Outsourcing gains more and more popular as time goes on. And it’s not a surprise considering how many businesses appear every day and how it’s constantly getting more important to be better and faster than your rivals. Outsourcing, when in good hands, provides both speed and quality for development. However, it’s not a pay-to-win by any means. It’s maybe just as big of a challenge today as if you were trying to develop an application by your own team’s efforts, but a different kind of challenge.
So how to achieve success with outsourcing? Here are some tips on how to manage offshore software development.
1. Track Record
Everyone loves to boast just a little. Most of the times, it doesn’t make you a lot of favour, but with the software development, a customer has to know the successes of the developers. Case studies, testimonials, reviews - they aren’t on the website just for the sake of being there. Reed them! And then make a little fact check if you have any doubts. A company that has proven success history is more likely to make you satisfied with their job.
2. No Middlemen
When assigning your project to a company, make sure that it’s the exact same company that is going to do all the coding and not the one that will sell you other people’s work. Indirect interaction makes your projects more expensive because of the commission taken by the middlemen. It also makes everything harder to manage because you can no longer exchange thoughts and ideas with programmers first-handedly which often creates misconceptions and ambiguity.
3. Split Up Less
Sometimes your project seems too big for one team. Say, you need several millions of lines of code along with a chunk of visual design the size of half a Dribble database. Call it over exaggerating, but some enterprises really think of their projects that way. But what if this is even true? Get a bigger team then! By separating your attention among several teams, you waste precious time, make the communication process more complex, and risk getting a poorly integrated final product. When you work with one connected team, all vital communications are handled within that team without you worrying too much about it.
4. Time & Material
Some people may prefer fixed prices, and this is totally normal. If you have a small, highly-specialized project (and find just the right team to implement it), this is probably a better option for you. But with Time & Material model, you get more control over what is being done. In contrary to the popular opinion that in this case, you pay for the time spent on your project, this is actually more like “pay-per-feature”. You still settle on some amount of cash before it all begins, but now you can make major adjustments, adding new edges to the final product, and not get hated for doing that.
5. Justify the Price
Price is just one part of the equation. You can always expect more for less, but don’t let the pricetag define your whole project. If a company demands more than its competitors, it doesn’t always mean they’re better. And even if they really are, they might just not really suit your project. Think first of the requirements, and only then - of the means of fulfilling them.
6. Document Everything
Even if your product is flawless today, will it remain that good in 5 years? Or what if you decide to add a couple of new features or make changes to the existing ones? Applications are patched and upgraded all the time, which means that their code has to be read and understood after the release too. And when programmers don’t struggle to find the meaning in the strings of code written by the others(which happens quite a lot), there’s no better way than document each and every part of an app.
7. Protect Your IP
As long as you’ve paid for the development, your app belongs to you. This trivial thought has to be stated so clearly, so there’s no way to deny it. Your concept, business logic, and the software itself have to be secured from anyone but you and the developers. And it’s insured by a non-disclosure agreement. Write it down on your own, order, or find one online. This is the last tip on our list, but it’s probably the most important one. Keep your intellectual property safe.
Outsourcing is not the thing to be afraid of. It’s going to benefit you a lot if you know how to handle it since only the right approach can bring good results when creating the software product. Hope these tips will make you a more successful software owner and bring a lot of valuable experience in offshore software development as a whole.