The Subtle Art of Maintaining Great Communication while Outsourcing App Development

Rahul Singh
8 min readNov 19, 2022

One of the most prevalent concerns among entrepreneurs who wish to contract out a portion of their business is communication issues. It’s no surprise! Lack of understanding of how to interact with an outsourced team might derail a project, as it runs through many of its stages: from gathering requirements and planning through development and problem solutions. Lack of concept comprehension, lack of similar goals, delays, minor misunderstandings, and the product failing to meet your expectations… Does any of this ring a bell?

One of the foundations of a successful business is effective and honest communication. It boosts productivity, improves interpersonal connections, boosts employee happiness, and lowers expenses. Yes, it may not be very comforting, but even at long distances, you can communicate successfully.

We’ll show you how to do it.

Assign one person to be in charge of the interactions

Even if you use Slack, Rocket or another instant messenger to connect with the entire team, knowing who is in order of communication is essential. A project leader, an account manager, or group leaders are all examples of project managers. He’ll take down your specifications and ensure that they’re followed.

Try to be as specific as possible about how you’ll communicate and how quickly you’ll respond if any issues arise along the road. This can help you prevent a situation where crucial problems go unresolved. You might request that your outsourcing provider adopt your company’s processes if you are connected to them and find them straightforward and effective.

Set realistic expectations

Set clear and reasonable expectations before you and your potential outsourcing partner start working on your app. The more precise and explicit they are, the easier it will be for team members to accomplish their jobs and become more motivated. There will also be no misconceptions, which, as we all know, may lead to a tense atmosphere and reduced overall productivity.

You’ll need to set both general and particular expectations for your team.

Here are some broad guidelines:

a.) Communication that is open and honest

b.) Completing their responsibilities diligently and under established timelines

c.) Professionalism in action

d.) Observe established policies and processes (e.g., security measures and NDA)

The development process expectations will vary depending on the project’s complexity and the team member’s job. Arrange a call, a video meeting, or, if feasible, a face-to-face meeting with the team to go through all of the project’s needs and expectations.

When describing your standards and expectations, emphasize why they are necessary so that team members have explicit knowledge of their responsibilities. Now, don’t be the one to do all the chatting. Allow enough time for the workgroup to consider any issues or difficulties. Make sure to inquire about their expectations for the project and your own. You’ll get a good insight and how to match expectations on both sides.

Send your demands and standards by email after the meeting. Don’t be scared to repeat that you’re willing to answer inquiries and receive comments. You’ll need to review your team’s performance and development later in the project.

The expectations you’ve established might indicate how much the project is progressing as planned. It can take time to get the basics right, but your team and you will only be able to build an excellent product if you set realistic and clear expectations.

Set KPIs

KPIs must be

SMART: Specific, Measurable, and Actionable. A successful KPI, as per Jay Liebowitz, drives decisions rather than extra queries. It should be unambiguous, and each team member should understand what they must accomplish to meet the goal.

Measurable: It’s not a good KPI to say, “we’ll make the app operate quicker.” To get it correct, you’ll need to know your starting speed and how much you want to enhance it.

Attainable: When KPI expectations are overly ambitious, it can negatively impact team morale. It’s admirable to have lofty goals, but they must be achievable.

KPIs are the key

Relevant to your company’s objectives: Achieving the goal should have meaning and provide value. Investing 20 hours on a job will not get you there — but having a feature tested and operating will.

Time-bound: It’s critical to indicate when the desired result(s) can be obtained.

Concentrate on a few but the most effective communication tools

Several free and low-priced communication methods are available online, and installing them is pretty straightforward. You can contact the developers quickly, address their concerns, and report bugs without waiting for the next planned call. It’s a lot more useful than email. It will make collaboration with the app development team much more effortless.

The focus must be on apps that make ordinary communication fluid and straightforward to prevent this predicament. We’ll provide a quick review of the tools that may be utilized to provide some inspiration. It may take a little time to test them on and evaluate which ones are an ideal fit, but it will all be worth the effort.

Google Meet

You’ll undoubtedly utilize video conferencing technologies regularly when dealing with outsourced development teams. Google Meet is the most helpful tool for such purposes. It has an excellent connection so that you can communicate with teams from anywhere. Companies contact the client and other members of the team via video or audio calls. No concerns if you’re working with a bigger group; sessions may accommodate up to 10,000 people. It’s also secure, so you won’t have to worry over sensitive data (though prudence is always a good idea).

