6 Secret Weapons for Managing Outsourced Software Projects

When you’re starting out as an outsourcing entrepreneur, keeping those overheads down so you don’t burn through your startup capital can be painful. But you do need tools to help you manage your software developers. They might be in-house, offshore or some mix of the two, so what free or low-cost tools can you use?

Fortunately, the internet is full of great tools! The issue often becomes knowing which to choose. So here’s my personal favorites list – if you have others to add, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Crucial Tools for Outsourced Software Development Projects

All the tools in this list have a free option for smaller teams. Some offer subscription services to expand your usage but you can try before you buy, at least.

1. Asana

First things first – you need to get all of those ideas for projects and tasks out of your head and into one place. I love this tool and use it all the time myself! You can add multiple teams on different projects and see progress at a glance, without needing a status update meeting. Its comment function is great as it allows you to chat about a specific task and when you need to refer to this again, it’s right there. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough, Asana is the best secret weapon that outsourced software project managers should know about!

It also eliminates the emails that often go back-and-forth between business owners and their teams. Emails are SO inefficient for managing projects! If you do just one thing after reading this article, go and check out Asana!

Other good, (but not quite the same in my opinion) options include Trello, KanbanFlow, Jira and BaseCamp.

2. BeanStalk Version Control

BeanStalk is my favored solution for version control. If you have no idea what version control is, or why you need it, imagine two outsourced software developers adding features for a few days to the same piece of code. When they go to upload their code, which version takes precedent? One developer could overwrite the other’s work! Of course, version control systems have existed for years, but BeanStalk has managed to take it to a whole new level by incorporating so many awesome options, PLUS the ability to perform code reviews and edits (all version controlled!) from right within BeanStalk. Invaluable for the digital nomad!

I just can’t say enough good things about BeanStalk – add it to your arsenal today!

3. Tortoise SVN

Your outsourced software developers will need a decent desktop program to work with a version control system like BeanStalk, and Tortoise is about the best there is for PCs.

If your teams use Linux, try rabbit instead – seriously!

4. Skype

It is said that 60% of communication is non-verbal. With Skype’s free client you will find the advantages of that, with video calls to your developers improving your understanding. It’ll also help you solidify your team by adding the personal touch. Skype for Business is not free, but is fairly cheap and has some funky integrations with Office365. That said, the free version is typically perfectly adequate – and far more user friendly.

5. Google Drive

Keeping your documentation together is a nightmare without some kind of shared repository. If you don’t have Slack, this is a great free alternative – up to a point. You may need to pay for some extra storage over time, but it’s a good start. You can also use its integration with Google Docs.

Alternatives include DropBox, but it just cannot match Google Drive in terms of readily available apps.

6. Evernote

Capture notes, to-do lists, screenshots, and sketches and share with others. Another alternative is Google Keep, which is similar and has some interesting integrations with other Google apps.

 

So that was my personal favorites list! As I mentioned above, if you have others to add, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!



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