A Recipe For Outsourcing Your Software Development

Outsourcing your software development can save you time and money if you know what you need. Too often US companies attempted to outsource without a good understanding of what their software should do, and this is the biggest cause of outsourcing failure. It is unreasonable to expect your outsourcing team to have a menu of software, pre-prepared, so you can just select the items you want.

Ever go to a restaurant with a picky eater? They tell the waiter in excruciating detail how they want their food prepared. And heaven forbid that the food arrives different from what was requested! Back to the kitchen it goes to be "fixed" to make the picky eater happy.

Sometimes US companies hire an outsourced partner as if they were going to a restaurant. They select the cuisine based on the flavor of the technology they require. Chinese .NET or Indian Java? How about some Russian C ++? Unfortunately there is rarely a menu for the exact items you might like to order from an outsourced team.

Are you approaching outsourcing your software like you are walking into a restaurant? Are you expecting the outsourcing team to advise you, like an attentive waiter, on the way your software should look, be prepared and presented to your customers?

Instead, bring your own recipe when you start work with an outsourcing team. Unlike your dining experiences, you can not ask for the daily special. You have to provide a specific description of what you would like to have, and how it should be prepared. Without such a recipe, your outsourced software development efforts can be starved for success.

Poorly specified software is often the result when "subject matter experts" are involved. Subject matter experts, or SMEs, know a lot about a particular subject, like IC design, business process workflow, inventory management, etc., but very little about designing software. SMEs can struggle to get their ideas encoded in the software. They need to work with someone that knows the best way to design and develop software.

Sometimes, there is a fear of getting bogged down in the details. Since some software executives are great with people, they feel much more comfortable hiring a person to handle the details. They know how to manage a person here, better than they can manage an offshore team of programmers in a remote offshore location.

One Accelerance client is in this situation. The CEO wants to outsource the development of a new software product. But there is no specification. In this case Accelerance is acting as a virtual CTO, responsible for the design, and development of the client's software.

The client is essentially saying, "Design the software for me, and I'll tell you if it matches what I am thinking." This can work because the cost of outsourcing is so low that rework and multiple design iterations are affordable.

This type of arrangement only works when paying on a Time and Materials basis. There is no way to offer fixed pricing because the end product is not defined.

Of course, not having a specification may not stop you from asking for a fixed price bid! In this case, you can outsource the creation of a specification that defines your software for a fixed price. Then the resulting complete design specification is used to create a second fixed price bid for writing your software.

Another factor comes into play when you pay a fixed price amount for a software design specification. You usually have to pay at least half up front. This is to protect the outsourcing company from delivering a specification for creating the software and then not getting paid.

Because software design often occurs at the beginning of a relationship, both parties seek to minimize their risk. You minimize your risk by selecting an outsourcing team with a proven track record and great references. The outsourcing team reduces their risk by getting partial (sometimes full) payment before starting.

There are multiple deliverables that should be produced during the design phase of creating your software, whether you do it yourself, or outsource the design:

* Marketing Requirements

* Storyboard Demo

* Functional Specification

* Multiple Release Milestone Schedule

* Detailed Task Schedule for First Release

* Detailed Design Specification (optional)

Unfortunately, software development has not progressed to the point where ready-made modules are available to order and combined to create your software. There is not yet a menu of choices available to anyone that is hungry for new software. Instead, you must provide your own recipe for what you need. The good news is low cost outsourced software design and development resources are now available to create your custom software to meet your exact specifications.

Ezine Advertising Myths

The freedom of speech, the lack of education plus the others' herd instinct create some monsters … the myths. It is said "A fool throws a stone into a lake and twenty wise men can not stop the ripples."

Let's see what some ezine advertising "experts" discovered and many other followers spread everywhere they could …

1) Ezine Advertising Does not Work Anymore

Article marketing does not work. PPC does not work. Ezine advertising does not work. Actually for some people nothing works. You know why? They are busy spreading rumors instead of investing in their education.

Well, it's not our problem what other people are doing, but do you know what the real problem is? There is no one "up there" to force us to wear badges.

Whaaat? Badges?

For example, how nice would it be if an "I'm dumb" badge were added to someone who tries to drive with the tank of his brand new Mercedes empty? When that person will tell you, "Hey, those new cars are good for nothing", you'll take a look at his badge, say politely "I see …" and then you'll run away quickly without further telling all your friends the "bad" news you've just heard …

2) The Longer the Waiting Time, the Better the Ezine

If the waiting time for publishing your solo ad is long (over 4-6 weeks), you found a gem. If you read articles about advertising in ezines it's impossible to notice this "wonderful" idea.

