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How-to Outsource Part II

Outsourcing is here to stay. Setting your company up for outsourcing success is about preparation and a deeper understanding of how your studio works.
How-to Outsource Part II

Outsourcing is here to stay. Setting your company up for outsourcing success is about preparation and a deeper understanding of how your studio works.

Part I of our series focused on the meta of outsourcing: How to prepare your organization for the process. In this installment, we’ll look at the qualities of a good outsourcing manager, internal processes and tools of the trade.

It’s a great start to outsourcing excellence.


The outsourcing manager should be senior in position and experienced in production.


  • Outsourcing will tax your team’s time.
  • This can result in budget busting delays.
  • This can wreck havoc on your pipeline.

You need a steady, experienced hand to manage the process.

  • A production veteran - hard to put too much value on experience.
  • Grace under pressure - things always get crazy in every production.
  • Numbers savvy - including P&L, exchange rates, budgeting, and basic finance.
  • Organized - no procrastinators!
  • Communicative - critical given the multi-time zone, multi lingual aspects of outsourcing.
  • Well-traveled - don’t underestimate the value of somebody who knows how to get around an unfamiliar place and culture.

CONSIDER THIS: I’ve experienced many types of outsourcing managers. The ones who are serious are the ones who get the jobs done on time, on budget and create a powerful, successful project. The ones who are not have a good time traveling and having fun, but leave behind a trail of broken promises and wrecked reputations. It’s your company. Find serious managers.


Operating a successful outsourcing pipeline means having an efficient way to plan, manage and receive volumes of work from an external source. Excellent outsourcing partners will be efficient producers.

  • Review your internal production process.
  • Locate where outsourcing connects to your internal production.
  • Get ready to process a high-volume of work.

Here’s some essential steps to take to prepare for outsourcing your production.

  • Diagram your production process - cross-functional/swim-lanes diagrams are easiest to create and understand. This is an excellent exercise to gain important insight into how your studio functions.
  • Determine appropriate ratio for QA/review of received files (we have found 1:13 works).
  • Define escalation procedures for issues internally and how they’ll be communicated back to your outsourcing partner.

CONSIDER THIS: Outsourcing lives and dies on your internal processes. If you want to know where the structural flaws are in your organization, bring in a 3rd party. During process reviews you’ll find ways to improve. A healthy debate may break out in your company, but don’t stop! Your studio will be better for having done it. 


Where are your outsourcers? Most likely you’ll be working with teams located in a different part of the world. Time zone lags, language issues, cultural differences, if not efficiently managed, can cause chaos. You need the right tools!

  • Accessibility - your tools need to be available to external parties from anywhere in the world.
  • Collaborative - the system you chose must track communication in an orderly, logical way. (Not emails chains!)
  • Management - ensure your tools give you a global, boot-on-the-ground view of every step of the in-progress work.
  • Analytics - capturing performance metrics is worth its weight in gold. Find an active, automatic way of doing this.
  • Finance - your tools must compare forecasts, actuals, issue daily reports and perform project on-going health checks.

CONSIDER THIS: Our experience in providing our services is what drove us to create Streamframe. Currently in closed beta, Streamframe is a scalable production platform enabling macro-to-micro adjustments of projects, while seamlessly integrating teams, partners and clients all together in one secure place on the cloud. Streamframe was built from outsourcing and gets the job done. You can register to be part of our preview release.

In closing, find the right outsourcing manager. It’s critical. You need a seasoned production member to run the team. Once you’ve selected a manager, have them focus on internal process reviews and linking your organization directly to the outsourcing department. As they do this, they’ll implement tools to accelerate production between your studio and external partners. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

Part III of How-to Outsource will focus in on how to find the right partner, understanding the various contracts available and commencing the process. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out or book a meeting. Also, make sure you check out part I. Thanks.