Slack

Slack can be integrated with other technologies. We connected Slack with Google Calendar, for example. There are no embarrassing moments when interrupting someone in the middle of a meeting. Slack may also be linked to project management software such as Jira, Asana, and Trello. Because so many people are on board, the channel’s function is entirely proper. Projects, departments, and even personal hobbies segregate our communication. This minimizes time and improves the focus and efficiency of conversation.

Present important information visually

It might be difficult to communicate complicated thoughts orally at times. It’s considerably more challenging when non-native speakers are on the opposite side of the screen. A poorly articulated concept can only result in misunderstanding and poor outcomes. As a result, employing images can help you communicate your message considerably more successfully. Furthermore, several types of research have demonstrated that pictures are processed 60,000 times quicker than text.

It’s all about visuals in app development. How can the team construct your app if they can’t see your idea? This is also why you must always create a wireframe, which is a minimal model or a blueprint of your app. It will make it easier for your team to visualize the finished outcome. The wireframe will be used as a template for adding more pieces later in the process. Most significantly, it will reduce the time you spend describing your app’s complexities and eliminate misinterpretations. Wireframing is also not the only helpful platform that may help you communicate ideas, plans, and project updates to your team.

Make sure to include:

i.) Flow charts, tables, graphics, etc.

ii.) Videos

iii.) Presentations

When working with outsourced development teams, visual tools are essential. They’ll not only make your thoughts more cohesive, memorable, and intelligible, but they’ll also help you remember them. They will also make the development process easier for the programmers.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It’s a two-way street when it comes to communication. It’s not chatting to or at someone when they’re waiting for their turn. It’s all about exchanging knowledge and ideas. According to surveys, employees want more feedback, and 65 percent of them desire it. It is simpler for people to stay inspired and become more productive when they receive performance feedback.

Build trust with your team

A trusted team works multiple folds better than one that isn’t. Why? A boasted team motivation results in more motivated employees and a healthy work environment. Moreover, it helps establish deeper interpersonal relationships amongst the employees, making them more responsibly active towards the firm’s goals. Team trust also leads to more creativity and innovation. Amongst the things you can do to build trust across your team, a few are listed below:

  • Be with your team always — if you’re surrounded by a dedicated group of individuals you can count on, make it clear that they should rely on you at all good or bad times. Teams will begin to trust you better if you are transparent, compassionate, and nonjudgmental.
  • When things are rough, please don’t play the blame game; instead, talk to your team about it. Hold people accountable if they are wholly responsible for a failed or delayed launch or a crash right before launch, but without pointing fingers. Instead, speak with them alone without being bossy or rude and attempt to resolve the problem as best you can.
  • Transparency — Everything must be laid out on the table. Your team will be able to organize their actions and make educated decisions when constructing the app if they are informed about everything associated with their work.

When it comes to developing connections, trust is paramount, not just in private affairs but also in business. You can only gain your colleagues’ confidence by communicating openly and honestly.

Don’t let cultural differences overwhelm you

It is proven that over 60% of all contracted projects fail due to cultural misalignment for the following reasons:

a.) Language barriers: These days, most coders are fluent in English. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of linguistic issues cropping up at any point throughout the development process. This is particularly true of communication techniques that are less explicit than those seen in Western society. When dealing with Asian teams, expect them to be less frank and forceful in their communication. To overcome the language barrier, ensure that software developers and other professionals have a firm grasp of English, allowing for smooth communication.

Cultural Differences can be Sorted Easily

b.) Varying time zones: You must resolve these before closing the deal.

c.) Different development methodologies: Sharing the same development approach with your outsourced team makes it simpler to overcome cultural boundaries. The Agile approach is one example of such a technique. The project is broken down into sprints, typically two weeks long. During this period, the client is constantly communicated with. They may check our work and even the app after each sprint.

There is ample evidence that outsourcing your app development to a specialist app development company is much more beneficial than building it in-house. And these seven steps allow you to communicate with your outsourced app development agency effectively. Get started!

Note: This article first appeared at: Outsourcing App Development: How to Effectively Communicate with the App Development Agency?

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Rahul Singh

I live, breathe and dream mobile apps. My interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms.