Software Development Outsourcing Tips From 15 Industry Experts
Imagine you have a business which is doing really well, but you want to do more and excel. Thus, for you to generate revenue efficiently you have to go digital, be tech savvy, and use innovations and technology in an effective way for customers.
To make sure that you achieve this, you require a team of experts and most conveniently you need a software development outsourcing team.
Promotion of digital initiatives is difficult, given the factors such as cost and labor for start-ups and SMEs as well as strict organizational structures for established companies. But if done right, it can help create a competitive advantage, add real value to customers, and identify new revenue-generating strategies.
As the software industry began to face the digital revolution, the need for software developed and with it the question of how to make use of it and improve it.
When it comes to outsourcing software development teams, getting the right approach to your management is critical. With the right approach, you can achieve key business benefits such as quick development time, better scalability, and lower costs.
As per the Business Process Outsourcing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report, The global business process outsourcing market size was valued at USD 232.32 billion in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.5% from 2021 to 2028.
Let’s have a look at what the experts have to say about the outsourcing tips for software development.
1. Brian Dean, the Founder of Exploding Topics
Brian says that without a good plan/strategy, one can never participate in any activity, no matter how small or large. “Changing management in an organization is one of the top three hurdles in outsourcing a product. Poor project management on the part of the software development outsourcing partner, as well as poor software quality, are the other two hurdles.“
Brian proposes that there are numerous types of solutions that are proposed to employ in the software development outsourcing business to avoid those three and other hazards, and your decision may depend on your company’s fundamental purpose.
For instance, profit-driven, product-first, user-first, and so on. The outsourcing-life-cycle process model designed by Sara Cullen here, on the other hand, would greatly assist you in preparing particular actions, anticipating dangers and possibilities during the method, thanks to its adaptability.
To Establish Clear Product Ownership While Outsourcing Development, here are some tips and suggestions by Brian:
The first stage is to establish a Product Owner, an internal leader who is responsible for the product(s) being produced by outsourced development teams. This leader’s formal title is likely to be Product Owner in larger companies. This owner can be a CTO, CIO, or even a technical co-founder in smaller organizations.
What matters is that they have the time and insight to serve as a bridge between business and technical staff. As you begin the full cycle app development, the Product Owner must verify the definition of success.
2. Martin Broadhurst, A Digital Strategist Based In The UK
Martin shares his experience and tips for outsourcing based on his work with businesses that have used outsourced development many times.
Here are his three main tips for the software development issues it presents:
- Be aware of risks
Outsourcing software development is a popular choice for many organizations, but it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. The benefits of outsourcing, such as lower labor costs and a more diverse talent pool, can be outweighed by the risks; for example, if the outsourced team is not as skilled and knowledgeable as the core team, the end product will suffer.
- Make sure you are clear on the project scope
Outsourcing software development is a common practice for companies, but if the project scope is not clearly defined, there could be some complications in the long run. When you are hiring an outsourcing firm, make sure you have a clear understanding of the project scope so you know what you are getting. Know exactly what is included in the scope. Be really specific. This will prevent you from arguing over fees and deadlines later in the project.
- Hire the right people
The world of software development is changing quickly, and it is no longer possible to keep up with new advancements in technology without hiring the right people. As a business owner, “you want to make sure that you are not only hiring qualified developers but developers who can quickly understand the goals of the project.” A developer who is too focused on his or her own work can become too close to the project and fail to see the bigger picture, and this problem is exacerbated when that developer is removed from the main project team.
3. Eric Carrell, Chief Marketing Advisor at SurfShark
Eric’s Tips Are:
- Focus on Function rather than Micromanaging the Developers.
- Micromanagement gone too far can prohibit your development teams from producing their finest work. Micromanagement is frequently shown in overly strict project specifications. They can impede the capacity of experienced software developers to apply their own judgment and creativity to come up with the best possible technique for achieving product goals, no matter how well-intentioned they are.
- Eric believes that “development teams perform best when they are given the freedom to pursue an experiment.” R&D-like approach to determining the optimal path to achieving the end goals of a software product.
- “High-level planning and oversight should be the emphasis of product owners.“
- Product owners can add the most value to daily stand-up meetings and demos/sprint reviews by analyzing development progress from a functional, end-user perspective. They should concentrate on user stories or the key tasks that users must be able to do, rather than individual code decisions.
- Regular assessments should include a functional prototype on a real device—even if it’s still only a black-and-white wireframe—to provide a practical point of comparison.
- The “idea is to focus on the software’s final function rather than unnecessarily specific method definitions.” This allows developers to be as creative as possible while implementing an efficient solution. This method will maximize your developers’ productivity while also preserving their sanity.
