How to Choose the Right Engineering Partner

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How to Choose the Right Engineering Partner

Whether you’re starting a new project or trying to bring the current one to the finish line, sometimes you know you need to bring in outside help. Now that you’ve started looking for outsourced developers — and discovered there are thousands to choose from — how do you know which will be the best fit for your project?

Because engineers are as different as projects, there isn’t a single person or team who could be titled The Best For You. However, when you consider all the aspects and weigh all the options, the choices can be narrowed considerably. Here is a short list of factors to help you identify some top candidates to aid with your project.

Cost

This is always an essential component in project planning, but in the face of the current global economy, sticking to your budget just became critical. Carefully evaluate the cost of assigning parts of the project to remote engineers vs. your in-house team to be sure you spend your budget wisely. Note: Hiring based only on the lowest bid is not always the best way to spend your budget. If they can’t get the project done on time or if someone else on your team will need to redo their work, you’ve just wasted all the money you’ve paid them.

Qualifications

Make a list at the outset of which skills, platforms, language, training, and qualifications you need to complete this project. Check the boxes that your existing team can already cover successfully. Then evaluate outsourced individuals and firms based on how many of the remaining needs they can meet. Also, consider how well they meet those qualifications. Is that skill required for the bulk of the project or a single piece? Did the engineer take a course one time, or do they have a master’s degree in it?

Location

An outsourced engineer could be in the same city as you, or as far away as a different continent. Location is an important consideration for two reasons: time and language.

Based on the distance between you and the engineers, determine how the time zones will affect your workflow. Partial workday overlap will allow for team meetings to be scheduled within a specified timeframe. However, opposite working hours will require one of you to adjust your schedule, possibly working in the middle of the night. Some firms and engineers will shift their schedules to accommodate your work hours better; you should confirm that potential engineers will accommodate your schedule, or plan for what adjustments you may need to make.

Language is also a key consideration. You will want to confirm that the engineers have a solid command of your preferred language. This is especially important when the engineers are from a place that does not have your preferred language as the primary language. Your business is complex enough; poor communication will only make project completion more difficult.

Contract

Some outsourcing companies may handle building engineering teams and managing the payroll and benefits. Other companies simply put you in contact with qualified engineers so that you can contract or hire them directly. Evaluate the tax implications, your HR capabilities, and how these functions will affect your time and financial budgets. Also, be sure to negotiate contract points that ensure you receive quality work on time without extra cost.

Working with outsourced engineers may appear to be a challenging process. However, if you plan the relationship carefully — as carefully as you plan your project — you will find engineers who suit your needs and help you meet your goals effectively and efficiently.

Afam Agbodike

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