How to Outsource Your Agile ASP.NET Development to a High-Performance Team & Guide to working with outsourced developers


It is your responsibility to ensure that web applications you invest in support your employees and empower them. They should provide your team with the capability of working "smarter, not harder" on a daily basis. However, outsourcing agile ASP.NET development to the wrong company won't just make life difficult. Most of the time, it won't work and bring no results. Everything depends on asp.net team development and high qualification of its members.


Finding the Best ASP.NET Development Partner: Breaking Things Down to build an ideal .net development team. 

The first and the most important factor you need to consider while outsourcing your agile ASP.NET development project is to understand the nature of your project. Clearly, if we're talking about a takeover project (you just lost your ASP.NET developer) you're going to be looking for different qualities than you would if we were starting from scratch on a new project. We recommend examining both the expertise and qualifications of the ASP.NET development team members. Keep in mind that ASP.NET team development is not something easy and needs time to build. 

Ask them to show you examples of past work they've completed on other projects. Pay attention to how complicated their screens are and whether or not they demonstrate expertise in their areas of expertise. 

How does the process flow look? Is the user interface intuitive? Is it easy to use, or is it clunky and not intuitive? You should ask yourself these types of questions when reviewing any samples you receive.

Additionally, pay close attention to their communication skills, since they can't communicate well. Make sure the questions you're asked about your expectations are of high quality. 
 

The Processes and Procedures of ASP.NET Development

During the software development project lifecycle, you'll also need to pay close attention to the processes used by the development team. Consider factors such as:

  • Are they using agile development best practices or waterfall?

  • Do they prepare formal requirements documents?

  • In order to ensure they capture all of your requirements and key priorities, what process will they use to document your issue?

Additionally, you should ask them about their status reporting strategy - that is, how do they keep you updated on the project's progress?  When will you receive updates? Obtain information about the kinds of tools they use for project management so you can better understand their own resources.

Also, you will have an opportunity to see what kind of time tracking and reporting the ASP.NET company in question does. The way you convey this information on your invoices will be directly affected, so it's definitely worth paying attention to. To ensure you are comfortable with their time tracking process, ask them to show you examples of invoices with time logs. Last but not least, do they track time by the minute, or do they round up to the nearest 15 minutes or half hour?

Also, you will want to familiarize yourself with their estimation process as much as possible. The process of estimating can be obscured by some organizations, while others provide a detailed breakdown of exactly how that estimate was generated. In order to understand how this new partner is thinking, it's best to have as many details as possible. If the estimate comes in much higher than you expected, you will be in a better position to divide the project into phases.

 

The Partner You Need When You Need Them the Most

If you have considered all of these factors and are still considering working with one particular company, you should also consider their consulting agreement and what it encompasses.

In consulting agreements, there should always be clauses intended to protect the client. Likewise, contracts should not contain overly restrictive clauses. You must be required to sign any contract that specifies that you, and not the consulting firm, own the intellectual property. In addition, contracts should state that the developer will do everything within their power to protect your trade secrets, data, intellectual property, etc.

An ASP.NET development team that doesn't agree to these very simple terms is not a true partner - end of story.

Understanding that the .net team needs to be made up of a variety of skill sets is important when it comes to its makeup. It's very unlikely that any one person can handle all the skills necessary to guarantee the project's success - that's why finding a single ASP.NET developer feels like an uphill battle.

For this reason, you want a team that includes people in positions such as:

The last thing you should do is to learn as much as you can about not only the general availability but also the responsiveness and timeliness of the team you're considering hiring.

You should be wary of a team that will take days to respond to an email, even if that email is a simple one. It is important that the ASP.NET development team you intend to work with is as responsive as possible. Discover the team's current availability, as that will play a huge role in all of this. Is someone available for your project, or are they currently at capacity and you'll have to wait? Due to your timeline, that may be a deal breaker in and of itself.

In the end, it is fair to say that not only finding but also selecting a high-performance ASP.NET development company involves many variables. It is crucial to hire the right team.

Your early interactions with a potential partner will tell you almost everything you need to know about them. With more knowledge of their abilities and the other factors listed above, you'll slowly begin to gain that peace of mind only obtained when you know your ASP.NET development needs will be met.