- A ‘Process Owner,’ whether a Project Manager, Agile Coach, Scrum Master, or Solution Owner, should be in charge of the details of execution.
- While the Product Owner is usually an inside figure, the Process Owner is frequently part of a development team that is outsourced.
To keep the team extremely productive, efficient, and well-aligned with end goals, the Process Owner must provide the greatest possible development environment. It is their responsibility to identify and remove waste, schedule work, follow best practices, and ensure that all necessary resources are available. They must have a thorough understanding of several development methods in order to select the most appropriate one depending on organizational constraints.
4. Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert at VPNoverview
Veronica believes in “making use of Consistent Communication Practices.”. These communications don’t have to be extremely formal, but your team will need some well-defined processes throughout the project. The overarching goal of this communication is to keep day-to-day development efforts as near to the product goals as possible.
For example, Daily standups are an excellent way to keep the team on the same page. Frequent check-ins, no matter how brief, assist product owners to avoid wasting time and avoid surprises: they get an update every day.
After each sprint, have retrospective sessions, sometimes known as ‘sprint retros,’ to identify lingering problems, discuss potential product improvements, and explore any changes that could improve the development process for the following sprint. One of the most “effective approaches to reduce the risk of new product development is to maintain consistent communication.”
5. Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO at Solitaired
Darshan also co-founded drop.io, a media-sharing, VC-backed startup that was acquired by Facebook in 2010. Darshan’s view on outsourcing tips are:
Deploy a Cross-Functional Team Today, “launching a successful software product necessitates cross-functional skills and a team composed of professionals from several business functions,” such as UX specialists, back- and front-end developers, UI designers, QA engineers, and even Business Analysts and Marketing.
Some organizations have a long-standing culture of forming ‘siloed’ teams that only interact with one another on rare occasions or ‘hand-off’ the project entirely between development phases.
In his experience, forming a really cross-functional team that can contribute to the product on a regular basis is far more productive.
The following are some of the key advantages of a cross-functional software development team:
- Conflicting priorities and incentives are eliminated: Instead of multiple teams rushing to meet their deadlines, team members work together on a single schedule and set of priorities.
- Improved communication: A close-knit team is less likely to have communication issues, and everyone on the team has a better overall picture of the product they’re working on. Cross-functional teams can eliminate departmental bottlenecks and develop new versions faster and more responsively, resulting in shorter product schedules.
- User-centric development: Getting daily feedback from UX, design, and graphics professionals helps developers connect their decisions with the end-goals of their users.
6. Christian Velitchkov
Here are some software development outsourcing tips shared by Christian that everyone needs in 2021:
“Understanding the ongoing trend and staying in line with the trend is necessary.”
Know the software development language that is going around along with development trends like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
All these details will help you pick the right outsourcing company for you. “Consider your needs very acutely. Deciding on which firm to work with will depend on your needs.”
- The outsourcing company must be able to match what you want. Having clear wants will also make it easier for the company to give your desired outputs.
- Stay clear on the deadlines. Talk clearly about your expectations and the time you have for the whole task.
- Keep communication free of any ambiguity. This will avoid misunderstandings in the future.
7. Solomon Thimothy, CEO and Co-Founder of Clickx.io
According to Solomon, it would be best to “ask for referrals and have a trusted, technologically inclined, and knowledgeable individual who can assess the fitness of your outsourced talent or agency.”
Their social proof can help ensure that they have a good track record and their experience, knowledge, and ability are reliable to serve your needs best. What you want is someone that can create your product/service and not just someone who intends to close a deal.
He recommends “finding a specialist you can book for a call or consultation to assess what you truly need.” It would help to aim for a thoroughly made and adaptive software with room for your scalability plans, which you should mention in the initial planning/ consulting stage.
He does not recommend going for a generalist but to do so if they have a good and verifiable portfolio. In case you’re not sure about their skills and knowledge, you can always ask for advice from your knowledgeable acquaintances to help you gauge their fitness for the role.
8. Vadim Atamanenko, Founder of MightySAP LLC
Vadim says a significant portion of software development has recently been outsourced, aided by the pandemic. Many employees were sent to work remotely, some were fired and hired by other companies who were able to set up the internal mechanisms of work in this mode.
What are the advantages of outsourcing software development?
- There is no need to search and hire employees
- There is no control over the execution of each of the employees
- There is no need to organize the workplace of the employee / department
- All tasks for organizing business processes in outsourcing
The work of an outsourcing company can be divided into three main types of possible work, i.e. “outstaffing, outsourcing, and development and maintenance:”
- Out staffing. The manager is at the Customer’s office. Collects requests, comments and new features and transfers them to the development department.
