A dedicated team helps you avoid unnecessary expenditures and gain access to specialized teams with skills you probably don’t need in-house. Dedicated teams are always available for your project requirements and you only pay for the work that you commission. This way, you will not have to maintain in-house teams consisting of various skills that you will probably only require for specific projects. With all its advantages, dedicated hiring can pose certain legal challenges if you are not well-prepared, or if you don’t have a proper contract in place.
A number of organizations often face issues related to communication, intellectual property rights and even confidentiality. These issues can be easily handled if you have planned in advance how to make your contract solid and legally sound.
1. A solid contract
One of the most problematic features of outsourcing is the legal contract that you need to sign just before commencing the project. Most contracts have legal loopholes that may put you or your vendor at risk. These loopholes include clauses related to taxes, data protection, and confidentiality. To make sure that you have a solid contract, follow these steps:
- Seek professional legal advice to prepare a contract. Don’t download a template online and assume it is going to relevant.
- Address cross-border legal concerns that usually arise in outsourcing situations.
- Make sure that money transfers and mode of payment are negotiated and mentioned in the contract.
2. Non-disclosure agreements
A non-disclosure agreement specifies what can be disclosed and cannot be. However, this is not a complete contract that satisfies all the legal requirements. Most businesses only seek an NDA to be signed and often forget other legal aspects that can come in the way during and after the completion of the project. However, if you cannot afford a legal team and need a quick project to be completed, make sure to customize the content of the NDA to include all aspects of your project including:
- How your content, technology and media will be protected
- How you will communicate with the team and who the point of contact will be
- Payment terms and how various complaints can be raised
3. Intellectual property rights
Most of the conflicts that arise during outsourcing are related to intellectual copyrights. Both you and your vendor will have certain rights related to intellectual property and these need to be specified. Whatever the vendor has in their possession before you sign the contract will always be their property. However, all deliverables and materials you provide them during the project will belong to you. Make sure to address these issues:
- Specify what the deliverables are and your ownership of the same
- What technology, content, and media you are going to share with the vendor
- Ownership of proprietary software that will be used during the project
4. Conflict resolution
As with any partnership, there is always a possibility of some sort of conflict arising during your project. Conflicts can arise due to differences in opinion, miscommunication, failed expectations, mismatched project ideas, etc. To ensure that conflicts are resolved successfully, there needs to be a contingency plan put in place. Make sure to include conflict resolution in your contract as well. Here are a few things that need to be borne in mind:
- How to raise a ticket when an issue arises
- Regular meetings based on Scrum methodology to address issues
- Avoiding conflicts by keeping communication channels open 24/7
5. Make project management part of the contractual agreement
Businesses often ignore the most important aspect of dedicated hiring, which is to define the role they will have in the outsourced project. Project management techniques such as Scrum can help a lot as they provide a framework to hold weekly and daily meetings. In addition, agile methodology-inspired project management techniques help clients to monitor and track the performance of the dedicated team. Agile project management is known to avert conflicts and reduce legal expenditure.
- Make sure to state within the contract that you seek agile framework-based project management techniques
- Consider Sprints and Scrum meetings to evaluate the performance of your project
- Ensure that your dedicated team is trained in agile techniques
Certainly, dedicated hiring has a number of advantages and benefits when it comes to strategizing and achieving business goals. As dedicated teams span across borders, you need to be well prepared and make sure that all legal concerns are addressed before making the big jump. To make the process of managing a dedicated team problem-free, it is advisable to look into legal issues that may arise during and after the completion of a project. Here are the most important takeaways:
- Make sure that your contract addresses all possible legal issues including tax-related concerns
- Ensure that your vendor will maintain confidentiality during and after the completion of a project
- Have a clear understanding of what your intellectual property rights and how they can be protected
- Put a mechanism in place to resolve conflicts as and when they arise
- Make agile framework-based project management a priority