Table of Content
- 1.Keep your vision clear and requirements descriptive
- 2.Ensure code quality and be vigilant against cyber attacks
- 3.Have clear communication and ensure everyone is on the same page
- 4.Check the company’s track record, experience level, and technological expertise
- 5.The team should be focused on English skills to interact with US clients
- 6.The Project manager should handle team and client communication effectively
- 7. Invite every member of the project in requirements-gathering meeting
- 8.Provide SRS document to the development team before the project starts
- 9.Ensure that a few project managers remain constant throughout the process
- 10.Maintain quality standards and keep track of development efforts
- 11.Ensure proper testing strategies for the software
- 12.Avoid hiring inexperienced professionals to save money
- 13.Define the scope clearly and offer ongoing support and maintenance
- 14.Do proper market research to save money in the long run
- 15.Multiple reasons
When you look to develop your business software, you likely have two options: hire a team of software specialists or outsource your project to a custom software development firm. Obviously, both have advantages and disadvantages; however, the second has more worth and would give you freedom, cost-effectivity, and access to top-notch professionals anytime.
Moreover, you can address your software concerns instantly by coordinating with a team of experts. Let’s delve deeper and understand everything from the pitfalls of outsourcing to the benefits of selecting the best software development agency.
Keep your vision clear and requirements descriptive
There are a few key things to keep in mind when outsourcing software development. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to be developed and keep your requirements descriptive in your request. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your developer to understand your vision and create a product that meets your needs. Do your research and choose a reputable development team that has experience in the type of development you need.
Ensure code quality and be vigilant against cyber attacks
When outsourcing software development, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid any potential pitfalls.
First and foremost, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the goals and expectations of your contractor before signing any contracts or committing any resources.
It is also important to verify the quality of the code being delivered by your contractor. Do not hesitate to ask for references from previous clients if you're unsure about their ability or willingness to meet your standards.
Be prepared for unexpected delays and changes in scope; this is often a common occurrence when working with an outside vendor. Take measures such as budgeting appropriately and having contingency plans in place should something go wrong.
Finally, be vigilant against cybercrime attacks targeting contractors; always encrypt data shared between parties, monitor firewall rules, and use anti-virus protection on all devices used in development workstations.
Have clear communication and ensure everyone is on the same page
For the most part, I agree that the success of an outsourced software engineering project hinges on the project's stakeholders have a firm grasp on its goals. One of the most common blunders businesses makes when outsourcing software development is not creating a clearly articulated, well-understood requirements document. The requests and expectations should be clearly communicated so that all parties involved are on the same page. Create a document detailing the needs of the project by following a systematic engineering approach. This effort has to be directed by a skilled software product manager. If you don't already have one on staff, it would be worthwhile to hire one temporarily. Create a clear requirements specification and scope of work that covers all aspects of the project, from its overarching purpose and the tasks that must be accomplished for the project to be deemed a success, to the people who will utilize the finished product and require access to it. Changes/additions that can be made along the route, as well as the programming language and development methodology favored, should be included. Having well-defined technical requirements helps both groups understand what is expected of them from the get-go. As a result, requirements can be more reasonable, an unrealistic schedule can be avoided, and progress can be maintained.
Before starting any cooperation, the client company and the team should discuss the main work stages and approve all details by adding them to the contract. The client must be clear what exactly the company wants to get. Business owners often give their web application development projects to outsourced teams without understanding specific requirements. If there is a vague project idea, it becomes quite difficult for the team to set goals, plan tasks, and assess whether the process is going right. It is vital to understand business goals and target audience, main product functions, technologies used during the development process, design specifications, etc.
Clients should be able to answer team questions and provide support throughout the workflow, so constant communication between parties is very important.
Check the company’s track record, experience level, and technological expertise
When choosing an outsourcing partner, I think many people make the mistake of doing so only based on price. While it is essential to take costs into account, money alone should never determine a course of action. There are a number of other considerations to assess before hiring an outsourcing firm, including the firm's past performance, level of experience, and technological expertise, as well as how effectively it can fulfill your specific requirements. You always get what you pay for. If you go with the least expensive provider, you might get shoddy results and shoddy service. Furthermore, if the job costs more than anticipated or takes longer than anticipated, you may incur additional costs. When working with an outsourcing company on a software development project, it's beneficial to aim for a prolonged partnership. The key to your success is establishing a reliable partnership with your software provider. It's good for business and for the relationship to have mutual respect between employees. It encourages dedication and loyalty.
