Outsourcing software development makes sense in all aspects of a business. All it needs is to do it right with the ideal outsourcing partner. Because the way outsourcing partners deal with projects would be different. To illustrate, resource quality, SDLC model, working culture, and environment variables.
Outsourcing, if done effectively, has the potential to boost your business to great heights within a concise period. Outsourcing custom software development projects to the right vendor can even remarkably reduce development costs and time.
Often, there exist some common pitfalls that businesses usually make while outsourcing, which can lead the whole process into a major headache.
So, here is a list of the common five pitfalls to avoid while outsourcing software development:
- Communication barriers
Proper communication is a pillar when it comes to outsourcing too.
You may need to overcome challenges such as time constraints, zones, languages, and cultural conventions.
It is highly recommended to establish a regular communication channel with the outsourced team to ensure project success.
The outsourced team should have clear-cut clarity on project requirements in-depth, or else it may affect the proper delivery of the end product as desired.
The outsourced team should be clear about a few questions like:
- What is the goal of the project?
- Do you have a well-defined workflow in hand?
- Is the product to be available across different platforms?
- Do you have all the required content?
Use of collaboration tools, like Asana and Jira, frequent audio or video calls with the team, stand-up meetings, etc., at regular intervals are some of the best ways to bridge the communication gaps with the outsourced team.
- Failure in understanding the scope of the project
Ignorance of the project’s actual scope before outsourcing development to a remote team can adversely affect your project. It is essential to have a clear idea of the requirements, the project’s overall scope, expected timeline to deliver, etc.
Failing to communicate the details effectively will result in the downfall of our project. Without resolving these issues, the development team may continue working without a proper idea resulting in widening the gap between expectations and reality.
Initially, all the requirements to be incorporated in the software should be documented well. Software Requirements Specification, a.k.a SRS, is an excellent way to give a clear insight into the outsourced team’s project.
The clarity in documentation is the first step to recognizing that your needs are conveyed properly to the developing team.
- Code quality challenges
Code quality is a major aspect you should look for because there are arguably no strict laws for high and low-quality codes.
It is challenging to see how well the outsourced team will adhere to the quality standards while coding your application.
A healthy coding will have well-documented and well- tested coding that can help you to assure a long term success. Clarity of codes and maintainability are the other two aspects to be possessed by a quality coding team.
Before you sign your documentation to an outsourcing firm, ensure they take code review measures, functional testing, unit testing, etc. Using these precautions, they can test whether their application is robust before releasing it to you.
- Ambiguity of stakeholders
Lack of project ownership is one of the major flaws of outsourcing. If the outsourcing firm you choose picks employers on a contractual basis and not full time, then the project’s actual deployment becomes risky. Because there lacks a project lead, who can take the entire responsibility of delivering the project.
So when outsourcing a project, ensure that there are a few persons to stay consistent throughout the entire process. They are the ones to whom you should communicate regularly, conduct meetings, present email threads, etc.
Finding an outsourcing company that can become future stakeholders to your project, committed to helping you achieve long-term success counts rather than finding ones who implement quick fixes for you.
- Loopholes when signing a contract
A properly drafted contract can help your project to turn out well. A loosely framed contract may end up in ambiguities that the outsourcing team can exploit, resulting in monetary losses.
The contract should include time commitment, the layout of the assigned workforce, deadlines to be met, penalties if the project is not released well, and if needed, positive reinforcement (if the project is delivered faster than expected), etc.
Best practices when signing an outsourcing contract
Things you should keep in mind while drafting a contract with an outsourcing team
- Outline the deliverables along with timeframes:
The contract should clearly state the expected deliverables to be available in the form of user stories. If the outsourcing partner is using agile methodology, they can accurately provide you the details of the work breakdown during each stage. The contract should speak clearly about the timeframe within which it should be completed.
- Feature-based contracts over time-based ones:
It is always good to go for a contract that prioritizes feature-based deployment rather than time-based development.
- Milestone based payments:
Payment for each stage can be given after reaching distinct milestones. It simplifies the payment schedule. Setting up frequent stand-up meetings with the team by following up about the milestone for making payment. This type of payment can bring a lot of clarity, even if any conflict happens in between.
- Instilling code guarantees:
When you sign the contract with an outsourcing team, ensure that the contract should specify that the code you receive should be free of malware and specify the testing period required. Any bugs found within the application during this timeframe should be rectified at the contractor’s expense.
- Maintenance support contracts:
The contract should specify maintenance support for a period of time for the software they have developed and delivered to you. This can enhance the developers with a sense of ownership while building your product.
- Intellectual property rights:
Regarding intellectual property rights clause should be mentioned in the contract to avoid future headaches. The outsourcing team should not re-use the code written for your product under any circumstances in the future.
- Confidentiality agreement:
Non- disclosure and confidentiality agreements should be signed with the outsourcing contractors or maybe with each developer itself. Things related to the application, app idea should not be shared or copied with anyone. This agreement should stress the secrecy of the proprietary information.
- Indemnity clauses:
Details regarding legal provisions ought to be mentioned in the contract. It states who all should bear legal fees and pay for lawsuits for the application being developed.
- Termination clause:
Though you hope for a happy ending contract, you should think the other way too. If things go south and the project failed to reach its completion, the contract should include the termination clause’s details.
- Jurisdiction for resolution of issues:
The details of jurisdiction and resolving the issues that may occur in between should be specified in the contract.
To sum up
The best way to avoid mistakes in outsourcing software development projects is by making clarity on things. Ensure that both sides are ready to shoulder equal responsibilities and clear expectations on our product.
Remember to discuss things with the right person at the right time!