Outsourcing 101: How much time you have to invest

We often feel like John, a hypothetical developer whose story goes like this. John goes to Jane’s (his boss) office everyday, but there is noone in the office, no colleagues, and no Jane. John gets an instruction on what to do once or twice a week on a short email. John works on the to-dos, deliver the results, but he very rarely gets a response to his reports. What’s worse, when he asks questions, the questions left unanswered for days, although it’s blocking him to complete the task.

Dont ever let your outsourcing relationship goes like this! The disadvantages are easy to spot…

As the boss, Jane is wasting her money. Imagine how many hours wasted because a question is unanswered in a timely manner, and how many hours wasted because a task isnt done quite as expected because Jane doesnt have time to check on the deliverables.

As a developer, John’s motivation is down to the drain pretty quickly. Motivation translates to productivity, so it hurts the client as well. As the boss, Jane needs to constantly set expectation, give sufficient pressure to pump up John’s adrenaline.

Deciding when to outsource if you are a programmer

Basically outsourcing is the same as hiring more employees.
The difference is just a few zeros in your payroll bill.

If you own a small (or solo) consultancy business, who have been getting regular consultancy works, and you are now looking to grow your consultancy business, outsourcing is a good option.

First however, because you are a programmer yourself, you have to manage your expectation.
You may most likely notice that you can do what you outsource yourself, in a much faster speed.
This actually will be true even if you employ an in-house programmer.
But over time, you will see that you can free yourself off programming and focus more on building your business, getting new clients (or other things, like go fishing and taking a nap)

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