Outsourcing software development can be a great way to save time and money, but it can also lead to disaster if not done correctly. In this article, we will explore the 8 sins that can doom software development outsourcing to hell. From poor communication to lack of oversight, these mistakes can lead to costly delays and subpar results. Avoiding these sins is crucial for a successful outsourcing experience. So, let's dive in and discover the pitfalls to avoid when outsourcing software development.
1. Picking a Vendor who has Zero Onsite Presence
Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make while outsourcing is to hire a vendor that is located completely offshore, i.e. has no onsite presence. For example, if you are in the US and are looking to augment your in-house team by bringing in a third-party, you should always go for a software firm that is headquartered in the US and has at least some resources onsite.
You need to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are according to the laws of the country in which you are based.
2. Choosing your Development Services Provider based simply on Price
The primary reason companies outsource is to save on cost. While cost savings should remain your top priority, settling for the cheapest vendor can have a disastrous outcome.
There are a gazillion software outsourcing firms that will try to entice you with rates as low as $10-$15/hr for a junior resource or $20-$25/hr for a senior resource but bear in mind that such resources are not skilled enough to develop mission-critical software.
You might be delighted to be on the receiving end of a great deal in the short-term but poorly written code and low quality work will cause midnight migraines in the long run. Ultimately, you end up paying much more than what you initially signed up for, as the time to market is increased.
3. Engaging a Software Outsourcing Firm that only does Coding
Always select a full-service software outsourcing firm that can turn your key business requirements into dynamic software solutions. A firm that has only coders in their talent pool will simply execute as asked and will not be able to give their input or any feedback which can help your product evolve.
Developers are not exactly the best people to design a new interface or understand the full picture of the business logic behind your choices. Therefore, hiring a team which is unable to do so–without business analysts who can understand changing business requirements and translate them into actionable tasks for the engineering team, designers who can build intuitive user experience, architects who can design scalable solutions and QA engineers who can test the end product before shipping–will likely result in an unsuccessful partnership.
4. Hiring a Team of Junior Developers and Expecting them to Seamlessly Accomplish Greatness
Most software development projects require diverse skill-sets, such as design, front-end development, back-end development, architecture design, project management, and QA. To successfully carry out complex projects, you need a team with the right mix of junior to mid-level software engineers, senior software engineers, solution architects and project managers who will do end-to-end software development of the product.
Many companies end up hiring a team that comprises mostly/entirely of junior developers and expect them to know everything. Such resources can write basic lines of code but are not capable of translating your product idea into reality in its true essence.
5. Having No Project Manager to Oversee the Outsourced Development Team
You might end up hiring awesome developers who are highly skilled at what they do but if there is no one to supervise them, help them understand the long term goals of the project, plan out sprints and assign concrete tasks to them, your project stands a very high chance of failing.
A lot of companies, surprisingly, don’t feel the need to have a project manager to directly oversee the work of the offshore development team. This results in the project getting delayed and the cost escalating to a level which then infuriates the client.
6. Not Embracing the Cultural Differences
When you outsource software development, you will have to interact and deal with people from different cultures and backgrounds which might result in misunderstandings often.
Expectations regarding the level of open discussion and criticism, acknowledgment of mistakes, and willingness to veer from the defined processes in order to complete work will vary between regions and nationalities.
Most companies are not willing to invest time in learning about their partner’s country, region, way of life, decision-making and organizational structure. Not grasping the cultural differences when hiring an offshore team can result in clashes which will disrupt the working relationship.
7. Not Looking Out for a High Staff Turnover Rate
Software is always developed in a group rather than by an individual.
Ideally, you would want the same team to work on your product from start to finish. However, this might be too much to ask for since the software industry tops the chart of the industries that have the highest staff turnover.
Companies that have a high staff turnover rate usually have employees who are not intrinsically motivated and that can translate into low-grade software. It’s best to engage a development partner that not only preaches but also practices employee-centricity in addition to customer-centricity.
8. Not Treating your In-house & Outsourced Teams as Equals
Let’s just say that it is incumbent upon you to treat your in-house and offshore team as one.
For this, you should do in-depth screening to hire resources who are a good cultural fit for your organization so they can integrate seamlessly with your existing team. You need to instill the same level of confidence in your outsource team members as you do in your in-house team.
Perhaps, the key issue in this regard is to pay your outsourced development partner in time so your offshore team members get their salaries and continue working with the same zeal and enthusiasm on your project.
Tkxel’s custom software development service helps you streamline your development projects and put them on track.