Outsourcing software development works, but there are some things that we should do and some others that we should avoid if we want to succeed. Take a look!
It is very well known that outsourcing software development is becoming a bigger and stronger alternative each day that goes by and that there are many benefits that come with it as well. However, there are some things that we should do and some others that we should avoid so that we can make the most out of it.
For that matter, we have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts in outsourcing development of software that will help you and your business. Take note of the following, and do not miss anything!
What to DO
- Make sure your outsourcing business model aligns with your outsourcing vendor: Since the outsourced projects rely on resources that work for a different company, there is always the risk that changes in staff will affect the project. A good way to minimize this potential problem is to make sure that your business model aligns with the outsourcing vendor’s model as much as possible, from overall business goals down to staff level. For long term projects, it is also important to make sure that the vendor has low attrition rates.
- Identify objectives and set checkpoints: Even though it generally depends on the particular arrangement you make with your vendor, it is a good idea to set objectives and milestones in advance, so you can keep track of your project’s progress as it develops. It is key to share these expectations with your outsourcing partner so that everyone is in sync.
- Communicate clearly from the beginning, and involve key players: Involving key players from the software development project in regular meetings will help to build team confidence and also to keep the main objectives in scope at all times. Do not forget to keep clear communications to avoid misunderstandings that could arise. Establish channels of communication from the beginning (Zoom, Slack, and so on) and be transparent about progress and goals.
- Follow progress closely: If something is not working out as expected, you need to realize that as soon as possible so that you can take actions and make the necessary adjustments. Your outsourcing partner should provide all the necessary indicators so that you can, at any point in time, verify if the objectives and checkpoints are on track. This is why it is important to choose a partner with mature development processes.
- Look for culture compatibility: Choosing an outsourcing partner from a country that has several similarities with the same culture as yours has many advantages. Not only is it important that the language level of the team members is sufficient, but good communication is also required to have something positive to say.
Working with an outsourcing vendor that is not updated on the latest trends and news of your industry and country will probably cause issues. Also, since work is usually done in teams of mixed employees, the day-to-day goes by much more smoothly when team members have similar interests to share.
- Make sure you have good time-zone compatibility: As stated in this article: “It is always desirable to have some overlapping between the local and remote work hours so you can meet and resolve issues quickly. Besides that, you may greatly benefit having a team with some hours ahead or behind your local time.” It is always important to be able to overlap so that communications can flow much better, and problems can be resolved in conjunction. Also, a few hours of non-overlapping work can be beneficial so that team members can focus 100% on the tasks that need to be done.
- Do not be afraid of pushing yourself further: Usually, companies that do in-house development are not encouraged to experiment with new things because they think that if they do not work as expected, they will lose money and time. Take advantage of outsourcing investment, and go further with what you want without fear: the vendor will always look for the best cost-benefit solution that fits your business, always considering the scope of it.
What NOT to do
- Do not limit yourself to tight/specific experience requirements: Sometimes very specific knowledge can close doors for new and fresh solutions. Working with an outsourcing partner, you will gain the expertise and knowledge from many different industries that come from people that have participated in different projects and could inspire a fresher perspective.
- Do not micromanage: If you are hiring an experienced outsourcing company, you will definitely want to be able to benefit from their experience and abilities, so it is important that you lean on your partner’s capabilities. This does not mean that you should not participate at all (in fact, fluent communication is recommended as stated before), but talented professionals know how to manage offshore projects efficiently.
- Do not be afraid to ramp up your team: Recruiting, when done right, takes a lot of effort and that may make you hesitate when you do inshore development. But when you outsource, that is a cost that you usually do not need to worry about.
- Do not put all the responsibility on one person’s shoulders: Responsibility should be shared by the two outsourcing parties involved. When something goes wrong, both parties are affected and therefore should work together to cultivate a collaborative relationship. Success is also a joint responsibility, and time and effort must be invested into the project to achieve it.
- Do not just consider the price when evaluating alternatives: Focus on the best solution available, not the lowest price. There are a lot of ways to measure quality in software, and you must ensure that you will get the expected levels of it from your partner. The technical level of resources, the processes of an experienced company, and many other factors come into play when you are searching for an outsourcing partner that can deliver good quality.
To sum up
Outsourcing software development works, but there are a few things to consider to get the most out of it. This compiled list should help you achieve that. We would like to hear your thoughts, so please let us know your opinions!
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