Outsourcing software development brings a number of benefits you are likely to enjoy if you’re are on the way to your first contract with an outsourcer. It is not only about cost-saving, as most people tend to think – outsourcing is about using the expertise and skills of your software provider to speed up and/or improve the quality of development. It allows to focus on the big picture and develop business at the same time keeping your dev project on the go.
But despite all the advantages of outsourcing as a software development model, you can have a bumpy ride dealing with your vendor if you make one of the mistakes that are not rare in the industry. Read on to learn more about the mistakes and the ways to avoid them.
Choosing the Developers Based Only on the Cost
Cost is, surely, an essential parameter when choosing a software outsourcing company – actually, most of the companies do outsource to cut the costs – but definitely not the main one. Think beforehand about the quality and structure of the code, how many bugs it may have and what the cost of its further maintenance will be. It is much more efficient to search for developers based on their skills, experience and the way they communicate.
Lack of Proper Research
As money is not the only criterion, when looking for a software partner, there is a number of other things you need to clarify before the start of work. And it would be a mistake to leave questions without answers.
What do you need to know? Firstly, if your potential partner has already done projects like the one you are going to outsource – request feedback and reviews, portfolio and ask about the expertise the developer has. You may also ask for the resumes of each team member that’s going to work with you and ask questions about certain aspects of cooperation. Like if the developer is familiar with the industry you are working with. Who will be the project manager, what’s their background and what team will be working on the project. How you will communicate with the team. What is the pricing model they suggest. And any other questions that may arise.
If you are going to create a simple MVP, there is no need to spend months on the selection process. But if it’s about doubling the size of your team or you have a 2-year roadmap, then a proper research is simply necessary.
Very often, unclear requirements at the start of the project lead to unacceptable results and the customer needs to spend time and money on fixing them. So, it is highly important to be able to communicate the goal and vision of the project to the outsourcer team. You should agree together on what and how is to be delivered. If your partner is experience enough they can give you good advice.
It is natural that every executive wants their product delivered as soon as possible. But in some cases expectations may be too high – so, take time to discuss it with the developers, decide on what works best and sign an agreement with timeframes that suit everyone. And bear in mind that when working on a software project flexible timeline is needed allowing a bit of wiggle room to address unpredictable issues and challenges that may arise.
Lack of Communication
Working with offshore developers requires regular communication – little or no communication is the shortest way to falling through. Be timely in what concerns feedback and inform your software development partner about any drawbacks you notice – it will save you time and money in the long run. Generally, the advice is – communicate with your outsourcing partner at least once or twice a week. This is a good practice which will help you to continually refine and polish your product and clarify what exactly you want. If you want more control, you may even have daily standups.
Having a team in a remote location isn’t an issue if you want to communicate regularly with the team. There is a number of communication tools that may come in handy – skype, email, instant messengers, JIRA, Slack, Asana, Flowdock, Basecamp to name some. All you need is to discuss with your software outsourcing vendor in advance what you are going to use in your project.
Lack of an in-house tech-savvy person
It is vital to have a tech-savvy person on your side who has the same level of knowledge as the developers to overlook the process. Not having such a person means that at some point you may not be able to realize that things go wrong and discover it later on, which may lead to expenses that you didn’t forecast. Having a technician on board will allow you to ensure that things run smoothly, that you get high quality work and the documentation is written correctly before signing.
Outsourcing to Companies that Do Not Pay Attention to Tech Trends
Keeping up with the technical trends allows developers to leverage modern technologies to find new solutions and resolve issues that arise. Some companies get stuck in the past instead of moving forward and learning how to use modern technologies. So, it is important to know that the software development company you choose keeps track of tech tendencies.
Not Protecting Your Business
There can be a situation when you need to hand over your development project from one software development team to another. So, it would be a mistake to not pay enough attention to contract management beforehand – it is necessary to set up the agreement in a way that will allow you to easily transfer you project to another dev shop when needed. You should have a legal expert on your staff to properly work on a non-disclosure agreement covering all the areas in a way to protect your project as your intellectual property. Besides, keep in mind that different countries have legal systems that differ from one another.
Also, it is important to know where your source code is located – make sure you know it – and have access to the system on which your code is running.
Neglecting Differences Between Countries
Depending on the location, software developers can be much cheaper. But at the same time, cooperating with a company in a new location you need to take into account a number of factors, including cultural and language differences, time zones, availability of certain types of specialists. Consistent communication can, surely, eliminate part of the questions. And while choosing a geo, it is effective to pick the one where engineers speak English, which is a must. But it is not enough – gestures, intonations, behavior norms, and customs differ from country to country and may impact the working process. That it is why it is worthwhile to get acquainted with the differences and, maybe, even introduce educating programs for your staff.
As you can see, apart from being an effective tool software development outsourcing can have a number of potentially negative outcomes if a mistake is made. So, evaluate risks and avoid mistakes. We can share with you more information on software development outsourcing and will be happy to answer your questions – just contact us!
Metamins is a software development company located across 3 countries – Russia, Ukraine and The US. We are focused on creating high-loaded web solutions and mobile applications, as well developing IoT technologies for market verticals. The company deals with a variety of technologies being a partner of choice for innovation-oriented companies and providing best-in-class R&D services.
Metamins is recognized as a top App Design & Development Company on DesignRush.