain things that remain the same for all industries. Software development, in particular, hinges on clear communication and collaboration between team members. Furthermore, you should always show the same type of respect to the outsourced team as you would to your own employees.

Without further ado, here are 4 tricks for managing outsourced SaaS partners like a pro:

1.    Put emphasis on communication and collaboration

As mentioned several times before, communication is the key to success when working with international teams. Not only should the provider understand your requirements, but you also need to stay in constant communication doing the project.

You need to give them a clear layout of the project and what’s expected from them over time. This includes short and long-term goals but also:

·        Explain how a SaaS product should improve your business

·        Find the optimal features

·        Monitor performance with KPIs

·        Determine how the project affects your current business operations and other software you might be concurrently developing

Ideally, you should create a communication channel that would feature both companies’ managements. That way, you can easily share files and videos and ask about anything that troubles you. Furthermore, you should also have a separate Trello and Slack channel for employees.

It’s vital that you set the basis for transparent collaboration between teams. This is especially important if you already have in-house software developers who need to work with an outsourced team or freelancers.

2.    Introduce technology

Many business owners are reluctant to annoy new software partners with procedures and things of that nature. However, if you want everything to go smoothly, you need to explain your workflow in detail. Give your new partners information regarding:

·        Current tech stack that you’re using

·        Programming processes and tools

·        Coding practices

·        Post-production practices

·        The design patterns

Among others, you should create documents for onboarding. They can outline your internal processes, requirements, and anything else that new members should be aware of. Not only will this expedite the onboarding process, but it will also prevent internal and external teams from bumping heads.

Besides sharing files, you should also make a formal explanation during a call. Always start by presuming there’s a massive difference between how you and the partner company do business.

3.    Monitor the provider’s progress and provide feedback

 Providing constant feedback is vital for complex SaaS projects with numerous features. This is especially true if you’re relying on agile methodology, which consists of numerous small parts.

Ideally, you should hold a meeting once a week with your provider and go through everything that has been done during the last few days. Your feedback is crucial to both sides, as it allows a provider to instantly make changes without having to backtrack too much.

4.    Show them respect

You should put the same effort into human interactions as you would into the technical side of things. Even if you paid the provider good money, you should always remember to treat their team with respect. The last thing you need is to work with an unsatisfied bunch that only wants to end the project as soon as possible.

That way, you can also set a basis for a healthy collaboration in the future.

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