Amid the ongoing economic crisis caused by the pandemic, an increasing number of businesses go for cost-efficient development outsourcing instead of keeping their in-house IT teams. At the same time, the market is overflowing with vendors that are very new to delivering outsourced IT services. But the problem is that even with good experts on board, their lack of experience in outsourcing often results in poor cooperation with the customer, inadequate project management, failures to follow the essential cyber security policies for remote projects, etc. To minimize the risk of hiring an inept vendor, I strongly recommend doing a thorough research of their background. Quality and security management certifications such as ISO 9001 and 27001, a solid portfolio of successful projects and long-term partnerships in your target field, smooth and frequent communication, realistic estimations of project costs and deadlines, transparent KPIs and established DevOps practices - all that will likely signify an experienced and reliable tech partner.
The team should be focused on English skills to interact with US clients
Once you have the resources at your disposal, it's important, in my opinion, to learn what motivates them to perform at their highest level. Keep in mind that the agency ultimately has ultimate control over them. In most cases, they will prioritize the needs of their direct superiors over those of you, the customer. Motives that are not intrinsic to the individual can be manipulated by appealing to them, such as offering to put in a good word with their superiors. What I've found to be more effective is giving them the impression that they're advancing in their field. My goal is for them to be able to apply what they've learned to any client project, so I made that abundantly clear. Coaching my offshore team on improving our requirement documents is one such example. After spotting numerous typos and grammar mistakes, I suggested the use of Grammarly (a tool that scans for grammatical errors). This tool is apparently unfamiliar in the region where one of our team members resides. This will help him hone his English skills for future interactions with American clients.
The Project manager should handle team and client communication effectively
Even if their accents make it difficult to understand what they are saying, I believe they should be able to express themselves clearly in writing. If their emails are difficult to read because of typos and grammatical errors, their requirements will be even more tedious to decipher. If they work in a different time zone and need to communicate frequently asynchronously, the bar should be raised. Your project manager must be able to communicate effectively with both you and the developers. If the person assigned to manage your project isn't up to par, ask to have it taken over by someone else. You can't afford to lose weeks of progress midway through the project while training a replacement employee.
Invite every member of the project in requirements-gathering meeting
I think it would be a good idea to have someone with institutional knowledge demonstrate how the feature works if the contractors are rewriting a legacy product with complex logic that has been built up over the years. They won't have to waste time poring over lengthy, likely ambiguous requirement documents. The requirements you sent to the project manager are open to interpretation if there is no existing product or prototype the outsourcing team can play around with. While employed by an agency, I witnessed project managers incorrectly explaining what clients wanted and subsequently leading the entire team astray. The game of telephone should be avoided. The people who will be working on the product's development should be invited to participate in requirement-gathering meetings. There are some development companies with strict policies that only project managers are allowed to interact directly with the client. The engineers, they believe, will inevitably say the wrong thing. However, putting faith in project managers to provide an
accurate translation is dangerous and impedes the speed at which input can be implemented. There needs to be a way for the team carrying out the details to ask you questions and get replies from you directly. The designers may be curious about the optimal transition time between screens. The engineers may inquire as to whether or not you believe that rounding numbers would cause them to make a mistake.
If you are looking to outsource a software project to a third party, then it is important that you don't make the common mistake of playing telephone with the relevant agency or company. In other words, some development agencies often have strict rules of only allowing project managers to directly communicate to clients, as they fear the engineers may end up saying the “wrong” thing. However, the problem with this is that the requirements you communicate to the project manager may end up being incorrectly explained and lead the entire development team down the wrong path. This means that you should always ask that the developers who will be directly involved in building the product be included in the requirement-gathering meetings, which can save them time from reading requirement docs that can often be misunderstood.