How to work with outsourced development teams

So how to work with outsourced development teams? When we had a project that was large and we had to bring in outside developers to help build it out there were a number of challenges to be overcome. The first challenge was finding the right developer that can work with this specific feature we were trying to build. For example, when we were building our back-end service, we asked a developer who specialized in front-end design to create the back-end service.

When we asked him for that service we had no idea how to do it, we were still not sure if this would work out or not. It was also unclear to us if it was reasonable enough to put that person in that position, and whether or not that person would handle your project. 

The amount that is going to be paid by this outsourced developer will be covered by what we charge our client. There are a number of things you can do to make sure that your project stays within budget.

We wrote this post with the intention of sharing some ideas we have gained as a result of failures we experienced. But all these failures helped us to learn how to organize a winning team. With our mixed experience of working with outside developers, we created a system to help you figure out how to pick the right developer, how to work with them, and how to get reports in regularly so your clients love your application.

How to test the quality of the service you outsource:  

  1. Automated testing (TDD/BDD)

It is vital that you use automated testing as the first step, whether you are working by yourself or outsourcing developers. This includes behavior-driven development and unit testing. Nevertheless, applying this procedure will ensure that even when new features are added to an application, pre-existing functionality will remain intact.

  1. Get daily status updates 

Depending on the situation you have with your client, you should receive daily reports on the development work performed for that day. It is likely there was no work performed if you are not receiving good daily reports. 

  1. Always have full access 

Lastly, if you are only managing the application and not actually developing it, make sure you have proper access. A command line database, your public keys on the server where your private application is running, and a honey badger or app signal login system are included. 

There is a good chance that your time is very limited if you are bringing in an outsourced development team. Nevertheless, if you follow these three steps, you'll have a greater chance of succeeding at your project and managing your team. 

Our  favorite tools for managing teams are Basecamp and Trello for project management, app sygnal and honey badger for automated air reporting, code ship for continuous deployment, and freshbooks for managing time and budget. 

 

How to manage your outsourced team 

  • Establishing True Partnership

First of all, you should treat your IT vendor as a true partner. The ability to empathize with offshore team members instead of treating them like evil clients just looking for their tasks completed will create a productive environment that is the foundation for any project success.

Making members of your remote team feel like they're part of a great project and showing them you care about their progress will increase motivation and commitment to the project. It will also bring you closer to the people working on your outsourced projects if you are able to communicate effectively, share your vision of the future product, and accept advice about the project workflow.

Make some time for small talk instead of only dealing with business-related topics in your communication, and show your appreciation for the work your offshore team members are doing. It is also a good idea to visit your remote IT provider to get a better idea of who is behind your outsourcing project and how they perform their duties.

  • Being in Constant Communication

Effective communication is essential when managing outsourced teams. Remote team members must be clear about the idea and requirements of the project from the very beginning. Nonetheless, you should not stop the communication process at that point. Also, it is important to check how the work is going through the entire project. In general, regular communication with an outsourcing partner is crucial for team building and staying informed about your software project. 

Additionally, when you choose an outsourced team, you need to agree on the communication channels and formats you'll use and ensure that they are suitable for your needs. It is possible to communicate effectively with people who are located far from each other thanks to a variety of communication methods. There are many different ways to arrange regular meetings and better collaborate, including emails, instant messaging, phone calls, and video calls. 

Make sure you use regular video calls because they have the highest level of clarity and ensure that you are able to understand what is being said.

You will be able to stay updated on what was completed, what will be completed, if there are any challenges, questions, or problems, and if everything is progressing as planned in constant communication with your remote team. If you want the desired result, being transparent about your goals, sharing your ideas, and communicating your strategy is essential.

Today, outsourcing software development is very popular. Some of the products many of us use on a daily basis were developed by offshore partners. In addition to the numerous benefits of outsourcing your software to professional contractors, you gain access to a large pool of experts from around the world, cost and time savings, the ability to focus on your core competencies, and more.

  • Keeping the Team Motivated

It doesn't matter if you are working with in-house resources or offshore individuals located far away from you–if a team is working on your project, it's your team. This is why you should provide feedback to people involved in your outsourcing projects, because no feedback means all things are fine. When you are satisfied with the results, you should show your appreciation to the team. In addition, if something is wrong - you should notify the developers.

