4 Dangers of Bringing in Outside Help for Your Software (and How to Avoid Them)

Outsourcing software development has become a popular choice for enterprises and organizations irrespective of the industry they operate in or their size. From healthcare to nuclear power, businesses are leveraging the quality and cost advantages offered by outsourced software product delivery.

Our focus today is not on discussing the benefits of outsourcing. Instead, we will be discussing effective approaches for dealing with challenging situations. Engaging in outsourced software development can be challenging, particularly if there are cultural differences between the vendor and your organization, making it tough to achieve successful outcomes.

Outsourcing projects can encounter several challenges and risks, which is why we have curated four strategies to assist you in managing the process and evade potential perils. Let us delve into these strategies to ensure your outsourcing project is a success.

Unclear Messages

Effective communication is one of the most significant barriers in outsourcing projects, attributable to various factors such as varying time zones, language proficiency and cultural disparities. These obstacles can hinder the advantages of outsourcing software development, such as access to skilled engineers.

Small projects can be flexible enough to cope with any challenges that may emerge without much difficulty. However, larger and medium-sized enterprises may not be as fortunate. Additionally, it’s true that none of us would want to confront such difficulties. Therefore, it is crucial to establish some preventive mechanisms to eliminate the possibility of confusion during the software development lifecycle due to missed meetings and other similar issues.

Interestingly, despite being a widespread issue, misunderstanding is one of the easiest problems to resolve. Nearshore software development (commonly known as “Nearshoring”) is an effective solution that eliminates timing issues by matching clients and vendors in the same time zone. Works is a great example of a company that has simplified software development outsourcing for US businesses by establishing different Dev Centers throughout the United States.

To achieve the best results in terms of language and cultural compatibility, it is advisable to choose a destination that has encountered comparable socio-economic influences as your own. Hence, several Western nations such as the United States and Russia opt to focus their development initiatives on Eastern Europe and Latin America, respectively.

Undefined Objectives and Results

For your outsourced software development project (or any other outsourcing project) to run smoothly, it is vital to establish clear expectations for the vendor. This should encompass all the tasks to be accomplished and the targeted delivery date. Outlining such specific details at the outset is pivotal for the long-term success of the project.

In the absence of a structured and targeted software development plan, there is a high risk of knowledge gaps forming between in-house and outsourced teams. Such silos can result in a mismatch between the anticipated project outcome and the end product, which could lead to undesirable outcomes.

To avoid such situations, it is important to implement an organized and focused software development strategy.

It is crucial to establish a well-defined objective before hiring a software development team. If you are uncertain, investing time in online research may provide valuable insights. Seeking guidance from individuals who have previous experience in outsourcing software development could also be helpful. Consulting with an IT specialist from the chosen company can additionally assist in clarifying the situation.

Before initiating the search process, it is essential to create a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP), documenting all of your desired outcomes and requirements. In case you are uncertain about the information that needs to be included in this document, we recently published an article containing all the relevant details. An organised and thorough RFP will help you organise your requirements and provide a strong foundation to ensure a successful project launch.

Unsatisfactory Developments

It is widely acknowledged that life can be unpredictable and, for companies that outsource software development, unplanned delays can be challenging to manage. If a project fails to meet the set deadlines or quality requirements, it can be a cause for concern. This can occur either due to the customer overestimating their needs or the provider offering a service that is too ambitious. In most cases, both factors contribute to the issue.

The customer is accountable for defining the expected deliverables from the project. Upon the vendor’s acceptance of these objectives (or any subsequent changes), they bear the responsibility of meeting them. It is also their responsibility to demonstrate the feasibility of their proposal. Although there may be various additional elements that might cause project delays, none of them are permissible.

The success of software development projects relies heavily on selecting the right development partner. To avoid any issues or delays, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the experience and references of any potential hire. This provides vital insight into the provider’s level of commitment and helps determine if their services match your requirements. For instance, Works solely employs highly qualified IT professionals, who consistently deliver exceptional software solutions to their clients.

To learn more about how to ensure success in software development projects, please refer to our blog post on the topic: Symptoms That Businesses and Developers Hate to Deal with and How to Solve Them.

Inefficient Collaboration

Software development involves the collaboration of two or more individuals. Outsourcing software developers involves more than simply providing a list of requirements and expecting quality outcomes. Whether you are hiring a single engineer or outsourcing the entire software development process to an IT partner, it is essential to provide clear guidance to ensure the project progresses in the right direction. As such, each development process should have a distinct workflow, the specifics of which will vary based on company requirements.

For optimal success in your collaborative workflow with your outsourced development team, effective communication is crucial. To ensure a favourable outcome, it is pivotal to minimize feedback loops, maintain a comprehensive backlog, and adhere to the initial development plan. To aid in managing this process, consider implementing the following five strategies.

  • Instant Messaging:

    Chat tools such as Slack, Wrike, and Stride create efficient, real-time communication channels. These simple methods are ideal for exchanging data and offer an unparalleled level of availability.
  • Daily Calls:

    For keeping track of progress and addressing any urgent matters, daily check-in calls are highly recommended. These calls should not exceed fifteen minutes, ensuring all parties are informed on the current status. As a customer, you will benefit from receiving frequent updates on your project’s progress.
  • Addressing the Backlog:

    Attending backlog meetings allows you to stay informed about the product backlog, provide input on how the external team develops requirements, estimates and blockers, and remain up-to-date on progress.
  • Reviewing Sprint Performance:

    Attending the Sprint Review is important, particularly as the project approaches completion, as this is when your input has the most significant impact.
  • In-person Discussions:

    Although not always required, in-person meetings can be beneficial for establishing trust and promoting productive work relationships between individuals, making potential future collaborations simpler to arrange when nearshoring.

Our manual stresses the significance of streamlining workflow with a nearshore team. It also provides information on matching workflow and the importance of software development metrics specific to your project. We strongly advise you to peruse this manual for additional guidance.

Achieving Success

Outsourcing software developers can offer differing experiences for different individuals. Selecting the right software development company can mean the difference between a successful, stress-free project and one that is fraught with issues. To achieve a successful project, it is vital to be aware of potential pitfalls and take the required precautions to evade these issues. If you are working on new software, it is essential to remain vigilant for any potential risks.

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