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Project management tools and strategies: Outsourcing strategies

Outsourcing has a great impact on software development and project management. Here are tips, strategies and articles to guide PMs dealing with outsourcing and distributed teams.

   Team building and managing basics
   Outsourcing strategies
   Communication and collaboration tools
   Gantt charts, PERT charts, and PM planning tools
   Other useful resources

  Outsourcing strategies

The outsourcing of part or all of software development projects is a trend that isn't going to slow down soon. (For expert predictions on outsourcing, see Software development trends in 2008: Outsourcing, agile development.)

This section contains information on strategies for project managers dealing with outsourcing and distributed teams. While there is some information on tools, much more can be found in the next section, communication and collaboration tools.

  • Article: How to control software quality in offshore development projects: When teams are distributed, quality control can be more difficult to enforce. Here are tips from industry veterans on maintaining optimum quality.

  • Expert advice: How to collaborate, conduct meetings virtually: Project management expert David Christiansen offers advice for managing and participating in virtual meetings, including knowing when to shut up.

  • Article: Outsourcing PM services (PDF): In order to effectively outsource project management one has to consider training, documentation, the balance of in-house skills to outsourced skills and more. This article hits on all the major points.

  • Expert advice: Agile development across continents: Bas de Baar, a native of The Netherlands, knows about managing distributed teams. Agile methods offer unique hurdles to outsourcing.

  • Article: Outsource software testing: For project managers who are considering outsourcing testing, Bas de Baar identifies potential benefits and disadvantages.

  • Case study: Outsourcing experience report -- LogicLibrary and EPAM: From Minnesota to Belarus, these groups have found a way to work together. Details about their SDLC, including modes of communication, are included in this useful article.

  • Article: Managing virtual teams (PDF): This text has been adapted from a speech given in 1997 and therefore predates much of the technology virtual teams use today. Culture, mind set and other non-technological aspects of virtual project management form the focus of this article.

  • Article: Offshore outsourcing to India: Bas de Baar explains why India is such a popular choice for offshore IT projects. He also gives some tips to those in India involved in outsourcing to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

  • Article: IT organizations discovering new ways to stay nimble: Project management outsourcing: The author is a bit of a cheerleader for outsourcing project management positions, but he has solid experience and information to pass along.

  • Article: Managing IT projects offshore: While some of the advice in this short article may seem obvious -- familiarize yourself with the culture to which you are outsourcing, take care to communicate effectively -- it is nevertheless advice that is often overlooked.

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