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Outsourcing or in-house. What to choose?

To outsource or hire in-house – that is the choice many companies are facing nowadays.

The advantages of hiring people in-house are that you can control your people directly and can better define and preserve your company culture and how it aligns with your employes.

However if you want to create a high quality product with less resources here are the few reasons why outsourcing is the best solution for you:

  • You save money. The transfer of certain functions of the company to outsourcing will help reduce operating costs and increase profits. In this way you become more flexible and more competitive on your market.
  • Access to highly skilled talent pool. You no longer need to invest in recruiting and training expensive resources for your business. You will get relatively inexpensive personnel, which skills are aligned to your business operations and functions.
  • Delegating some functions saves time and enables you to evolve. When it comes to small and medium-sized businesses, outsourcing helps to focus on key areas of activity and rationally spend human and financial resources on performing administrative and operational tasks.
  • Increased efficiency. When you outsource your business needs to an outsourcing partner, they bring years of experience in business practices and expertise in delivering complex outsourcing projects.

So, if you and your team wants to increase the flexibility of the company's business model and reduce operating costs outsourcing is what you need.

How to choose between outsourcing and outstaffing?

Both outsourcing and outstaffing will offer you quick and actionable results and properly performed on business initiatives. However, when you should go to outsourcing, and where you will prefer outstaffing - the choice of the mode depends on your requirements.

Outsourcing is a transfer of functions or responsibilities from an inner company’s subdivision to an external executor.

Outstaffing is a staff’s withdrawal beyond the official state of the organization. The main difference between these terms:

  1. Labor’s relation form. Talking about outsourcing the provider selects the personnel for the customer according to the specified criteria and sends it to the customer's company. Outstaffing is temporary provision of personnel.
  2. Staff’s functions. For outsourcing is more characteristic of intellectual work, while for outstaffing - all kinds of work.
  3. Salary. Outsourcing staff are paid for the result of the company's processes while outstaffing staff regularly receives a salary.

However, the main thing that you should take into account is:

  • choosing outstaffing the customer gets rid of the need to conduct personnel records management, to execute calculations and pay wages and other related duties;
  • choosing outsourcing you have to realize that it is a complete transfer of certain tasks of the company for maintenance. The contractor coordinates the work of employees, controls the progress of its implementation, the customer gets the completed result from the process.

So, if you want to get a quality product, but don’t have a desire to understand all aspects and tools of it - outsourcing is the best way for you.

Does time difference matter?

Time zone difference gives the benefit of “follow the sun” working model, in which the offshore team takes on the work in client’s night time and returns the result in the next day’s morning. This round-the-clock model speeds up the product development and reduces response time thus enhances customer service. However it also creates collaboration challenges and requires additional coordination cost due to delayed communication, misunderstanding and rework.

The time difference doesn’t play an important role if you:

Want to choose appropriate utilization of time:
Projects can be completed faster because work outsourced to a company with a day-and-night staff can be completed at any time of the day. You may be asleep dreaming of tropical beaches while that urgent project on deadline is being completed by the staff employed by your outsourcing firm. When you get to work the next morning, refreshed from your vacation dreams, the project could be waiting for you to show your client.
Plan to increase productivity:
When your projects are completed faster because of round-the-clock operations that means you can take on more clients. You spend less time working on the details of the project and more time building relationships with your clients. You will also have more time to establish new business.
Have a desire to save your cost:
If you are producing faster results and gaining more customers or clients, your business can make more money. You have a staff working 24 hours to help your business succeed.

So the time difference can influent on your project, but to be sure that only in the best sense of this word :)

Remote team vs. local team

Don’t know with which team - remote or local - start your project? There’s a lot of advantages why you should choose remote team. Let’s explain some of them:

  1. You can hire better talent than you can find in your location. Finding new talent from all over the world means that your team isn’t stuck in one office, in one city.
  2. Increased productivity. Team members working from home can increase their productivity significantly by eliminating office distractions, eliminating travel and allowing some flexibility in working hours.
  3. Reduced office expenses and lower cost per employee. Office space is not cheap and startups need to find ways to save money, especially in the early days.

Talking about choosing local team the main advantage is a simple communication. You needn’t waste your time waiting when member of the team could contact you as this person might work in the next room.

Sure, it is only your choose - a local or remote team. However, remember that the team is your tool which helps not only create perfect products, but also promotes your company or project to international market.

What are the project development stages?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a customer or executor you need to realize all project development stages and how it works. Understanding how project is created is 60% of your success.