Let me tell you something quickly …

During the last 6 months, the waiting time for solo ads to be published in my own "Ezine Advertising Info Newsletter" was at least 2 months. And you know what? My newsletter is NOT a gem. I wish it were, but it's not.

By the way, I just checked something … I'm not wearing any embarrassing bassing ;-)

3) The Higher the Number of Subscribers, the Better the Advertisers' Result

First of all, the result depends very much on you. Therefore, if you promote a poor quality product, if your landing page is not good, if your ad copy the same, it does not matter the number of subscribers. You will fail anyway.

On the other hand, most of the times a very big number of subscribers hides something: the list is stale, or email addresses are purchased leads (a big No-No), or even the number of subscribers is fake.

Let me quote from the most recent report issued by a reputable email marketing company: " Messages delivered to small and medium lists have far greater open and click rates than messages delivered to lists containing 1000 or more subscribers. and click rates, but mailings to smaller lists may be targeted better, contain more relevant content or have more recent subscribers. "(MailerMailer, Email Marketing Metrics Report issued on May 2009)

This report is not based on beliefs or amateur tiny size tests, but on the analysis of over 300 million messages across 21 industries sent through MailerMailer between July 1st and December 21, 2008.

There are many other ezine advertising myths (such as "Buy only solo ads and top sponsor ads.)") But I did not plan to post a novel here …

To Your Success, Whatever You Do!
Adrian Jock

Tips to Decorate a Perfect Red Carpet Wedding

Undoubtly, the matrimony ceremony is the most cherished event in every man and woman's life. This is what we all dream of, since the time we take a dive into the world of adulthood.

Yes, wedding vows between the bride and the groom are the cornerstone of the wedding eve, but there is another aspect which is also of paramount importance, and this is the smiling faces of the witnesses of your special day.

Hosting a wedding celebration is a baffling ask as one has to take care of a number of things. Starting with the crispy, juicy snacks served, the main course the music played in the background, but of all decoration at the party venue which makes a difference between any other celebration and something memorable.

Here, in this post, we dug deep into several ways to decorate a perfect red carpet wedding:

The Entrance

The decor of the entrance should be such it brings in happy and positive vibes. When decorating the entrance to the venue, think in terms of color palette, and not the individual or a combination of one or two colors. The event drapery at the entrance should invite, pick one who design matches seamlessly with the entire party decor.

The Center Stage

For setting up the stage at the wedding venue, you have to mull over several things. Firstly of all, the lighting should illuminate the bride and groom. The backdrop for the stage has to be elegantly dressed with an event backdrop. Buy something, which does not seem like an addition, but an extension of the party decor. Use the same style of fabric for lines, chair covers, and sashes, to make the center stage a topic of positive conversation amongst your invitees.

The Tables

When it comes to tables, do not stick to a rule of thumb, have different tables, the square, the rectangular or the round. But, most important, are the covers for chairs, make sure they appeal in style and design.

The Cake

The cake is another center of attraction, so display it nicely in the center. Go for different colors and textures for the cake. You can also decorate your cake or its surrounding with fresh flowers.

At the end of it all, these tips will help you to dress up an unforgettable wedding party venue. Keep in mind, today, the Internet is the best place to shop for event backdrop, event drapery, linens, and chair covers.

The Best Countries to Work In Around the Globe

There are many countries that a person can work in if he or she wants to go somewhere other than his or her home country. The most popular countries in which to be an expatriate and work are the United States, France, and Switzerland. They all have much to offer for locals, for tourists, and for people who are only there for a while due to work commitments, and they are all great countries. Many people like to go to the United States because it's such a large and diverse country both in its people and in its geography.

There are deserts, mountains, forests, and large bodies of water, making it a beautiful place to enjoy. There is also a good minimum wage, many great companies, and a lot of places where the cost of living is relatively low. If you can find a company that will hire you to work in the United States and will help get you moved and settled, you should be able to have a great time as an expat in that country. The United States might not be for you, though, or you might not find a company that you really want to work for there. If that's the case, you should consider heading to France or Switzerland.

Many people think of the French people as being aloof, but most are actually warm and friendly with a good work ethic and a willingness to help others. You can learn a lot from them, and many fine companies have their homes there, or at least have branches there where you can work. That's a great choice for people from the UK who do not want to go really far from home. Another great choice for international jobs is Switzerland. It has a very strong economy and its treatment of workers overall is impressive.

It's also home to breathtaking scenery, so when you're not working you'll be able to take a look at the country that you're temporarily calling home and see what there is to see. All three of these countries have a lot to enjoy and there is so much to do in all of them that you'll never be bored. They also have great companies that you can work for, so you can make a decent living while exploring someplace new and learning about a new culture. It's like a great job and a holiday all at the same time, and you'll be richer for the experience.