Startups

How to Prepare for Outsourcing without Dedicated Documentation and Processes in Place

by
on
2/9/2022
How to Prepare for Outsourcing without Dedicated Documentation and Processes in Place

Teams commonly place the bulk of their focus on development when working on a project. This can mean that documentation is given a lower priority, especially when there’s a lot to do. It’s understandable and can happen to anyone. 

In order to help teams that experience this, we created an onboarding model of our own where we can help teams with their documentation issues and guide them toward creating proper environments and processes. 


What your team needs to do in order to make yourself outsourcing ready

  1. Start now

One of the biggest mistakes that a team can make is waiting. Don’t wait for a big project or the ‘perfect time’ to start, as there will never be one. The best thing to do it identify a service (or microservice) that you need help with and then use that as a starting point for creating your documentation.  

In most cases, we start from UI fixes and end up working fullstack. During the onboarding phase, you can use these initial tasks as a place to start, and once a workflow is set up, it’s common that teams find suitable, low-ambition tasks easily from the flow (see our handbook here).

Once you’ve started, do the documentation on-go. Almost no one has documentation ready, and if they do, it’s likely that it isn’t up to date. The best method to employ is to get things moving and do the documentation as things unfold. 

Our model focuses on getting the basics first, with all the needed documentation happening during the onboarding, so don’t stress out about this.


  1. Use the right tools

No team can function well without good communication. It isn’t enough to just ensure you’re being clear when communicating, you also have to use the right tools. 

Make sure your team uses an efficient IM & Project management tool. We believe that most asynchronous communication should go through IM. This doesn't mean that tasks or sprints are planned there, but the rule of thumb would be that task-related things should stay in project management tools like Jira or Devops, while questions or other relevant topics can be kept in IM.


  1. Communicate only what matters with developers

You might be obsessing over how well you should describe a task. But the truth is, if you’ve already built something, then describing a task very simply is good enough. We also help with this during onboarding and can help you make your initial tasks if need be. 

There’s no need to fuss too much with this as it’s not rocket science. All you need to focus on is the basics: what, why, and what outcome is expected. That’s good enough to start with. Even if you want to work directly with developers, it is much more efficient to communicate with just one senior developer who will then relay information to the other developers. 

This senior developer can act as a filter to save your and your team's time. Decide who acts as a PO or Lead towards the outsourcing company, then set up proper communication practice and channels for it. We prefer Slack/Teams for daily change logs, while all the daily repository updates and comments (filtered by the Senior Dev) should be kept to the project management tool.


  1. Don’t focus on dev/staging environments

In many cases, dev/staging environments are not ready when you wish to outsource. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for you as they are not needed instantly when you start the onboarding process anyway. 

We prefer the basic model: local -> dev/staging -> production. In many cases, this is adequate and relatively easy to set up a duplicate of the production environment if you don’t yet have separate staging. After the communication channels are open, it’s easy to move forward with the phase you have inside the team, anyway.


Conclusion

If you work with NerdCloud, you don’t pay for onboarding. That means that you get outsourcing readiness free! ;) 

All hours are only billable when the developer is actually making miracles with the code, with no overheads. Our lowest subscription starts at just 40h (that’s one week coding, but most of our clients start with 80h), and after the onboarding period, it’s easy to scale up as you like. 

In our experience, the fastest way to get things done is to just start doing them. We’ve got a solution for all of your programming needs, so why not just get started by working with us?