A successful software outsourcing strategy will reduce time-to-market, access to world-class technology, and cost-savings for your company. Despite that, an outsourcing strategy without carefully defined business objectives can lead to higher IT costs. Moreover, unfocused outsource software support can waste resources or even cause a loss for the business. This is a guide step-by-step to learn how to do software outsourcing safely and effectively!
Software Outsourcing Guide
1. Set out your goals
The first step while choosing software outsourcing partners is to understand the business goals yourself. Defining your goals first will push you in the right direction and help you choose the right partner you need. And, your goals should be clearly defined so that outsourcing partners can get the work done by the right expertise set of professionals.
Define software goals. You probably know what target audience you want to reach, the primary purpose of your software, how it should be used, and the main tasks a software should perform. It will be much easier for the development team to delve into the process and understand your goal.
Define project scope. Feel free to prepare a visual presentation of your software. You don’t need to be skilled in design or software development. It will be enough to write down the project scope, show visually what result you want to get, and so on. In case you don’t want to create presentations, you may write in docs some user stories – a description of the activities a user may perform in your software.
Define technical details. For example, you may already have software that other developers started creating, but due to some reasons, you don’t want to keep on cooperating with them. Therefore, you need to describe what your software already includes and what you want to add. A new software development partner will save yours and their time, and they will start the development faster. Also, mind to add info about what platform you need (iOS or Android or both), front-end/back-end, and so on.
Define the budget. In a way similar to defining goals, your budget should be defined as well. Take a peek at the best software development firm to decide whether they fit your budget. Some tend to offer viable packages, while other charges on an hourly basis. And if so, determine whether they can provide all that you want within your set budget. One of the most common mistakes business owners make when hiring a software development company is looking for the cheapest possible solutions. However, economical solutions aren’t always reasonable. While price plays an essential factor in deciding who gets to be your company for software engineering outsourcing, you should never compromise with the quality.
*You can learn more about 4 must-know facts to start your outsourcing hub in Vietnam.
2. Make a list of partners fits your target
You should make a list of at least five candidates, and then begin the process of vetting each one of them.
Do Your Research. To collect information for this list, you can start by asking people working in the IT industry or have good knowledge of software development and find out if they can recommend a particular company. If this isn’t possible, you can conduct an organic search online and look for outsourcing partners. Depending on the size of your project and its complexity, you can structure information in a spreadsheet with the column such as name of company, the price that each company offers, the solution to your problem and other details of their proposal, your initial evaluation of each agency based on the information you gather from your own sources,…
Check Experience & Reputation. Once you know what to look for, it won’t be so difficult to pinpoint the best candidates.
Now, you can search for your new partner on Google, but that may not be very helpful. Google will show you the top results relevant to your search, and those might be great companies, but how can you know for sure? Try to check out what people have to say about them. Checking out the reviews for a particular company will shine some light on its services, expertise, experience, and reputation. There are even platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms, for example, where you can check out their past clients’ reviews.
To evaluate the company’s skills, you need to check their portfolio. Many software development companies create a relevant section on their website where you can find the list of previous projects made by them. It is an excellent proof of expertise, and you may also evaluate their technical level. But keep in mind that the portfolio usually doesn’t contain all projects. For example, at ICTS, we add to our portfolio the projects that are designed for public use, and a client agreed to share it with visitors.
Product exactly is a mirror of their skills, quality, and imagination. Check for speed, robustness, user experience, media integration, functionality,… But sometimes websites and mobile apps are limited by their own clients’ demands. So, let’s decide carefully!
Consider sociocultural factors. Determining which country has qualified individuals to work and maintain its values on products and services is no less important. The main things you should care for are a lower cost yet developed IT market, backed by a high-quality educational infrastructure. In addition, their ability to communicate in your fluent language is also noteworthy. These countries create large skilled developers for you to choose from. Another factor for outsourcing to consider is time zone. Find ways to best collaborate with workers given a huge gap of time difference.
There are many software outsourcing companies in Asia, and that number continuously grows through the years. IT outsourcing destinations are low labor costs and a large pool of IT talents, are in emerging and developing Asian countries. Let’s discover “Where is the most bouncing software outsourcing market?”
3. Talk with agency representatives to get more details and to be made aware of your needs
Communication is enhanced a great deal when you can converse face-to-face. But geographical distance, time difference and language barrier will make an obstacle when you choose a partner based on another country. If your project is rather complex and requires a lot of resources to complete, it would be ideal to talk with the manager or CEO online through Skype, Slack,…
Take time to share all your ideas and ask as many questions as you need to. If you find that the people you are talking to do not have a firm understanding of your needs or the technology involved in the process, you should probably move on to another agency.
4. Define clear expectations and project plan
While outsourcing a project, you need to set clear expectations so you both know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and when you’re doing it. Make sure you both decide on the payment terms, deliverables, and the time frame of the project before you get started. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner for a project plan if you’re not providing them one yourself.
Moreover, the contract should be defined by a statement of work that lays out the specifics of your business relationship. It must specify the services that will be provided, the timeline for the provision of those services, and payment for the services. Unclear expectations can lead to ugly issues arising in the middle of your project, like confusion over payment terms, requirements, revisions, and more. This will just end up wasting your time and money.
A project plan or timeline helps streamline the development process and makes it easier to complete the project by breaking it down into smaller pieces.
Project plans lay out a series of tasks to complete. It’s usually better to complete these specific tasks before moving on to the next ones. This helps minimize errors and missed steps. You can request a project plan from your developer before they get started, so you can tweak it according to your requirements and send it back.
5. Collaborate with partner which you choose
Outsourcing is not a one-sided project. Don’t expect to send out a bunch of requirements and magically receive a perfect product. Let your partner pitch in their own thoughts, opinions, and suggestions on your strategy and requirements. After all, they likely have more technical expertise than you. They can even help you get rid of irrelevant or unnecessary features that may waste money. The more you trust the partner with doing the right thing, the more they will feel involved.
You can explore some handy tips for ensuring a smooth development process and exceptional end results at 7 handy tips for outsourcing mobile app development.
For whom searching for trustable, professional and stable partner, ICTS is the perfect candidate. We provide consultation and development services to SMEs (small and medium companies), Start-ups that struggling to build their own systems (CRM, ERP) or their mobile app prototype at limited resources. Contact us and discover what benefits we can bring to your software and mobile app development project in terms of quality and budget!