How Can Outstaffing Mobile app Development Relieve Your Headache?
Mobile app development outstaffing is a popular model of B2B collaboration. It can help you to:
- fill in a gap in your product team;
- push your development process forward without reshuffling it;
- find some deep expertise which your tech-team doesn’t have;
- save your development budget.
Yet, for some reason it isn’t given as much attention as outsourcing. That’s why we conducted our own research and tried to make it plain when and why you may need to outstaff app developers.
First and foremost, let’s figure out how outsourcing and outstaffing relate to each other!
🤔 Outsourcing vs Outstaffing: What’s the Difference?
Despite both of those terms aren’t new for the IT industry, sometimes they still may leave a room for confusion and misunderstanding. Yet, you won’t be able to make use of the benefits of outstaffing services to your company if you can’t clearly separate the concepts.
Outsourcing is a type of collaboration when you’re handing over your project to another party. If talking in terms of mobile development, you find an appropriate agency, set your tech and business requirements for the app, make the payment and just control the process until all work is completed.
Afterward, you can repeat this cycle as many times as you need to improve your app, add new features or UI elements, release updates and so on.
The main idea behind outsourcing: you delegate your project to another team which has all the necessary resources and expertise.
The project manager is usually your link to the chosen team. His work is to make sure that both parties have heard and met each other’s requirements on purpose.
Your role as a client in the outsourcing process is simple as that: you send your requirements to the PM, provide him with all needed information during the project and then enjoy the final result. Yet, if you wish, you can also be more active and participate as a fully fledged product owner and take part in the planning of sprints and tasks.
Outstaffing is a type of remote employment when you hire a specific professional from the chosen agency to work on your project. The outstaffing company isn’t responsible for completing your project - it just provides you with an employee (one or as many as you need) who will become a remote member of your team and will adjust to your internal processes.
Despite the project management lays within the field of your responsibility, outstaffing relieves you from many other tasks. For example, you are free from many different organizational issues (we will talk about it a bit later) so can concentrate directly on creating your app.
The main idea behind outstaffing: you hire a remote professional who will work together with your team on your project.
So, you may need outstaffing services for mobile app development if:
- you’re currently building an iOS app and you need an additional developer to create it for Android (or vice versa);
- you have an indoor team that is missing specific developers/QA testers/designers/business analysts or any other professionals;
- you need to speed up your app development by increasing the number of people who are working on it.
Yet, as any form of cooperation, outstaffing has some specific points. Knowing them will help you to avoid possible mistakes and achieve the best result in a long-term perspective!
🛡️ Outstaffing Services: Possible Risks And How You Should Deal With Them
Outstaffing can significantly reduce your development expenses and provide new opportunities if everything is done correctly.
We’ve already reviewed top outsourcing mistakes and came to the conclusion that the devil is not so black as he’s painted. Most of them can be easily overcome if you know how to do it. The same is true for mobile app development outstaffing! Have a look and you’ll understand what I mean.
Risk # 1: Take care of the communication flow 💬
Hiring a remote professional allows you pay less attention to his location but can potentially lead to communication holdups. Since the project management is within your field of responsibility, you need to have a direct access to your employee, coordinate your cooperation, give new tasks and check the completion of old ones on a regular basis. And, of course, it can’t be possible without systematic communication.
One of the main reasons of communication delays is the difference in time zones. If it is about 2-3 hours, it may be inappreciable. However, sometimes it can be up to 8 hours or more and then you will need to find a convenient and appropriate way to communicate with your worker or outstaffing company.
What’s the way out?
The most obvious solution, in your opinion, is probably not to look for too distant options. However, sometimes it may be quite difficult.
For example, companies from the United States often prefer to cooperate with outstaffing companies from Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe. This region can provide you with skillful and qualified developers with relatively low hourly rates ($25-$50 compared to $120-$170 in the USA). That’s why it’s often more profitable to find an effective way to deal with the difference in time zones rather than try to avoid it by all means.
So here are our 4 practical recommendations that we’ve prepared for you:
1) Set up a clear communication strategy
For this purpose, find the answers to the following questions:
- What tools are you going to use for communication? Skype calls, emails, chatting via messengers? We recommend to use messengers for short daily communication sessions and Skype (or any other) calls for discussion that may take 20 minutes and more.