What is bad about this option? This manager will be tied to only one project and the effectiveness of such an employee will not be great. All the same work can be performed by an employee being somewhere remotely (collect, control and transfer to work), while the efficiency and the number of successful projects of this manager will be higher. But in this case, you need to be as careful as possible, because a manager’s lack of qualifications can be a fatal mistake.
- Development on the side of the Contractor with the control of an internal employee of the Customer’s company.
In this case, the employee is most stimulated to get the maximum result. As for the transfer of part or the complete transfer of the development cycle. From the practice of large companies, the transfer of small projects or part of the functionality is the norm, since you need to strike a balance between the main projects of the company that generate the main income.
- Development and maintenance are most important for a business.
Specialists who have the highest knowledge are involved in this, the cost of such specialists is significantly high, and for less critical projects, on which the deadlines are not so important or the project is in a frozen state, it is easier to transfer to specialists with a lower rate, in this regard there is a significant number of outsourcing and body-shops. It will also not always be possible to select a team of specialists of different levels and form a department for development within the company for many reasons, from the lack of your own HR department to the lack of time to search.
What does outsourcing give?
You get already formed development teams who are specialists in their fields and there is no need to train them. In fact, these are teams that for a long time have already formed relationships within and such teams are more united and focused on results. Plus, “outsourcing companies have a large flow of orders for software development, and the employees working there have a fairly wide level of technical knowledge.”
9. Sergii Zhuravel, Software Engineer
Sergii makes use of his experience of working with outsourcing companies and provides relevant solutions.
Some tips from Sergii are:
First of all “you need to choose the right outsourcing company.” And there we can name a list of important points to consider. The requirements for an outsourcing vendor have changed last time, as security, flexibility, and effective management are critical now.
So here is a list of key points that you can use to choose a reliable partner in a time of remote work: –
- Well defined security policy
- Established agile processes
- Solid project management skills
- Clients’ reviews and testimonials
- Advanced communication skills, enthusiasm and transparency
- The robust knowledge transfer plan
- Powerful employer brand
Another thing to review is a “place where to look for the outsourcing company.”
Comparing the regions/countries you need to consider such criteria: –
- Tech education opportunities
- Time zone difference
- The level of English proficiency
- Positions in global ratings of IT destinations
- Resources availability and tech competency diversity
- Cultural mindset
Before starting cooperation “you need to ask a few questions to better understand your partner:”
- Who will manage the team?
Even if you have a manager to manage the team, the team will be distributed and maybe it will work in different time zones, so having a local manager or lead is essential.
- Does the company have a good recruiting team and practices?
This will be very important when you need to bump up the team size quickly.
- Does the company have good HR practices?
Losing good developers can be expensive and provide a lot of trouble
- How does the company manage work contracts with the performers (to not have any issues with law and taxes in the future)?
- How controversial points will be resolved and in which jurisdiction (many outsourcing companies have head offices in EU or in the USA, so it’s better to have contracts with such companies, to stay in the local/native jurisdiction)?
10. Jesse David Thé: President & Ceo OF Tauria
Jesse views the point that “when budgets are at stake, outsourcing software development seems the right move.” As with domestic resources, it’s a mixed bag.
Jesse had some off-shore resources (India) that were excellent in virtually every regard, certainly no worse than your average domestic resource.
He also had some that he wouldn’t trust to code anything. You’ve got to do your due diligence during interviews. Even if you do a good job though, he says that his experience is that they spend a lot of time prepping for interviews so they can get through them even if their skills don’t match up with what they’re presenting.
Even with good resources though, there are definitely caveats. The time difference can be both a curse and a blessing. The downside is when there are issues, someone on one side of the world or the other has to work some uncomfortable hours. The upside is you can effectively have a 24×5 team because you can get their work in the morning, review it, make your comments, send them new directions, and they can get to it without missing a beat during their day. The language barrier may be problematic.
Sometimes that lack of proficiency is going to cause problems. Sometimes it’ll just be little frustrations here and there (though those add up over time), but sometimes there will be pretty significant misunderstandings, and all of it equals a cost in time and effort.
“You basically have to put some degree of trust in them to do the job right, but you’ve got to be willing and able to put in the time and effort to verify it because I’ve found that if you don’t hold their feet to the fire, there’s going to be issues in terms of quality and velocity,” more so than with domestic resources (for whatever reasons).
11. Karl Hughes, Founder of Draft, CEO / Former CTO / Software Engineer on Outsourcing
Karl says that there are a lot of tips to share about outsourcing software development, but he feels that “one of the most important tip — after you’ve chosen a team to work with, defined your requirements, and chosen various technologies — is that you start small.”
In other words, you begin working with the outsourcing team on a trial project or a test. You will learn how they operate, how well they communicate with you, and also how well they follow the parameters and requirements that you’ve set.
