Making contracts with Software Outsourcing Agencies has become a buzz in the digital market. This subcontracting approach provides great benefits when compared to the traditional way of allotting whole to a single firm. It provides huge cost savings to the clients and entices businesses in achieving faster turnarounds. Because of the increasing number of software agencies in the market that claim to deliver quality services, it created the horns of dilemma for the Clients to make the right selection for their businesses. To make the right decision one needs to enquire about certain aspects of the firm like the amount of experience, it’s achievements, the kind of developers it has, or whether it is a newbie in the market, etc.
Table of Content
- 1. Process and Scope Around Documenting the Code
- 2. Partnership Between the Outsourced Team and the Hiring Company
- 3. What Makes you My Best Choice?
- 4. Project Management and Business Analysis Competency
- 5. What are Your Hiring Practises?
- 6. Has the Company worked on Project similar to mine?
- 7. How do you communicate during the project?
- 8. How much do you charge and will there be any additional costs?
- 9. What about maintenance?
- 10. What are the latest technologies the company works on, relevant to the project?
- 11. What if client is not satisfied with the product or service?
Process and Scope Around Documenting the Code
Bobby Reed, CEO of Capitol Tech Solutions, says, one question to ask is what is the process and scope around documenting the code. Many start-ups initially offshore their work, with eventual plans to bring development in house when it makes sense. But they are focused on documentation or a transition plan, they are just eager to get up and running. Having good quality documentation, in your native language, will significantly help during the transition to an in-house team. It will get your coders quickly up to speed, and be able to digest how, and potentially why the outsourced company used a certain method to develop their application.
Partnership Between the Outsourced Team and the Hiring Company
Aviv Ben-Yosef, Tech Executive Consultant and Coach at Aviv Ben-Yosef Consulting, says, my most important question is how do they create a real partnership between the outsourced team and the hiring company. I’ve seen countless examples where outsourcing resulted in lots of failure work, missed opportunities, and so forth, because the connection between the two sides was not one that fostered innovation and communication.
What Makes you My Best Choice?
Carla Diaz, Cofounder of Broadband Search, says, my top question for software outsourcing agencies is: “What makes you my best choice?”. By the time you ask this question, you should have a shortlist of options. The idea is that this question (plus the follow up question which I will get to shortly) will finalise your decision or give you a good idea of the two or three best options in your list. The reason I like this question so much when coming to the final decision on who to use, is that it gives the agencies a chance to pitch themselves and provide further insight into what they can do for me, highlighting their unique selling points. Once this question has been answered, I usually follow up with the age old: “What are your weaknesses?”. It’s easy for people to highlight the best parts of their business when facing a potential new client, but I like to see honesty in what they can’t offer, or where they might fall short. This shows that they will be more open, and that they understand what their challenges could be along the way. This doesn’t mean they can’t justify those challenges, it just means they acknowledge that they are there, and they are aware of what needs to be done.
Project Management and Business Analysis Competency
Praveen Malik, Founder of PMbyPM, says, the one question that you must ask a software agency is while building remote team for your software project: "Do you have project management and business analysis competency in your organization? Please provide details."
What are Your Hiring Practises?
Andreas Pettersson, CTO of Right People Group, says, the question to ask a Software outsourcing agency always depends on the scope of the project. However, the one question I always ask is "What are your hiring practises?". Everyone can write a job application but presenting a highly maintainable application require experienced people. Therefore, it is essential to know if the agency is actively working with attracting the best developers.
Derek Gallimore, Founder of Outsource Accelerator, says, when building a remote team, an underrated question that almost never gets asked to the outsourcing agency is the company’s hiring process. My advice is to ask the agency about the hiring process, where they get their applicants, and what are their criteria for choosing their employees. By asking this, you will get an idea of the expertise and skills of the outsourcing agency’s employees who will be working for your brand. When a company has an elaborate process, you can be sure that they’ll only provide the best employees for you.
Has the Company worked on Project similar to mine?
Before proceeding with the outsourcing industry, better to take follow-up on the facts like did the company has worked on a project similar to ours? If yes then what are the technologies they used, which sector they have outsourced with, have they dealt with features like payment integrations, maps, and other commonly used features. Because if it had such a project in the past, then probably they would know well about the kind of product and enhancements you will be looking for and what problems it solves.
How do you communicate during the project?
Everyone knows that Communication is a significant factor in making a Project successful. Therefore, enquire about the collaboration tools they use while their project development.
- Whether they use instant messengers like Slack, Rocket, JIRA, Taiga, etc.
- How often they make contacts to the clients for project updates and discussions.
- Whether they are comfortable to take weekly meetings through Zoom, twice a week to watch the work progress and solve the missed ones,
- Whether the developers’ team is in direct contact with the Testers’ team and solving all the bugs mentioned by them. Because direct contacts make things easier, clears misunderstandings, and saves a huge amount of time.
- Considering all the above facts, Client would be realized that all are in the same page working for the same goal.
How much do you charge and will there be any additional costs?
How much do you charge and will there be any additional costs? Apart from Project implementation, another significant factor that a Client looks for is the cost of the services. Because budget hugely matters for all kinds of businesses whether they might be small-sized or mid-sized. Every client will look for covering all his requirements with high-quality services at affordable prices. Therefore, it is highly suggested to discuss the service rates and ensure about the extra charges in future changes.
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What about maintenance?
Project implementation and Project maintenance both are different tangents which have their own importance. In fact, once the product is released after testing it successfully, then the main role comes into the action is Product Maintenance. In order to keep your product stable in the market, customer satisfaction is highly important. Number of people with different attitudes will use your product, and a small bug or failure occurrence can lead to a great loss for the client. Therefore, all these could be handled and managed in the maintenance phase. So it is highly suggested to the clients to enquire about how the product maintenance is handled in the firm. He/She should take the detailed follow-ups about various types of maintenance such as:
- Corrective Maintenance
- Adaptive Maintenance
- Perfective Maintenance
- Preventive Maintenance
Look at the instances of how they are solving or repairing the faults found in the day-to-day customer activities.
What are the latest technologies the company works on, relevant to the project?
As we can see the innovations and new technologies are emerging day by day with the latest features and improved performance, every client is trying to implement their product with the latest technologies. It has impelled all the Software development companies to keep their professionals up to date with trending technologies. Therefore, it is suggested to the client to seek information from the company about
- The latest technologies they are using like Angular, NodeJS, MEAN stack, MERN, IoT, blockchain, chatbots, Ethereum blockchain, etc.
- What are the advantages and benefits of using them in implementing the project?
- What technologies their Software professionals are specialized in?
- Do the professionals of the company can adapt to the latest trending technologies in less time?
- Which technology will work best for the project according to the requirements?
The best service provider will give you the best suggestions and advice.
What if client is not satisfied with the product or service?
It’s all about Client satisfaction that plays a vital role in the end. If it’s not achieved, then everything you did till the end means nothing. The client should enquire certain important aspects like-
- What if he is not satisfied with the services? Do they solve the issues right away?
- Do they tend to listen actively with the problems and solve the concerns?
- Are they empathetic and understanding while communicating and discussing the problems?
- Can they ensure the problems discussed would be solved within the time frame?
- Are they considering the complaints seriously or just focussing on churning the profits?
- Will they provide me services without any additional charges and resolve the issues which I had in the Product?
All the above factors prove if the company is loyal and honest with the clients or not.