Provide SRS document to the development team before the project starts
Before outsourcing development to a distant team, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the expected requirements and deliverables, delivery timetable, and overall project scope. Failure to communicate this information may result in scope expansion and product vision misalignment. Without tackling these difficulties, software engineers will continue to work in silos, and the gap between your expectations and the actual outputs will continue to grow. You are responsible for laying the groundwork and documenting the functionality you intend to include in the application. A software requirements specification (SRS) document can serve as an effective beginning point that provides the development team with a clear requirement understanding. For non-tech organizations, the drafting of such a document can be intimidating. I suggest utilizing an SRS template that can aid in the documentation process.
Ensure that a few project managers remain constant throughout the process
One of the major drawbacks of outsourcing is a lack of project ownership. If the outsourcing partner you choose employs programmers on a contract basis rather than on a full-time basis, project ownership becomes ambiguous. The lack of a project leader or a constant team that is accountable for the work and present throughout the entire process can lead to inconsistency in the project's deliverables if resources change hands frequently. When outsourcing the development of a software project, ensure that you know who will be working on it and that at least a few project managers remain consistent throughout the process. These individuals should participate in email threads, video conferences, and other regular check-ins. I think it is really beneficial to have a business analyst or project manager on the team as a major stakeholder. This individual can serve as a liaison between you and the developers by documenting the functional specifications and articulating the requirements to the developers.
Maintain quality standards and keep track of development efforts
The difficulty of determining whether the outsourced development team is adhering to quality standards while creating your application increases if you work for or manage a non-tech company that has considerable coding skills. It is arguable that there are no formal standards for high-quality and low-quality code, making code quality an ambiguous term. Code quality is a collection of properties that need to be discussed with the outsourced development team. Long-term success and bug-free execution require well-documented and thoroughly tested code that adheres to the formatting best practices and coding conventions of the programming language being used to create the application. Maintaining code quality when outsourcing development to offshore teams necessitates the communication of expectations, the establishment of quality benchmarks in advance, and regular briefings with the team to keep track of development efforts. The team you outsource to should have measures in place to maintain code quality consistency. Inquire about code review (both peer-to-peer and with management), unit testing, and functional testing prior to engaging a company.
Ensure proper testing strategies for the software
One of the most common pitfalls to avoid with outsourced software development is a lack of proper testing procedures. Especially if you’re using a lower-cost company or professional, it’s important to make your expectations clear in regard to software testing. Make sure there’s a schedule in place for testing the software along development stages to ensure you’re not spending money on something that won’t work upon completion.
Avoid hiring inexperienced professionals to save money
When you're outsourcing your software development project, make sure you don't put saving money on hiring someone with adequate experience. You can find developers that are going to be incredibly cost-effective, but it's likely due to their lack of experience. While it might save you money on the front end, it's likely to cost you money on the back end, as you're going to have to fix mistakes that a more experienced developer could've avoided.
Before making any deal with the vendors, one must always discuss all the requirements and milestones one wishes to achieve with this project. Also, the vendor is required to understand those requirements and come up with some effective ways to complete the job. Most people who lack knowledge about the field must outsource their project with a lack of miscommunication.
Don't Put the Cost Over Your Experience
Although the primary reason why most people and companies outsource is to save money, they must not compromise quality over costs. In the urge to save costs, you might collaborate with an inexperienced outsourcing vendor who lacks market expertise. Ultimately, you might end up with a poor-quality product.
Define the scope clearly and offer ongoing support and maintenance
When deciding whether or not to outsource software development, there are a few potential pitfalls to avoid.
First and foremost, be sure to clearly define the scope of the project and what you expect from the contractor.
Otherwise, you run the risk of ending up with a finished product that doesn't meet your needs. It's also important to carefully vet any outside developers you're considering working with. Make sure they have a good track record and are able to deliver on time and within budget.
Finally, be prepared to offer ongoing support and maintenance for the software once it's been completed. By keeping these things in mind, you can avoid potential problems when outsourcing software development in 2022.
Do proper market research to save money in the long run
Most commonly businesses often enter into a project based on cost-efficiency without doing the research on who they are outsourcing from and then they end up in trouble after the fact. While it is worthwhile to cut costs, check how your vendor functions within the market, how they have been reviewed by other companies, as well as the level of expertise they may have in the specific area you need them to work on. This due diligence will save you money in the long run over temporary cost-cutting.