- How often do you need to communicate on a regular basis? For example, your developer may send you a short written report at the end of each day and call you once a week to discuss the current progress and future plans. Yet, the answer to this question significantly depends on the development model that you’ve chosen (Scrum, Kanban etc.).
2) Turn your communication into a good tradition
Do not think of it as something unnecessary and unimportant. Try not to avoid planned communication sessions even if there isn’t much to say.
3) Keep in touch with your employee but don’t micro-manage
If you don’t have any urgent questions, collect them and ask closer to the end of the day. This will not distract developers from work.
4) Make an onboarding plan for the chosen developer
Tell him about the way the development process is set up on your end. Do you work in a Scrum environment? Fine - tell him about your Scrum ceremonies. You work in Kanban? Not a challenge - tell him and your new developer will adjust.
Risk # 2: Cultural differences 😶
Cultural barriers are another thing you should pay attention to during your app development. Many people neglect these differences since they suppose that in the modern globalized world they don’t play a great role.
But this is not quite true.
National beliefs, norms and values directly affect behavior even of the dedicated development teams. Sensitivity to criticism, usual models/styles of communication, work culture, tendency to be initiative - all these and many other factors in one way or another can either make your cooperation better or create additional issues.
What is to be done?
Although our previous recommendation sounded like “instead of trying to avoid the issue, make the best out of it”, this situation is totally opposite.
Try to stick to the teams that have a mindset similar to yours. For example, if you are a representative of the western culture, then employees from North America or Europe are the best option for you. The chances that you will get along and easily understand each other are higher.
Also, when outstaffing your app development to another country you should pay attention to adjusting your schedules because of public holidays and days-off. It’s an easy thing to do but it can prevent misunderstanding and development holdups in the future.
👍 Top 6 Ways How Outstaffing Can Relieve Your Headache
Yet, the use of outstaffing services for mobile app development will bring you significantly more benefits rather than risks. The potential of this model of cooperation for your project is huge. And here is why.
# 1: Outstaffing services significantly cut your expenses 👛
The main reason why most companies prefer to hire external specialists is the noticeable cost reduction. Limited budget is a common issue for many companies of any scale, and outstaffing helps to deal with it.
First of all, RnD (Research & Development) centers of outstaffing agencies are usually located in the countries with a lower cost of living and liberal tax systems. It allows those agencies to lower the cost for their developers and at the same time - allows you to optimize your development budget but still get a product of exactly the same high level of quality.
Let’s do a quick math.
The Average mobile app developer salary in the US is $100,000-$110,000 per year. If we move to Western Europe, the figures will be about 50,000-60,000 Euro per year. However, if you move farther to the east (for example, Ukraine), the annual salary of experienced senior developers is about $18,000-$30,000.
Therefore, by hiring remote team members from Ukraine (I remind you that we are talking about professionals with 5+ years of working experience) a US company can save about $80,000 per year on each employee at a rough calculation. And that’s without considering other expenses!
Secondly, you don’t have to think about the organizational cost. If you were hiring an indoor developer, you would have to think about such things as salary, insurance, taxes, a system of bonuses and motivation. In mobile app development outstaffing, this is your partner (the outstaffing company) who takes care of these issues.
Despite you work directly with the hired employee, you pay to the agency which is responsible for covering all the organizational expenses. It is a common practice to pay a fixed fee for a developer on a monthly or a sprint basis. Thus, you will save your money and time since you don’t have to build this whole system from scratch on your own.
Thirdly, arrangement of the workplace also isn’t an issue for you. Imagine, that you need a couple of iOS developers to work on your project. In this case, you should have enough space in your office for all of them, provide each with a table, seat and Mac (you can code iOS apps only using Apple Mac devices as you know).
Sounds like a headache, doesn’t it?
And, again, this isn’t what you have to take care of when using remote outstaffing services. Your partner will make sure that the employee has everything he needs to perform his tasks in a comfortable working environment.
# 2: You have flexibility in choosing employees 🌍
When looking for a new team member, you have to be sure that he meets all the requirements: has enough years of experience, has the right needed development stack and can implement specific technologies. However, your searches can come to the deadlock if you’re considering candidates only from the area of your living. And outstaffing services for mobile app development help to avoid this problem!
