Software Projects Outsourcing
Outsourcing the work for your software can be a real game changer for your company. Not only can it have the effect of saving time, but it can also save you money and get working software delivered faster.
But what exactly do we mean by software outsourcing, and what’s the best way to go about it? At Softkraft, we spend a lot of time assisting with outsourcing software. So, read on for the inside scoop on what it looks like and how it can benefit your business.
- What is Software Outsourcing?
- The benefits of Software Outsourcing
- Software projects outsourcing process: step-by-step guide
- What are the models for software projects outsourcing?
- What it takes to outsource your project successfully
What is Software Outsourcing?
The process of software outsourcing begins when a business decides to employ custom software creation through the means of a third party. This can bring in some of the top software developers, which can improve the overall quality of the software product, whether it be a mobile or web app, or something else.
This is just one of several positives that companies, individuals and customers can expect to experience from software outsourcing. Let’s take a look at what other benefits we can enjoy.
The benefits of Software Outsourcing
There are so many great things that happen when a company outsources its software development. The chances are that you will not have considered all of these, if any at all! Let’s take a look at some of those benefits.
Access to Software Development experts
When you put a product together, you’re going to want the best quality, right? You might have an awesome in-house team, but the chances are that you are going to get the best of the best if you outsource your work to software developers who have the best experience.
If you don’t have an in-house team, consider the time that it will take to find and recruit a software developer for a project. This is especially the case if you have a larger project to work on and will need plenty of assistance. That’s why reaching out to a company who provides software developers can save you countless time and deliver the best product.
You’ll be able to communicate with a diverse team with all sorts of different skill sets, and they’ll come to a strategy that is going to work out the best for you. You’ll have no doubt that you’re on safe hands if you get in contact with the right software outsourcing team.
Flexible team capacity and scalability
When have you ever started a project that has ended up exactly how you wanted it to when it first started out? Things change. Problems arise that require solutions, individual parts end up costing more (or less) than you expected to and countless other variables occur down the line that are impossible to predict. That’s just the way it is!
Handling these changes in-house can prove to be a logistical nightmare. But a team of software developers that you have outsourced will have seen it all before and will know exactly what to do.
On top of this, you’re going to want different people in different roles. These roles can include app developers, designers, DevOps specialists, analysts, testing engineers, project managers and more. A software development resourcing team will have all of these ready to go, and will know exactly who is the right person for each role in your team as soon as they come to terms with what you are looking for.
The best outsourcing agencies will always have enough developers and other team members to suit the needs of even the most substantial projects provided that you reach out to them with enough time to get things organised. This allows for greater flexibility, which as we just mentioned, could not be more useful in the software project development lifecycle.
Software development is a hot property and the competition between companies is increasing all the time. Because of this, you’ll need the best quality product to be able to stand out from the crowd.
How can you ensure that you are putting out your best work? Sure, you can reach out to in-house developers. They may well have the skills required to do the right job for you. But this does not come with any kind of guarantee unless you absolutely know for a fact that they are the right people for the job.
On top of this, you’ll need to ensure that any new team member you bring in will be able to integrate perfectly into your existing team so that your team communicates well together. As the old saying goes, ‘communication is key’, and this applies to software project development as much as any other professional walk of life.
Bringing in an outsourced software development team will guarantee good communication and skilled individual team members which will have the result of an excellent product each and every time.
Why? Because these guys will have been working together for time already, which will have built up team chemistry. Plus, as we’ve been mentioning, they will certainly have the skills!
Just make sure that with any company you are thinking of hiring, you check them for certified accomplishments, previous examples of their work, solid customer feedback, tenure and other online credibilities, perhaps through the likes of social media platforms.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that these accolades apply specifically to your company, and the project you are trying to get underway.
Budget can be one of the greatest hindrances for any project, and software development can be one of the most expensive projects! For this reason, you’ll need to make sure that you do everything you can to save money. Not only will this benefit the company in terms of its finances at a base level, but it will also allow you to spend more cash in other areas of the project that need it, if they do.
How do we do this? Let’s break down the difference in spending between hiring a development team in-house to hiring a software outsourcing team.
The bottom line is, there are a lot more costs for the former. These include the hiring process itself, benefits, taxes, payroll, onboarding, operations, physical workspace and more. Quite the list! Of course, you’ll still have to pay an ongoing fee to the outsourcing agency, but the chances are that this will be a lot lower in cost.
Think about the marketing, advertising and other great things you can add to your project with all this cash saved.
Software projects outsourcing process: step-by-step guide
Liking the sound of hiring an outsourced software development team? We thought you might. Now, it’s time to find out how to actually get the show on the road.
Take a look at our step-by-step guide to finding the right software development team and hiring them for your next project:
1. Define your goals
You’re not going to be able to find the right developers if you’re not 100% sure what you want your software to look like, to behave like and to feel like. You’ll probably also want to run your ideas past other members of your team and perhaps even other people you know in the business so that you know your project sounds interesting and achievable.
2. Prepare Scope of Work documentation
There’s no point trying to reach out to a software development outsourcing agency if you have not prepared the paperwork. They’re going to want to know your budget and your requirements, and good documentation is the best way for this.
What do you need to prepare? That’s going to depend on the type of project you are working on. Here are a few examples that you might find helpful:
- Product requirement document
- Budget estimates
- System admin document
- Reports and metrics
These are just the tip of the iceberg!
3. Research the best Software Development Outsourcing Companies
The right software development agency is going to vary from company to company and project to project based on the needs of each assignment, but there are plenty of ways to find these agencies and double-check that they are right for your job.
