Outsourcing is no longer a new concept. Lots of companies are electing to use service providers to supply certain tasks as opposed to handling them in-house. When done correctly, outsourcing can be extremely efficient and profitable. Yet, one thing that needs to be considered prior to the process of outsourcing is the development of metrics. These are essentially guidelines that are developed in order to make certain that the service provider’s deliverables meet the expectations of the customers or end users. Keeping that in mind, in this post we will take a look at the main considerations in development outsourcing metrics, so keep on reading to discover what they are…
First and foremost we have people metrics. This relates to the individuals who work at the company you are considering outsourcing a portion of your work to. You should develop a set list of skills and qualifications you expect from the employees of the service provider. This will help to ensure that they possess the necessary skills and experience you require. Measuring performance is another metric that should be considered when it comes to developing the necessary guidelines for the employees.
Aside from this, two other important metric areas are cost and responsiveness. Let’s deal with the former first. Cost metrics are imperative to ensure you do not receive any nasty surprises when the company invoices you for the work they have provided. It’s vital to establish a cost per function point for both maintenance, like outsourced IT support, and enhancements. Aside from this, responsiveness is another critical metric. Businesses that do not establish this metric prior to outsourcing often live to regret it, as communication proves to be inefficient. You should establish commitment timeframes for project estimates, enhancements, call backs, ad hoc requests and the closing of production application defects.
We have already discussed the people metrics that are needed to ensure a quality service, yet you should also consider technology and process metrics in order to achieve this as well. After all, no matter how skilled the workforce may be, if they do not have the right tools and systems for the service you require they are not going to be able to complete it effectively. Putting in place guidelines in regards to processes and technology will help to ensure that you are happy with the service you receive. You may also wish to implement a customer satisfaction survey as part of a customer satisfaction metric at a certain phase of the outsourcing process to ensure that the service provider is actually meeting the goals of your end users.
All in all, this post has presented some of the fundamental development outsourcing metrics you definitely need to consider when you begin the process of looking for the best service provider for your needs specifically. This should give you a basic guideline regarding the approach you should take to measuring providers and ensuring they supply the standard of service you require. You may need to add additional metrics in regards to your company and/or the part of your business you are outsourcing.
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