If you’re a large company, managing outsourced product development is a relatively straight forward activity. You have lots of engineers, processes and experience to guide you. For a small company, or startup, that has never outsourced product development, things are not so simple. How do I know I have picked a good one? How much should I pay? How do I tell if they are doing a good job when I barely understand what they are doing? How do I know they understand me, my company and our requirements? It can be overwhelming. Fortunately there is an effective strategy for this situation: Hire one Product Development Company (PDC) to do the work, and another PDC to oversee the first. Here are some tips related to this strategy:
* Make it clear to the overseeing PDC that they will never get to do anything but oversee; otherwise, they will throw the PDC doing the work under the bus in order to get the work for themselves.
* When interviewing PDCs, ask if they would accept such an arrangement. Any company unwilling to do so should be treated as suspect.Overseeing is not the same as managing.
* The overseeing PDC is there to help you understand what is going on and make suggestions, not manage the day to day activities of the working PDC’s employees.
* Don’t buy into the argument that it will just add cost to the project. Call me, and I will give you several examples of how this saved a lot of money and time.
* The overseeing PDC’s employee doing the work should be a partner in the firm.
Contact me with questions and more tips – 603-880-8484