Things that Could Go Wrong When You Outsource Software Development and How to Handle it
It’s great that you have chosen to outsource the software development work for your enterprise. After all, outsourcing can solve many problems within an organization. Some of these problems are cost control, quick delivery, a lack of quality talent, or backlog in the development process.
Outsourcing software development can assist in addressing the key requirements of technology-driven companies. Yet, there are certain things that could go wrong with the entire process if you do not take precautions beforehand.
Businesses need to understand these risks and know how to handle them to prevent situations going in the wrong direction. To stay prepared, here is what you need to know.
What could go wrong?
It might be a great idea to start asking yourself-
“What areas of outsourcing can lead my company from going in the southward direction?”
“Where can we go wrong and how will it affect us?”; and
“How do I prevent the risks?”
Well, to answer your first question, there are many areas where things could go wrong when you outsource software development. Some of these areas are as follows-
#1 Lack of communication among involved parties
Communication is key to the success of a project if and when you decide to outsource software development. A lack of communication between the parties involved, which are your business and the software development service provider you choose to outsource, can lead to greater issues as the project progresses.
A communication gap between parties can happen due to various reasons. This can include language, time zones, as well as cultural differences, which can all affect results to a great extent.
What you can do
As a business, you need to think ten steps ahead prior to outsourcing a software development company. You have to make it clear-cut, right from the beginning. The outsourcing company must understand your expectations. On the other hand, you need to ask them for a specific point-of-contact and regular meetings in a week or month. This way, all updates and delays will be in the know and the project will flow smoothly.
If you have chosen to outsource software development from overseas, then ensure that you have at least one well staffed, on-shore office that can help with problem-solving and collaboration if any issues arise.
Any software development company that you choose to outsource your project to, will take some time to learn and understand your process. So, it is always better to stay well-connected, especially when the project is in its infancy. Doing so, not only helps you in nipping the bud before things go awry but also in developing a familiarity between both parties.
#2 Cost to work ratio
While some businesses are driven by technology, others are driven by cost. If you belong to the latter category then it is only natural that you will most likely settle for lower estimates.
But, if you are looking for success, money is not all that matters. If the company from whom you wish to outsource software development does not have a strong portfolio or cannot match the commitment and values of your company, then they will never live up to your expectations.
As a business owner, you need to be careful when you receive a lower estimate from an outsourcing company. The reason being that they might be new to the field and thus have a lesser understanding of the service or industry as a whole.
What you can do
In this case, your sole responsibility is to take caution and make all necessary checks to understand if the outsourcing company can live up to its promises. Along with the estimate, ask the company if there are any contracts to be signed to seal the deal.
A good and reliable software development company will always have a contract, lining out any exclusions, add ons, or policies that they would like their clients to know about. Again, that is also not enough. The next step for you is to read the contract carefully and ensure that all your requirements are covered. All deliverables and goals must be established. Your company to outsource software development does not have to be one with the lowest bid but one that can meet your requirements.
#3 Uncertainty about delivery
Most software development companies are not able to live up to their promise of quick delivery to their clients. This results in chaos and delays along the lifecycle of a project as well. This generally happens when requirements and expectations are not explained when a project starts.
What you can do
For the success of your business, keep things transparent so that your outsourcing partner stays capable of meeting your needs. This should include everything from the start to the point of delivery.
It should include all the significant milestones of the project, the role that you and your team will have in it, and your expectations of the on-time completion of deliverables.
#4 Fraught outsourcing transitions
It can be a major step to entrust and outsource any part of your company’s responsibilities to another organization. This change can make a reasonable impact on the organization’s people and processes especially if the transition is not done smoothly. Hence, businesses must make an attempt to evaluate all areas to understand, plan, and address them if any issues arise.
What you can do
To address the issue of facing the transition to new work processes when outsourcing software development it is essential that you perform thorough research on technology, infrastructure and management structure necessary to ensure its smooth transition. Treat it the same way you would when you are acquiring a new company. Ensure that everyone involved in the internal team stays informed and understands its objectives.
#5 Low Company Value System
You must understand that when you decide to outsource work for software development it’s sole purpose is to help your business. However, when the transition happens, more than help a lot of tension is created between parties. Most of the time this happens because the values and culture of a company and business have not been executed properly. The software development company, to whom you choose to outsource business has to align their work process with your own company’s core values. If after everything has been said and done and the outsourced company still does not understand your values, then they are just not the right fit for you.
What you can do
Before you can expect others to understand your company’s core values and culture, you have must have a first-hand experience of it. What’s important to you and your business? Identify the areas and directly question the outsourcing company about their work culture.
Don’t step back when it comes to asking the tough questions in the beginning for fear of losing them. They might be renowned for their work in the field but if they cannot match the way you work, then it’s just not worth the effort.
#6 Non Aligned Goals
Does the company, which you have hired for outsourcing software development, fit your company’s strategic goals? This is one of the most important questions to ask before you make the plunge and hire an outsourcing service provider. Discussing strategic goals is important because it lays the foundation of your business, which if not well executed, can have a domino effect on every other project under your arm, either positively or negatively.
What you can do
When briefing a company that you plan to outsource your software development work, ensure that you have explained the project to them in detail. Tell them about the goals of the project and how its implementation can help your business grow. If there are other projects underway, explain to them how the current project is related to them, in the process clearly communicating any existing constraints.
It can be a highly effective method for organizations to outsource their needs for software development, especially when the processes involved are executed in a proper manner.
The risks mentioned above are a few that businesses should look out for especially when they plan to outsource their work for software development. In brief, it can be concluded that transparency is the key to the success of a project.
Marak Technologies is a full stack software development and digital marketing company, located in India at Shillong and Kolkatta. Are you having problems in meeting your business’ IT requirements? Give us a call, or shoot us an email. We explore technologies to make your life easier and informed.