Projects are divided into six stages:

  1. Definition.
  2. Initiation.
  3. Planning.
  4. Execution.
  5. Monitoring & Control.
  6. Closure.
Definition
Before a starting the project the PM (project manager) must make sure the project goals, objectives, scope, risks, issues, budget and timescale have been defined. This must be communicated to all the stakeholders to get their agreement.
Initiation
The initiation stage is where the business case is declared, scope of the project decided and stakeholder expectations set. Remember, that a poor initiation stage often leads to problems and even failure.
Planning
Creating a project plan is the first task you should do when undertaking any project. Often project planning is ignored in favour of getting on with the work and many people do not realise the value of a project plan in saving time, money and for avoiding many other problems.
Execution
This is where the work to deliver the product, service or wanted result is carried out. Most of the work related to the project is realised at this stage and needs complete attention from the project manager.
Monitoring & Control
Keeping control after running the project is essential. This is achieved by regular reporting of issues, risks, progress and the constant checking of the business case to make sure that the expected benefits will be delivered and are still valid.
Closure
It is important to make sure the project is closed properly. Once closed, the project manager should review the project and record the good and bad points, so that in the future, successes can be repeated, and failures avoided.
How do I monitor my project progress

Once you’ve got a project’s plan it’s time to put it into the actions. If you have worked on some project before you would agree with the fact that time simply flies by and keeping track of things becomes very difficult.

That’s why we use special project tracking tools like TopTracker, Hubstaff to monitor how the project is progressing so that you can identify potential problems in a timely manner and take corrective action in advance.

Trackers are the smartest and the most secure solution, which helps us to find answers to such questions like how we can improve our practices, what we are missing, what new and different we can bring in it to solve problems early and effectively.

Fixed Price vs. Hourly: Which Pricing Structure is Right for Your Project?

We know that choosing a good process to handle your IT project can be a headache. At first glance, the fixed price might seem like the best possibility if your project has finite deliverables, clear scope and you can predict all risks in advance. But as practice shows most of the projects requires to flexibility and quick adaptation to the changes which are happening during project planning and realization.

The main reasons why hourly rate is better than fixed price are:

  • You receive better project. Why? With fixed price you work on already set plan and tasks with least amount of information and you can’t change it during the process, while hourly rate allows to learn continuously, adapt to the changes and take the necessary measures.
  • You avoid risks. It sounds like a fixed-price model should lower your risk – shouldn’t it? But not really. It’s virtually impossible to estimate the project with long term perspective. Continuously evaluating the working process and taking immediate actions to needed changes allows to see the possible problem and to solve it in time.
  • It's cheaper. Yes, it is. Avoiding risk while working on the project save not only your time, but financial resources too. You will no longer spend your money for mistakes made.

Fixed price is not that bad, but your time and efforts cost much more, don’t it?

What's agile, scrum and other approaches

Imagine that you are part of a team which needs to create a new website. You have an overwhelming amount of work to do. While working on the project you'll make hundreds of decisions. And one of the first decision is to choose which project management methodology to follow.

Every software development organization today strive to practice the Agile software development methodology. What does it mean?

Essentially Agile allows organisations to keep their eyes on the prize – the product or services they are looking to launch – while allowing development teams to adapt their approach as they go. It encourage continuous delivery of functioning software, close communication of team members, customer collaboration and high adaptability to changing needs.

One of the most popular Agile development framework is Scrum. Why?

It’s easy to implement and to solve a lot of problems which software team can face such as offset timelines, inflexible project plans, intricate development cycles. The team works in two weeks duration “sprints,” and they meet daily to discuss what’s been done and where there are any struggles that need solving.

Another popular development management method is Kanban. It implements the idea to do everything in time and helps to visualize work and to continuously improve the work process.

No matter how complex your project is, you really need tools that will help you simplify the process and highly qualified project manager who will bring it in one complex system.

Native vs. Xplatform

Nowadays, the question of choosing between cross-platform and native apps is more actual than ever. Should you invest your money in native application or creating cross-platform app is relevant idea? Let’s consider some features from each sides.

A native mobile app is an application which meets the requirements of a particular operating system by using its SDK (as well as hardware memory, gear and other applications installed on a device).

Features:

  1. The speed of the application.
  2. Flexibility in implementation.
  3. Use of the latest technologies.
  4. Ease and quality of testing.

A cross-platform application is a mobile app which is compatible with multiple operating systems and can therefore run on any smartphone or tablet.

Features:

  1. It takes less resources than native development to implement the application under several platforms.
  2. Less time to develop.
  3. Ability to use the site’s mobile version.
  4. Using a single application logic.

Native development has more pluses from a technical point of view and in terms of the quality of the created interface.Without any doubts, there are spheres, in which using cross-platform technologies are justified: game sector and testing projects.

However if project is not a game and required positive impression from users, native development is appropriate variant.

What is the difference between front-end and back-end?

You still feel confused about the difference between front and back? Don’t worry, it's much easier than you think. Let's get into it.

Front-end and back-end development tend to have very different roles in terms of web development process. The frontend of a website is what you see and interact with on your browser, all visual elements and architecture. It includes everything from text and colors to buttons, images, and navigation menus. Tools and Languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

The back-end or the "server-side" is basically what powers the site and the core functionality. This refers to everything you can't see in the browser, like databases, APIs, application logic. Tools and Languages: PHP, Java, .Net, Node.js.

