VMC’s Kirstin Whittle reveals five widespread slip-ups that impact your perception of bringing in other firms

Inside outsourcing: Five common mistakes

Many companies, even big brands, aren’t taking full advantage of their outsourcing process.

Considering how much the games industry has changed in the last few years, you should be concerned if your company’s outsourcing engagements haven’t evolved over the same span.

Here are five critical factors for getting more value from your outsourcing and delivering better products to your customers:

You See Outsourcers as Vendors, not Partners

If you’re treating outsourcing as a commoditised process and keeping your vendors at arm’s length instead of embedding them in the process, you may be missing a lot of opportunity. 

Creating a seamless partnership with your outsourcers and strategically involving them in your process enables you to build stronger collaborative relationships and ultimately deliver better products.

You Aren’t Retaining Core Competency In-House

You want your outsourcers to be partners in your projects, but you don’t want them being the brain trust for managing portions of your development process.

Certain activities may not be your team’s core competency, but you need in-house people who have a clear, in-depth understanding of the critical work your outsourcers are performing. This protects you if your outsourcing partners can’t accommodate your workload or your relationship with them ends.

You Have Too Many Eggs in Too Few Baskets 

Every business is continually evolving, including yours and your outsourcers.

What will you do if your product takes off? What if your QA outsourcers with multiple clients can’t ramp up for more testing on your timeframes? Building strong relationships in advance helps you be prepared when you need to be, and allows you to identify which partners deliver the best performance. 

You Aren’t Considering All the Options

Your outsourcing options go beyond having tasks performed at remote locations.

Explore how other types of outsourcing – onsite staff augmentation, managed services, co-managed services, and pure outsourcing – could be more effective solutions for your needs and schedule.

You’re Choosing for the Wrong Reasons

Production support services are best measured on six key factors: quality, experience, cost, speed, scalability and process. In reality, many companies select their outsourcers based on the familiarity of working with a particular person or organisation and accept any limitations on the other five factors.

‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ isn’t a good approach to outsourcing. Make sure your business decisions are driven by proven performance, not personal preferences.

Outsourced services are an essential part of your development process, and strong partnerships enable your team to focus on what they do best while your partners provide expertise for QA and support. By building on your strengths and leveraging your partner’s capabilities, your products and customers will benefit.

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