When you expand the range of search for the whole world (or at least some of its regions) you greatly increase the number of options and variants to choose from.
Moreover, as we’ve already mentioned above, it gives you the opportunity to hire an expert from another country with significantly lower average wages.
During the last years, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific became the leading regions in providing outstaffing and outsourcing mobile app development services.
Countries of the Asia Pacific region usually charge the lowest fee and it’s often considered as their main advantage. Yet, when cooperating with agencies from there be ready to face cultural barriers and less skillful programmers since these are the common troubles of the region.
On the other hand, outstaffing companies from Eastern Europe are often appreciated for their favorable “price-quality” ratio. They charge noticeably less than dedicated development teams from the US or Western Europe but can easily create products of the same quality than their western colleagues.
# 3: Full access to developers = full control over the development process 👩💻
Direct project management may sound like an additional headache to someone but it, actually, gives you more opportunities to supervise the development process. When hiring a freelance developer, there’s always a risk that he can just disappear one day.
Outstaffing, on the other hand, makes such a situation impossible. The agency you are cooperating with are always behind the developer, so you (or your PM) can communicate with the remote employee on a daily basis without any troubles.
Moreover, if you already have an ongoing project with an assembled team and an established development process, outstaffing is the best way to incorporate a new developer without disturbing it. This is another significant feature of outstaffing since you can’t achieve the same when using outsourcing services.
Also, with the direct access to your remote employee you’re able to control his work and be sure that it lies within the current development process. It will be easier for him to work on the product in the team which already understands it.
# 4: You don’t spend time on solving organizational issues ⏳
Despite you work directly with the hired developer, your partner (the outstaffing company) doesn’t disappear too. During your cooperation he is responsible for taking care of all organizational matters:
- Sick leaves and vacations aren’t something that you should foresee. Generally, this is discussed and resolved within the company and agreed with you.
- In case of emergencies, agencies usually provide a substitution.
- Your partner can also provide a substitution if you’re not on the same page with the current developer or dissatisfied with his work.
That’s a great benefit for you and your project! Leaving all the organizational issues aside lets you concentrate on creating and improving your product without spending additional time and efforts on side tasks.
# 5: You can adopt the experience from other developers 🎓
This headache is especially relevant for small-scale agencies and development departments. By outstaffing app developers, you enlarge your indoor team and improve the working environment. How can it help you?
App development is a creative process that often requires innovative and non-standard approaches. Outstaffing agencies often have many developers that are involved in different projects. Thus, it’s usually possible to find the one who is very skillful in the field of your interest.
By having such a comrade who has its own unique skill set and expertise, your in-house team can adopt his experience and use it when working on your project.
Simply by sharing their knowledge with each other, your in-house and external developers will work as one coherent mechanism. Together they will be able to find more appropriate solutions in the shortest time.
# 6: It helps your startup grow 📈
Finding an appropriate candidate for your in-house team may be a tricky task. Sometimes this takes months and consumes a lot of your resources. Well, if you have ever faced the recruiting process, you know what I’m talking about.
However, the problem can be solved much faster with help of an outstaffing partner. Such agencies usually cooperate with skillful and hardworking developers, who have positive backgrounds. Therefore, they can find the right candidate according to your tech/experience requirements much faster than you can do it on your own.
Eventually, you will be able to spend more time and resources developing and improving your product rather than endlessly looking for candidates and interviewing them.
Now, when you know the difference between outsourcing and outstaffing, are aware of possible risks and clearly understand how it can help your company grow, it will be easy for you to make the right choice.
Let’s briefly remind key ideas behind outstaffing services:
This approach is the best for the companies that already have in-house teams, established development process and a clear vision of the product but lack a specific team member. The main advantages of outstaffing are:
- This approach allows to significantly cut the expenses.
- You are flexible when choosing developers and not limited by the geographical factor.
- Full access to your remote employees makes it possible to easily manage the development process.
- You don’t have to spend time on solving organizational issues.
- Remote workers and your in-house team can exchange experience and find better development solutions together.
TL;DR: Using outstaffing services, your startup will be able to grow faster.
If you face a challenge with finding a good Mobile Developer for your Product Team, hit the button below. We will help you to save the world :)