MVP — to be or not to be?

Minimum viable product or MVP is a product ready to enter the market and satisfy customers needs. The product represents the core functionality to identify whether the future product will succeed or not.

Today MVP is becoming more and more common because it:

  1. Saves time and resources. MVP takes much less time for development as it includes only essential functions and minimum design so that it is possible to carry out an accurate market analysis.
  2. It helps to eliminate shortcomings on early stages of development, thereby improving the product’s profitability and reducing its future rework.
  3. It arouses users’ interest and establishes a loyal group of customers during initial release.
  4. MVP helps developers to balance between necessary functionality and wasteful features bringing their focus to the core purposes of the product.
  5. It demonstrates the validity of the product attracting investments for the further development.
  6. Doesn’t require a massive documentation allowing to start development straight away.
  7. It usually has fewer bugs and it crashes less often so users are more inclined to become loyal customers.

MVP is an achievable goal if:

  • The quality outweighs the number of functions and features added. Follow the “less is more” principle.
  • The initial release is performed as soon as possible. It is a simple method: build MVP ⟶ measure the results ⟶ learn from it ⟶ repeat. Consequently, if the release is constantly delayed it is impossible to build anything.
  • The competitive market is monitored for the availability of the same products. What is the point to overflow the market with the same items again and again?
  • The development team stays agile. It means that your team should be prepared to change the idea or the concept seamlessly in case of failure.
  • Target audience (age, gender, region, etc) and its demands are identified accurately.
  • Users’ experience and feedbacks are analyzed carefully.

To conclude, the Minimum viable product is a method and a tool to adjust and enhance the functionality, design or usability of your product to make it a unique and outstanding solution.

Incode Group is your reliable partner offering MVP development together with full-functional products built upon high-standard performance.

Drop us a line, if you’d like to receive more information or still have questions. We are glad to answer any of them.

How do we avoid endless fixing and testing of configurable software?

A configurable software is an easily maintainable and supportable software. However, configurability is a gift if used wisely and a curse if used recklessly.

The concept itself defines the ability of the system to be agile and adaptive to specific requirements. Any system owner has the opportunity to personalize and tune it without the help of the software developer.

Incode Group offers you a guideline to achieve agility for your product and to avoid endless fixing and testing hell:

  1. Determine which items of the system must be tuned and which ones are optional (only if the system performance requires it). Remember that it is in human nature to configure everything that can ever be configured. Furthermore, bear in mind that the positive influence of any setting change should outweigh the negative one.
  2. Enable people maintaining the software adjust only essential settings while optional ones should be hidden behind the big scary door called “Advanced settings”.
  3. Unite and rule. The number of configuration resources should be as small as possible and if the hosting environment allows design it as one centralized resource, it will simplify the maintenance. If offline system performance is necessary it can be easily achieved by caching all the necessary configurations.
  4. Walk in the user's shoes. Provide as much documentation as it is possible to clarify every possible configuration value. Still, it is not over yet. A system is defined as a complex whole so the relationships between separate configurations should also be understandable for a person maintaining it.
  5. Supply users supporting the system with a toolbox necessary to get up the system and run it properly.

Now you are familiar with the concept of configurability and it is more likely that you are already familiar with the term customizable software, but there's a significant difference between them. Unlike configuration, customization refers to the underlying code. It means that the customized system is a one-off solution created for you.

Incode Group provides both configurable and customizable solutions, so ask us and we would be glad to answer all the questions you may have. We are always eager to provide you a quality support.

Key differences between UI and UX designs.

Have you ever faced with a visually attractive product but too daunting to use? If yes, you’ve experienced great UI and poor UX designs. Or have you ever met a product simple and comfortable in use but visually repulsive? It is the example of a good UX and weak UI designs.

Both UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) design are crucial for a successful product development. However, Incode Group has distilled key differences for you:

In its nature UX design is a non-technical concept. It represents the informative architecture of the interfaceUI design, on the contrary, is a digital concept standing for visual presentation of the interface
UX designer is mainly responsible for the usability (user research/user experiences and wireframing)UI designer is responsible for graphical development which also includes wireframing in addition to branding and device adaptation
UX design unveils scenarios and task flows. It is the structure of the information you seeUI design unveils colors, shapes, sizes of graphic elements. It is the visual guideline you use
UX design is the functionality and usability of the interfaceUI design is how you see and feel the interface while interact
UX designer is in charge of prototyping and testing leading to the improvement of user experienceUI designer is in charge of implementation of the research output, layouts and mockups, making the interface an attractive guidance for the user

In conclusion, User experience design helps to achieve required tasks seamlessly and quickly while User interface design makes this process pleasing and visually comfortable.

Incode Group is a team of experienced UI/UX designers ready to assist you in achieving your goals. We are eager to provide you a wide array of design services based upon high-performance standards.

Drop us a line, if you’d like to receive more information or still have questions. We are glad to answer any of them.