Despite the fact that outsourcing development was once considered a cheap trick to avoid paying for in-house developers, it’s grown increasingly popular as many companies have seen the benefits it can offer to your software development lifecycle.
Outsourcing to the right software development company has a wide range of benefits, from increasing the efficiency of your in-house development team, saving you money, and reducing the amount of time it takes for your product to reach the market.
However, there are risks with outsourcing, but almost all of these can be avoided by doing your due diligence before choosing a software company to work with.
With all of that in mind, here are the most common issues that arise with outsourcing and what you can do to avoid them.
You Don’t Understand the Project Scope
As with any project, you need to have a solid understanding of what the project entails before you start any development work. Scope creep is an issue almost every software developer is familiar with, and one that you’ll need to avoid so you can hand the project in on time and with the requested features.
Before you consider outsourcing, it’s a good idea to spend time building a software requirement specification, or SRS document. Having one of these handy make sure that both your in-house and outsourced developers have a common plan and blueprint in place, so everyone is on the same page with your development process.
With this in place, you can avoid scope creep and easily communicate with outsourced teams what you want for your project and your deadlines.
You Don’t Make the Communication Pathway Clear
Whenever you outsource a project, the team you’re working with needs to know exactly who they need to talk to if they have any questions, need to set up meetings, and who they need to submit work to. Without this being clearly defined, this can make the outsourcing process inefficient as both your in-house team and your outsourced one are left wondering who’s in charge of communication.
To solve this problem, make sure you document who is the dedicated point of contact for your outsourced team. You should also include the hours that they work and any contact such as their email and work phone number, as well as information about who to contact if that person isn’t available. It’s worth giving your vendor information about an additional two contacts, so it’s likely that there will always be someone on hand if they need information.
Plus, you’ll also need to make sure that your development team knows where to route communication with the outsourced team. It’s not unheard of for vendors to attempt to contact development teams directly, which can hamper productivity from your developers who are left fielding questions in absence of their manager. Not only that, but your team will also likely have questions for them, too.
You Don’t Have Code Quality Processes in Place
No matter how much you vet potential vendors before they start to work with you, the quality of their code is likely going to be different from that of your in-house developers. While code quality is an ambiguous term, it’s important that your outsourced team work to make their code clear and easy to maintain.
You need to make sure that you communicate your expectations for code quality ahead of time with your chosen vendor, as well as the benchmarks you’ll be using to assess the quality of their code. Plus, you’ll also need to regularly communicate with the team to ensure that your expectations are being met.
However, before you settle on a vendor, it’s worth asking what code review practices they have in place, and whether they use processes like unit testing and functional testing before they send code over to clients. Whether they have this in place or not is a great indicator of what the team will be like to work with.
You Don’t Have a Project Manager
If you don’t have a project manager to oversee the whole development process, outsourcing development can become tricky as it becomes confusing who is responsible for what part of the project. This can often lead to delays, arguments, and even legal issues about who owns the project.
To solve this problem, it’s helpful to get a project manager or business analyst on board to be the project’s key stakeholder, as they’ll help to make sure the project’s on track and everyone’s on the same page. Because this person will be accountable for the project’s success or failure, they’ll also be on hand to make sure the outsourced team and your in-house developers work in harmony, helping to prevent any problems or roadblocks along the way.
You Only Base Your Vendor Decision on Price
Outsourcing can be a brilliant way to save your company money by avoiding hiring a large team of in-house developers. However, most software companies don’t consider the caveat to this - that outsourcing to cheap vendors can often cost you more in the long run.
Cheap vendors are often cheap for a reason. Whether that’s because they only employ junior developers with limited experience or even shortcut the development process, the code they produce won’t be anywhere near as clear, functional, or maintainable as a company that pulls out all the stops for their clients.
So, when you’re doing your research, make sure you’re also looking at factors like experience, work ethic, creativity, and client testimonials so you get a clear picture of what the vendor is like to work with.
Looking for a Software Development Company in Dubai?
If you’re looking to outsource your software development, then look no further than Chacra Software Solutions. As one of the leading software companies in the UAE, our development teams can help you build any kind of application, payment system, marketing avenue, or even AI solution to suit your needs.
To learn more about how we can help you make your next project a roaring success, get in touch with our friendly team to book a free consultation session.