First, choose a vendor without market research. Most companies outsource projects based solely on cost, ignoring other variables. Cost-effectiveness is important but not the sole factor. Before choosing a vendor, check its market performance, comments, and expertise. Suppose the vendor has a good reputation and experience handling different gaming and software projects such as Words with Friends. In that case, going with such a vendor won't be a problem as it will be able to get the project completed in the given time frame according to the requirements, but if you go with a cheap vendor that doesn't have the expertise to get the job done, then you will be doing more harm than good.
Outsourcing lacks project ownership. If your outsourcing partner uses contract programmers, project ownership is uncertain. The back-and-forth of project resources can result in inconsistent deliverables because no project leader or consistent team is present throughout the process. When outsourcing software development, ensure you know who will work on it and that a few project managers remain consistent. They should be present on email threads, video calls, and regular check-ins. A business analyst or project manager is a crucial team stakeholder. This person can document functional specs and break down requirements for developers.
Costs trump experience
Most people and corporations outsource to save money, but you shouldn't sacrifice quality. To save money, you may work with an outsourced vendor who lacks market experience and knowledge, resulting in a substandard product. To prevent project quality or failure, it's best to choose an outsourcing vendor with experience in the sector who can get the work done without being more expensive than in-house development.
First, the company should always have a clear idea of what it wants to achieve before outsourcing its software development. This will help them to choose the right type of developer who will be able to do the job with ease and accuracy.
Second, it is important that they are clear about the time frame they want to work in. If they want fast results, then they need to find a developer who is skilled at delivering such results quickly.
Third, if the company wants cheap but good-quality developers, then it needs to find them first and then work out how much time and money it will save by outsourcing the work.
Fourth, the company needs to invest in training its staff on how to use a product that might be unfamiliar or different from what they are used to. I agree. I did mention that they need to train their staff, and a good first step would be to provide marketing materials to all its staff on the importance of social media.
Fifth, the company needs to invest in training its salespeople on how to use a product that might be unfamiliar or different from what they are used to selling.
Sixth, the company needs to invest in making sure that its salespeople are trained on how to follow up and make certain that prospects are receiving the information they need to take action.
Seventh, the company needs to have a strategy in place for contacting prospects who have shown some interest but may not be ready to purchase. Knowing when someone is ready to purchase will allow your marketing and sales departments to work together.
- Not doing your research: Make sure you know exactly what you need and what your budget is before you start shopping around for software development services. Otherwise, you could end up with a subpar product or overspending.
- Not being clear about your requirements: Be as specific as possible about what you need from the software you're having developed.
- Not staying involved: Once you've outsourced the development of your software, it's important to stay involved and monitor the process to ensure everything is going according to plan.
- Not having a backup plan: Things don't always go according to plan, so it's important to have a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong.
Do Not Select A Vendor Without First Conducting Market Research The first thing you should do is conduct thorough market research before selecting a vendor. The majority of organizations make the error of outsourcing their projects solely on the basis of cost-effectiveness without taking other variables into account. Cost-effectiveness is a crucial issue that should be taken into account, but it is not the only one.Miscommunication
Before you get into any agreement with the vendor, you should talk about the specifications and goals you have for the project. The vendor must be able to comprehend these specifications and come up with workable solutions. Communicating all the key features you want for a project is very vital so that the finished product is precisely the software you were searching for.Do Not Put Off Software testing
Testing the project while it is being developed is the best course of action as it ensures that the finished product will be free of errors and problems. To ensure that the final product is exactly what you want, comprehensive testing should be discussed before you hire the person in question, and you should both agree that ongoing testing and quality checks should be done.Don't choose price over expertise
Although the primary motivation for outsourcing for most individuals and businesses is to save expenses, quality shouldn't be sacrificed in favour of costs. In your haste to cut expenses, you can collaborate with an outsourced vendor who lacks the necessary industry knowledge and experience, which could lead to a subpar final product. This can endanger the quality or full success of the project.
Outsourcing software projects to an IT consulting firm is a wise decision for any business. By doing so, they no longer need to spend time to onboard talents which usually takes 2 to 3 weeks. In fact, the project would begin sooner and release on time. This blog covered everything that is required to know, from the advantages of outsourcing to selecting the best software development agency.