How to Avoid the Top Software Outsourcing Mistakes
Why Outsourcing Fails
Ever since outsourcing became an option to leverage a lower cost of talent, there have been instances where client and vendor partnerships have led to unsatisfactory results. In some cases, discrepancies cause projects to fail entirely. To prevent loss of time and money, it’s necessary for business owners and executives to understand why partnerships fall apart – and how to reap its benefits without experiencing the unnecessary risks of outsourcing. This failed outsourcing case study will help.
- Language barriers: Speaking the same language is vital since each party must have a complete understanding of project goals and expectations. Shared fluency also helps businesses and vendors clear up issues and challenges as soon as they arise. When it’s time to choose a software development company, ask if their team possesses a mastery of the English language. Developers and project managers who are skilled in mobile and app design but cannot fully understand commands and requests will create friction and unease for company executives.
- Cultural differences: An American’s expectations for an engaging app may not be the same as the requirements for a user in Asia. The latest design trends could also be different. Your offshore partner must understand your intended user’s culture to deliver a quality product.
- Lack of technical skill: While outsourcing is a way to save money, businesses should be cautious about choosing the cheapest development team. While many offshore vendors offer excellent rates, some developers are cost-effective because they only employ apprentice or junior developers. Carefully vet your potential partners to make sure they are certified or experienced with your imperative development languages and platforms. If you are unsure about which competencies you need to complete your app, research competitors’ products and ask vendors to make recommendations for you.
- Motivation problems: Development is a human discipline. Some teams may employ people who are not energetic or enthusiastic enough to deliver an exceptional project on time and on budget. In other cases, businesses offer less respect and attention to offshore partners than they do to their in-house employees. Remember to treat your outsourcing group just as well as you would your office staff. If you suspect lack of motivation from a remote developer, do not hesitate to communicate your concerns to the project manager.
- Improper risk analysis: While outsourcing can save you a considerable amount of time, it’s still important to complete proper due diligence before you hire developers. Be sure that RFPs contain clear expectations for the qualifications of the team as well as the must-have elements of product delivery. In some cases, it may be necessary to visit your vendor’s site or conduct several interviews before you decide on the right partner. If you invest enough time on the front end, you will avoid costly mistakes as the project advances.
- Executive Mismanagement: You are the expert on your company’s vision, mission, and service benefits. However, it’s possible to attempt to garner too much control over how a development team works. Again, this is where due diligence is essential. Ensure you understand potential partners’ work styles and set clear delivery objectives, so you don’t feel the need to control each step of the project. It’s also possible that your needs or scope of work will change. A flexible attitude and mindset will keep both parties from becoming frustrated.
Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for Software Outsourcing Companies
There are many cases when outsourcing is essential to achieving company goals. Not every business owner understands software development – and many startup ventures are started with self-funding as they rarely have the resources to employ and maintain an in-house team. A spirit collaboration between onshore and offshore partners will help ensure your project’s success. Avoid these mistakes related to the risks of offshore outsourcing to establish an excellent relationship with your remote vendor and receive the product you and your users desire:
- Improper research: In addition to balancing cost-effectiveness with expertise, you must have a complete understanding of each vendor’s portfolio and experience with the same type of project. Far too often, busy company owners forget to ask if the development team has successfully delivered and launched similar products. They also fail to ask for references. Ask each candidate about developers’ and project managers’ backgrounds, and who exactly will be working on your app once you sign the contract. Understand how many projects they typically work on at a time, how much energy they’ll devote to your product on a daily basis, and if they’re familiar with your industry and ideal user.
- Unclear requirements: Many businesses are adept at vetting vendors, but do not provide sufficient information about what type of product they expect for their end user. Don’t forget to explain, verbally and in writing, the main reason why your customer will download your app, what type of experience they should receive, and what actions they will take with your product to meet their needs and purchase your services. It’s also vital to provide customer personas, tell them if you expect the app to be available on iOS, Android, or the web, and explain which kinds of looks and designs you like from industry leaders and competitors.
- Setting unreasonable timelines: Every executive wants their product delivered quickly. Your expectations may be too high, however, when it comes to an acceptable timeframe for planning, designing, creating, testing, and launching your app. Talk to your vendors up-front to gauge a ballpark schedule. Compare each development team’s length of time to others. Add some “wiggle room” to the calendar, so you aren’t disappointed if changes are necessary.
- Lack of technical understanding: While it’s not critical to know every granular detail of software development, at least one member of your in-house team should be aware of the outsourcing process and what it takes to design and launch a successful, engaging app. If you feel there is a lack of understanding among the members of your office staff, begin learning about offshoring and the steps of development and quality assurance as soon as possible. Take a class or read online guides. Avoid leaping into projects too quickly before you have a command of the process.
By taking the time to research your options based on these common pitfalls and risks associated with outsourcing, as well as making an effort to brainstorm with all invested members of your in-house team, you will make the right decision on a software outsourcing company. You will also feel more confident if you spend enough effort and energy consulting with experienced offshore developers. iTexico has spent the last eight years helping startup, growth, mid-market, and enterprise companies innovate through impactful mobile, web, cloud, and AI solutions.
If you’re searching for an outsourcing partner that will allow you to begin with confidence on Day One, it’s time to learn more about the company and their Nearshore Plus services. Click here to discover how iTexico delivers and how they can reduce the cost, time, and risk that it takes to get your product or service to market without offshore risk.