A lot has been said and written about the benefits of outsourcing. We also recently shared 10 engineering tasks that can easily be outsourced. But how do you know when it is the right time to start outsourcing? Our experience is that many companies overthink and overcomplicate this question. Because the signs that you need to outsource engineering – or at least part of it – are usually there.
When it’s a no-brainer to outsource engineering
Outsourcing may sound complicated, but it can be as small as (temporarily) bringing in one external expert to take over some of the workload. So let’s dive into the situations where the decision to outsource engineering tasks is practically a no-brainer.
1. The engineering skills needed are missing in your team
Innovation is becoming more complex every year. Which means that the list of specialized skills you need to innovate and stay competitive is also growing. As talented and experienced as your engineering team may be, chances are that you don’t have all the engineering skills you need in-house.
Finding someone who masters all the skills you need is nearly impossible. So break down the work that needs to be done into tasks and list the skills needed for each task. Then find an expert (or multiple experts) who can execute this task better than anyone.
2. You need specific engineering expertise now, but not all the time
And you also don’t need these skills and expertise in-house when the work is important to start or finish a project, but won’t be a recurring activity. In that case, why would you put someone on your payroll if there’s not enough work for him or her to do throughout the year?
3. The work is not part of your core activity
Or maybe the work is actually recurring, but it’s not part of your core activity. We believe very strongly that both engineers and companies should focus on what they do best. If the engineering work is needed to run your business, but it is not the core of your business, why waste your time and energy managing it? Leave it to someone who knows exactly what to do so you can focus on growing your business.
4. It’s an easy, but time-consuming task
The quickest way to demotivate your talented engineering team is to let them work on stuff that’s not challenging, but still time-consuming. If your team is ‘wasting’ valuable time on things that need to happen, but can easily be done by someone else, then why don’t you outsource that engineering task?
5. Scaling is only possible if you outsource engineering activities
You want to scale your business and the opportunities are there. Great! But how are you going to get all that work done with your existing engineering team? If you want to scale fast and not lose momentum, then you can’t wait until your team has grown to deal with the extra work. You need people today who know instantly what needs to happen and can get the job done.
6. You never have enough time work on what’s important
When you find yourself wishing there were more hours in a day, it’s probably a sign you need to outsource engineering tasks. Especially when the things you never get around to do are actually important for the future of your business.
The best way to free up time is deciding what work can – or should be – only done by you. When delegating other tasks to your team isn’t an option, then look for external resources that can help.
7. You’re looking for ways to reduce operational costs
It’s a misconception that outsourcing only adds costs. What people tend to forget is that – when you choose the right outsourcing partner to work with – you pay for what you need. You’re paying for results.
By bringing in external talent when you need them, you can easily scale and get things done. Without having to keep them on your payroll when work slows down. Or invest in training to improve / learn new skills.
8. You need innovative solutions to stay competitive
When your team has been working on the same product for quite some time, it can be difficult to come up with innovative solutions. They know what has worked or hasn’t worked in the past and find it challenging to think outside the box. This is when it’s a good time to bring in someone to shake things up. Someone with a fresh perspective, with experience in different industries, who understands what the market needs and who can challenge and inspire your team. They can work as a mentor or coach to bring your company to the next level.
When you’re ready to outsource engineering
As we mentioned at the start, people often overcomplicate the decision to outsource. When in reality it should make your life easier. You don’t have to sign long-term contracts when you don’t know if they’re the right outsourcing partner for you. In fact, we would strongly advise against that.
Just start with one task, one activity that’s giving you a headache today and you would love to see solved. At Tasker we focus on engineering tasks and short-term projects. And we use predictable task-based pricing. Tell us what you need to get done, and we’ll take care of the rest. If you’d like to know more, you can sign up and post a task for free or schedule a meeting with Clemens so we can demonstrate the platform.