First of all, try one of the following methods to find an agency:
- Ask your team
- Ask previous clients or other companies that are working on similar projects
- A quick Google search
- Company comparison websites
- Message boards and forums
You may want to make a shortlist after you have done these things. Now, it’s time to filter that shortlist down and find the best one for the job. This can be done with a little more research. This research may seem a little tedious, but it will have huge implications if you get it right! The research you could try is as follows:
- Checking the company itself. Refer to the ‘High-quality Service’ section of this article for how to do that. A key thing here is to look at their portfolio to see if any of their previous work is similar to your own.
- TrustPilot, Google Reviews and other comparison sites
- Contact companies who have worked with your developer of choice. Past clients will give the most honest truth
4. Contact Software Development agencies about your project
It’s crunch time: you’re about to reach out to your agency of choice. There’s no harm in approaching two or three at this stage if you’re not sold already. But what are you going to talk about here?
Firstly, schedule a video or phone call with the company by reaching out to them via email. Being able to see someone or at least hear their voice will help establish a personal relationship and give you a feel for what they are like.
Before you get into that call, take a look at some of the key topics of conversation that you may wish to bring up
- Communicate your goals and the things you are looking for from the company for the project so that they know whether they will be up to the task and you know whether they are on the same page as you.
- Ask questions about their style and process, including the technology they use and the team members within.
- Discover whether they have similar experiences with prior clients if you do not know this already.
- Find out what the size of their team is. They should have more than another staff to take care of your project, even if they have other ongoing projects.
- Enquire as to what they expect the time scale of the project is going to be and if they think they can stay within budget.
- Will you get a free consultation? Testing support? Licensing?
- What happens if you aren’t happy with the way the project is going? You should know about what your contractual position is at this point.
If all of these questions check out, it’s time to invite them for a meeting to get to know them a little better and begin the project planning stage.
What are the models for software projects outsourcing?
Any good software development agency will follow strict rules and standards so that they do their best and most efficient work. This is a great thing to find out about during the interview process as well. If they can tell you which of the following they use, they’re definitely going to look a lot more professional than if they cannot.
Here are the two main models for software development outsourcing agencies.
Managed team model
Here, the responsibility for the outcome and all elements of the process of development throughout a project are shared between the client who’s project it is and the provider of the outsourcing network. Responsibilities are mostly equal, or at least clearly defined early on.
This is a great model to use when you want any or all of the following:
- Technical expertise for specific areas of the project
- Quick deliveries for any stage of the project
- If you want to stay in control of the decision-making
On the flip side of the managed team model is that of the project-based. In this model, the provider of the outsourcing takes responsibility and effectively owns the project from the start to the end of the development cycle.
You will, of course, be providing plenty of specifications etc. but you will be giving a degree of flexibility to the developers, which can often have plenty of benefits. You’d probably be best off with this model in the following situations:
- When you need a specific product developed without a management burden.
- If you prefer your outsourced team to own the execution, freeing up time to do other things.
What it takes to outsource your project successfully
There’s a little more to software development project outsourcing that we need to cover before you go out there and get stuck in. Here are some top tips for the successful rollout of software outsourcing.
Establish project leadership within your organization
Using the two models we just went through, the first thing you will have to do after you have signed your agency is to establish who is going to take most of the reigns of the project. Check that you have ticked off each of the following things to do.
- Ensure tech support either you or your development agency of choice will need to provide tech support in case things go wrong. Sometimes, technical issues will find themselves out of the scope of the developers themselves.
- Acknowledge your own and your team’s limitations and weaknesses after you decide who’s in charge, you’ll need to assign particular roles and development stages to particular members of your team. A great way to get started with this is to figure out what they are good at and what needs improvements.
- Have confidence in the developers everybody hates a micromanager, so if you spend all your time leaning over the shoulders of your newfound developers, it’s never going to end well. These guys will know what they are doing, that’s why they have been recruited by the agency. So, have faith and relax. You can judge at the end.
Follow project management methodology
Furthering on from this, it’s important to follow a good project management method. Whether it be AGILE or something else, you will need to ensure that you provide the frameworks that your team will understand and engage with.
Establish feedback loop in change management
Anyone who has been involved with software development processes before will know that feedback is one of the greatest keys to success. You’ll need constant feedback between developers, testing engineers, project managers and all the other members of the team.
This will help you to keep on top of the project lifecycle and understand what needs to be corrected or brought forward at every stage of it. An invaluable set of information indeed.
Set up a communication schedule and format
A great way to ensure consistent feedback is to communicate clearly, and a great way to ensure clear communication is to set up a schedule to speak to all the members of your team.
Try scheduling a daily meeting with them and perhaps a work chat on a communication platform such as Slack. Here, team members will be able to speak their mind as and when they need to. You could also go one step further and communicate via video with Zoom or something to that effect. And, make sure that your virtual door is always open by the ways of email.
Measure development progress and metrics
If things don’t feel like they are moving fast enough, it’s a great idea to set up a schedule at the start and consistently keep up to date with the movement of the project. If things aren’t mapped out, they could feel like they are grinding to a halt and you will have a hard time doing anything about that.
This will also help you to gauge the rate at which individual members of the team are moving at so you know when to reach out and offer further support if and when they need it. With these things in mind, there is a much lower chance that you will end up falling behind the schedule
There are countless benefits to outsourcing the development of your software for your next project. Saving time and money is just the tip of the iceberg, but think about the quality you can get if you get the right people through your door!
Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to do. Our tips to find the right team should get you on the right track, and from there on out things should be plain sailing.
Try reaching out to SoftKraft today. We have plenty of experience with various forms of software development, and a high quality team waiting to help you out.