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

Enterprises and organizations of varying sizes and across all industries are increasingly turning to outsourcing to fulfil their software development requirements. From telemedicine to nuclear power, businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of the cost and quality benefits of outsourcing software product delivery.

We will not be exploring the advantages of outsourcing today. Rather, we are here to ascertain effective strategies for dealing with difficult times. It can be difficult to achieve success when outsourcing software development, especially if there is an incompatibility between the vendor and your company’s culture.

As outsourcing projects can be vulnerable to a number of potential issues, we have put together four strategies to help you navigate the process and avoid common pitfalls. Let us now explore these strategies to ensure the success of your outsourcing endeavor.

Confusing Messages

One of the main challenges of outsourcing initiatives is communication. This is due to a variety of factors such as time zone differences, language proficiency and cultural differences, which can all make it difficult to take advantage of the key benefits of software outsourcing, such as access to experienced engineers.

Smaller initiatives often have the flexibility to work around any issues that arise without too much difficulty, but larger and medium-sized businesses may not be so fortunate. It is also true that none of us want to have to deal with such issues. To ensure that there is no scope for misunderstanding during the software development lifecycle, whether due to a missed meeting or other issues, it is essential to put measures in place to avoid any potential confusion.

It is remarkable that despite being so prevalent, misunderstanding is one of the easiest issues to address. By matching a customer and a vendor in the same time zone, nearshore software development (or “Nearshoring”) removes any timing issues. Companies such as Works have made it simpler for US businesses to outsource software development by establishing various Dev Centers across various parts of the United States.

For optimal outcomes in terms of language and cultural understanding, it is recommended to select a destination that has experienced similar socio-economic influences as your own. This is why many Western countries, such as the United States and Russia, tend to direct their development efforts towards Eastern Europe and Latin America respectively.

Having Objectives and Results that Aren’t Specified

To ensure the success of your software development outsourcing project (or any outsourcing project), it is essential to clearly set out your expectations for the vendor. This should include all tasks to be completed, and the desired delivery date. Establishing this foundation at the outset is critical for the ultimate success of the project.

Without the implementation of an organised and focused software development strategy, the risk of knowledge silos forming between in-house and outsourced teams is high. This could cause a disconnect between the desired outcome and the product under development, leading to a lack of desired results.

It is essential to have a well-defined objective before engaging a software development team. Investing time researching online may provide you with useful insights if you are uncertain. Additionally, seeking advice from individuals who have previously outsourced software development could be beneficial. Furthermore, consulting an IT specialist from the chosen firm might help to clarify the situation.

It is important to prepare a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) outlining your desired outcomes and requirements prior to beginning the search process. If you are unsure of what to include in this document, we have recently published an article containing all the necessary information. A well-structured RFP will help to organise your requirements and provide a solid foundation to ensure a successful project launch.

Disappointing Developments

It is widely recognised that life can be unpredictable and, for companies which utilise software development outsourcing, any unplanned delays can be difficult to manage. If a project fails to meet either the deadlines or quality requirements set, it can be a cause for concern. This can be attributed to either the customer overestimating their needs or the provider offering a service which is too ambitious. In many cases, both factors will have contributed.

The customer is responsible for outlining the deliverables required from the project. Once the vendor has accepted these objectives (or any subsequent revisions), they are obligated to meet them. It is their responsibility to demonstrate the plausibility of their proposal. There may be various additional elements that can delay a project, however, none of these are permissible.

Ensuring success in software development projects is largely dependent upon choosing the right development partner. To prevent any problems or delays, it is essential to thoroughly check the experience and references of any potential hire. Doing this provides valuable insight into the level of commitment of the provider and helps to determine if their services are a suitable match for your needs. As an example, Works employs only the most qualified IT professionals, allowing them to consistently provide excellent software solutions to its clients.

Ineffective Teamwork

It takes two or more individuals to develop software. Outsourcing software developers is more than simply providing a list of requirements and expecting the best outcome. Whether you are hiring a single engineer or outsourcing the entire software development process to an IT partner, it is important to offer clear guidance in order to ensure the project progresses in the correct direction. As such, each development process should have a distinct workflow, the specifics of which will vary depending on the company.

Effective communication with your outsourced development team is key to the success of your collaborative workflow. To ensure a successful outcome, it is important to keep feedback loops to a minimum, maintain a comprehensive backlog and adhere to the initial development plan. To assist you in managing this process, there are five strategies you may choose to implement.

  • Instant Messaging:

    Slack, Wrike and Stride are a few examples of chat tools that can be used to create efficient, real-time communication channels. These are the simplest methods available for data exchange and have an unparalleled level of availability.
  • Calls Every Day:

    In order to keep up to date with progress and address any urgent matters, daily check-in calls are highly recommended. These calls should take no more than fifteen minutes, allowing all parties to be kept informed of the current status. As a customer, you will benefit from having regular updates on the progress of your project.
  • Confronting the backlog:

    You can stay up to date with the product backlog and provide input on how the external team develops requirements, estimates and blockers by attending the backlog meetings.
  • Review on Sprint’s performance:

    One must show up for the Sprint Review. As the project nears completion, this is the time when your input will have the most impact.
  • Conversations in person:

    In-person meetings are not always necessary, but they can be advantageous for building trust and fostering a productive working relationship between individuals, making future collaborations more straightforward and simpler to arrange when nearshoring.

Our manual outlines the importance of coordinating workflow with a nearshore team. It also provides information on how to match workflow and the importance of software development metrics relevant to your project. We recommend that you review this manual for further guidance.

Your Path to Victory

Outsourcing software developers can be a variable experience for different people. Choosing the right software development firm can be the difference between a successful, stress-free project and one that is full of problems. To ensure a successful project, it is important to be aware of potential pitfalls. Taking the necessary precautions to avoid these issues will help ensure a successful venture. If you are working on something new, be sure to look out for any potential risks.

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