Giving some degree of flexibility is also beneficial. Like any other human being, your outsourced team sometimes needs day-offs and vacations. All these things will make the work even more productive. Additionally, bonus payments are an option. Although it is not a large sum of money, it is a very thoughtful gesture that staff always appreciates. However, the bonus system must be equal for everyone on your virtual team, so all members must receive the same bonuses.

  • Eliminating Cultural Discrepancies

You have to deal with the fact that their culture is different from yours when hiring developers overseas. Outsourced projects have another important aspect. At first glance, this may seem like a minor issue since many believe that speaking the same language is the key to understanding each other. Nevertheless, just knowing how to speak English is not enough for managing outsourced teams since cultural differences can have a significant impact on the working process.

So, before hiring a remote team, make sure its culture aligns with your product development culture. It is important for both parties to appreciate and recognize their differences. Communicating effectively with your offshore team requires you to be aware of their communication habits, behavior rules, traditions, and customs.

Getting better results will come from reading about the country where your outsourced project partner is based, its politics and social norms, and knowing how the developers do things and what their working culture is. Organize some training programs for your in-house staff to better understand the culture of your remote team.

  • Using Project Management Tools

Working with an outsourced team on a software project requires setting precise and clear tasks, tracking task execution, setting deadlines, and planning online meetings while adjusting to different time zones. Managing outsourced projects is easy with the help of project management software. Here are the most popular ones:

  • Trello 

The Trello project management tool is based on Kanban boards. By moving cards from one list to another, users can track the execution of tasks and thematic boards. You can also add team members and due dates to boards, make notes, attach files, etc. when you use Trello for your outsourced projects.

  • Asana

The software Asana is another good option for managing outsourcing projects. Tasks and subtasks can be created, tracked, assigned to other people, and necessary attachments can be added as well.

  • Wrike

Wrike is a project management tool that allows users to view their projects in real-time and track their progress. It offers spreadsheets that can assist you in seeing the big picture, keeping track of tasks, and planning what needs to be done next. Additionally, there is an embedded time-tracking system, a general activity stream, dynamic Gantt charts, and other useful features for managing team members across time zones.

  • Taiga

The Taiga project management software tool is ideal for agile projects. There are agile templates you can use to create sprints and add tasks to user stories. In addition, you can name a user story, add a description, and set the time needed to execute a task for a particular category, such as UX, design, front-end, back-end, select the progression level, and tag the person responsible.

Find out more about project management platforms in our article about 7 amazing project management tools.

Implementing Agile Practices

Agile methodologies and outsourcing software development are two trends in software development that enable modern product development. Using agile development requires a common understanding of the practices between both parties, a client and a remote team. As part of agile development, all project participants must cooperate and trust one another, as well as take responsibility. Therefore, you must ensure that all of your partners located in different time zones have sufficient scalability, flexibility, and collaboration capabilities.

In Agile methodologies, both parties of outsourced projects agree to make adjustments to the software development process if they are necessary to improve results. As a result, the overall development process can be easily adapted to changing conditions throughout the entire lifecycle. Additionally, Agile can enable a team to implement improvements more smoothly and adapt its products to new market requirements.

Our Experience 

With years of building .net applications for clients around the world, BitsOrchestra has proven itself to be a reliable, secure and scalable company. With proven expertise and a growing talent pool of .Net developers, we can build your project from scratch or scale up the size of your existing team. Globally, companies of all sizes rely on .NET outsourcing services, from startups to large enterprises. 

With dozens of clients in industries such as fintech, sharing economy, manufacturing, energy management, telecom, and much more, our .Net development outsourcing services have helped dozens of companies. BitsOrchestra development team has experience working in large, distributed teams and providing .Net outsourcing services globally. 

Besides offering application engineering services, our .NET developers perform cross-technology migrations, support and maintenance for all .NET products, and testing. 

Additionally, Bitsorchestra .Net developers have experience in building UNIX-based applications with open source .NET Mono.  

Conclusion

Although your project's developers might be outsourced and located afar, they are still your team members, and you should treat them accordingly. As a remote manager, it is important to be a good partner to your offshore software provider, communicate regularly with them, keep their motivation high, respect their culture, use project management tools that are suitable for them, and implement Agile methodology.

The purpose of this blog post is to help you learn how to work with an outsource development team, how to manage the entire process from the beginning of the project to deliver the code to the client.


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