Most importantly, it allows you to see them in action and get a genuine sample of their work. You will need to invest resources, like a regular project, so it’s best to choose something you can use that’s smaller in scope and won’t take as long. That also ensures you’re not wasting the money and time you put into the trial project.
12. Perry Zheng, CEO & Founder of Cash Flow Portal
Perry , also a Software Engineer, full time engineering manager at Lyft and running my own real estate syndication software – Cash Flow Portal, gives his points on outsourcing tips.
Outsourcing your software development needs is quite a challenge. Here are some tips that can be helpful:
- Find Global Experts
It is important to understand that if you are looking for an outsourcing service, you are not bound by any geographical limits. So, you can look up some of the best experts in the world to find the most appropriate service providers for yourself. “The best in the world are expected to be equipped with the latest technology and should be able to provide you faster and better services than anyone else.” Furthermore, such experts can be helpful to consult with to make your software even better than expected.
- Discuss development time and costs
One of the most important factors involved are time taken for the software development, and it’s cost. Therefore, you need to discuss how much time it will take to complete the software and how they will be charging you. “Ask if they have any additional charges, what the total cost will be, and how they will compensate if they get late than the expected delivery time. You can use these dealings to compare multiple service providers” and compare them to select the best one.
13. Rita Mantler, Technical Director & Founder of Telescopic
Rita explains the “two critical factors for successful software development outsourcing: a plan and good project management.”
It is crucial that the outsourced team thoroughly understands their task and the required outcome. With a clear understanding of the project’s goal, the designers/planners/developers can make informed decisions. Unless the plan contains every single detail about the product, clients have to give agencies the freedom to make choices about implementation.
“Good communication between the house project management and the outsourced company is a must.” Most issues that arise during a project are due to misunderstandings between these two teams. With poor communication, even the most basic goalposts can be missed.
Deadlines have to be communicated along with any particular significance as to why that specific date. If delays happen (and they always will), the agency might still be able to find an acceptable workaround to meet deadlines if their importance is known to them.
Ensure the agency you are working with chooses an appropriate team for the project. If developers change multiple times during a project, you can end up with a total code mess that is unmaintainable. Understand the structure, experience, and expertise of the team you are hiring.
14. Tatsiana Kerimova, CEO and Co-founder at Orangesoft
Software development outsourcing tips by Tatsiana are:
- While looking for a software development vendor, don’t focus on the company’s previous app domain experience. It doesn’t matter if the software is about food or cars. What is important is the main features. So, it would be helpful for you to know if they have worked with chats, GPS features, transactions, etc. if you want to have them in your software.
- Think global-Don’t just decide to stick to your local developers or a particular country. “Offshore software development enables you to get tons of benefits: more attractive prices, a variety of talent to choose from, an option to get high-quality localization services, and so on.” Look for companies in trusted resources and make sure to check their portfolios and reviews. Try reaching previous clients or merely surfing the net to find feedback about the potential vendor’s work.
- Select companies that are appropriately sized
“Consider the size of your enterprise and the budget you’re willing to spend.” This will help you avoid being overlooked in a big company if you’re a smaller business and not end up with a tiny studio that can’t handle an ambitious project.
- Don’t rush into things
As much as it is exciting to find an affordable and seemingly high-quality outsourcing partner, don’t give in just yet. Set up a preliminary meeting – get a feel of what they are like to work with. And even after that, sign a trial contract first.
15. Daniel Cooper, Managing Director at Lolly.co
“Automation can be an effective tool in overcoming some of the common issues with outsourced software development.” Daniel lists the ways through which development can be easily carried.
One is testing—by bringing QA in-house through the use of automation tools, you can ensure the software under development actually works. Far too often outsourced projects come in non-functioning or with limited functionality compared to what was promised. Worse yet, these often happen after many delays.
Otherwise there’s often a great deal of back-and-forth between the client and the outsourced team to fully understand what they want made. When these cases happen it often becomes easier to simply handle the project yourself. You never know when team members on the outsourced team are being swapped out, either. It happens very frequently, of course.
Agile development and outsourcing often don’t mesh very well. The upfront specs inherent in an outsourced project are more suitable for waterfall development, which is passé at this point to any experienced software development team. If you really know what to ask for, however, and know it up front, then you’re likely to have more success with a verified, consistent team.
An Ending Note
We hope you enjoyed reading this post and the experts’ views. Also you have got a clear idea of some tips regarding outsourcing software development that can help you with your business.
You should know that outsourcing software developers lets the business develop a quality software product in a cost-efficient way. From customization of platforms to full-cycle solutions, software outsourcing organizations are skilled development partners that are set to deliver tech filled and custom software solutions.
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