Software outsourcing can provide some significant benefits comparing to in-house development. Hiring another company to develop an app for your business is a pretty popular strategy nowadays. Such an approach allows reducing costs and shortens the time for project design and development. Unfortunately, some companies may find that the results of such a collaboration are below expectations.
- StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay
In the case of startups, a described situation is especially unpleasant, since fast delivery and the first impression of end-users can determine the future of business. Therefore, you may want to start looking for a different outsourcing company, more reliable and responsible. The question is, whether it’s time for you to start thinking about changing a software developer. After all, some concerns are an integral part of the development process, and dealing with them can be just a matter of time and patience. In this article, I will share some tips that will help you to avoid the unfortunate experience of collaboration with an outsourcing developer.
When it’s Time to Make Changes
An outsourcing company often deals with businesses that already work with a developer but due to some reasons aren’t satisfied with results. Sometimes, the source of troubles is pretty apparent. For example, the lack of an experienced QA team can lead to an extended testing period and dozens of undetected bugs. In other cases, the development approach itself is based on goals that don’t match the needs of your business.
Without substantial experience, it may be hard to know beforehand which exact aspect of an outsourcing company’s approach to project management may cause unpredicted issues. But if you find yourself in one of the situations described below, most probably you should think of changing your vendor.
Lack of Specifics on Project Completion Dates
The modern software market is extremely competitive. Innovative ideas are fluttering in the air, and it’s only a matter of time before someone implements a concept similar to yours. Therefore, the faster you go from the idea to the working app, the more chances you’ll get to occupy your market niche. Unfortunately, sometimes, there is no clear predictability in terms of development. The reasons may vary.
Some companies may bite off more than they can chew, signing development contracts with a large number of clients simultaneously. In some cases, software vendors may offer development services that imply the use of popular cutting-edge technologies without having the necessary experience. In any case, the lack of required number of specialists and poor project management can lead to significant delays. Such a state of affairs will lead to the need for postponing all subsequent phases of the project, such as promoting or gathering feedback from first users. As a result, you’ll lose a ton of time and provide other companies with a competitive advantage.
Startups usually live on a tight budget. In addition to app development, other stages require investment. For example, after you launch your app, you’ll have to spend some efforts on post-launch marketing activities. The task may include such activities as PR, cold outreach, social media, and contextual advertising, etc.
- stevepb / Pixabay
Sometimes outsourcing companies can’t efficiently estimate the amount of work needed to create the application you want, which leads to overruns. As a result, in the middle of the project, you’ll face the necessity to re-plan your budget once again to cover unexpectedly increased costs of development. Meticulously planned strategy of reaching your target audience will not gather its full potential, and you’ll risk losing profits.
Constant Release Delays
One more unpleasant consequence of poor project management is constant release delays. You may receive reports from the developer informing you that the app is almost finished, but the last step separating you from the release has not been completed for quite some time. Imagine. The MVP app works just fine, you received feedback from the product’s initial users, and can’t wait to get a full-featured app in your possession, but the developer postpones one release date after another. It looks disturbing, indeed.
The reason for the described situation may lay in the wrong approach to testing. It’s crucial to implement software testing in the early stages of development. Bugs that weren’t detected on time can lead to significantly increased costs and time of development and delays. The absence of an experienced QA team or lack of required number of specialists may also negatively affect results.
Instead of Focusing on Business, You Have to Become a Part of Development Team
Instead of providing a full range of specialists, some companies offer outstaffing services. An outsourcing company works on a project-based model. In this case, a customer entrusts its software developer the whole project, and there’s no need to access the development team and control the workflow. In the case of outstaffing, you hire a software development team that is entirely at your disposal. You’ll have to delve into the intricacies of the development process and monitor each development stage. Eventually, you’ll receive a working app, but if you don’t have the proper experience, there are no guarantees that the investment will pay off with this approach. Therefore, you must not underestimate the role of a project manager and think twice before choosing between outsourcing and outstaffing.
Another essential thing to remember is that a successful application is more than just source code. Creating a product requires rich expertise in business processes that you want to implement, knowledge of market features, and profound analysis of your target audience.
Lack of Focus on the Result
Some software companies spend all their efforts on the development process itself instead of focusing on the results. You will receive regular reports about features implemented and further plan of development but won’t be able to judge if the application meets your expectations at a given moment. Lack of tangible results may lead to doubts about the success of the overall project.
When choosing a software development company consider those who use Agile methodology that implies an incremental approach and guarantees a fast time to market. One of the main principles of this flexible strategy is the possibility of a quick response to possible changes rather than long-term planning.
Poor Scaling Management
After you get an MVP application and gather feedback from initial users, you may find that your app lacks some crucial features. Say, you want to develop an audio streaming platform. In received feedback, users ask you to allow importing the list of favorite artists from the platform they’re currently using, share the playlist among the multiple devices, share info via social networks, receive recommendations, and provide a more stable audio stream for mobile networks. To meet all these needs on time, the software outsourcing company will have to increase the number of developers and redistribute the existing and new tasks among them. The workload of the QA team will increase as well.
- RonaldCandonga / Pixabay
Some developers don’t have enough resources or experience to deal with the described issue. For example, small companies may not have enough programmers. Even if they do, there’s still the need for an experienced project manager who can efficiently prioritize features.
Changing an outsourcing company in the middle of the project may sound like a big deal. But I can assure you that it’s not a catastrophe and such situations happen more often than you may think. An experienced software development company will definitely help you at any stage of your future or existing app/product development. And its team of talented developers, QA specialists, project managers, and business analysts can define the source of your issues.