Working with a software outsourcing company is a cost-effective alternative to hiring new staff or paying to up-skill your internal team. As well as reducing costs, they will help you alleviate project risks. Other benefits of outsourcing development include achieving great results quickly and efficiently.
To ensure that you hire a software outsourcing company that suits your needs, we’ve put together this guide, so you’ll have every angle covered.
Evaluate the Skills Your Project Needs
The first step to choosing an outsourcing partner is to understand your needs. Evaluating the skills of your internal team will provide you with an insight into the capabilities and experience you already have at your disposal and where any skills gaps lie. Once you know what expertise you need, you can begin your search for software outsourcing companies that meet your requirements.
If your project has a specific launch date, you’ll want to ensure that all work is completed before the due date. Estimating timescales for software development projects can be tricky and according to software management company QSM, the average development project takes just under 12 months to complete and requires 11,414 hours of effort.
Verify What Software Development Models Are Available
The development model that you need will depend on the level of complexity and size of your project. To help you make an informed decision about which model is best for you, we’ve provided an overview of the most popular methodologies below:
Waterfall – A simple and straightforward model that uses a ‘step-by-step’ approach. Particularly good for projects that deal with sensitive data.
Kanban – An adaptable model that’s well-suited to projects on a budget that may require regular updates.
Scrum – Offers good flexibility and works well for projects that require a lot of testing.
DevOps – Works well with extended delivery models. Enables projects to be completed quickly with minimal disruption.
Feature-Driven Development – Ideal for large projects that require new features to be added regularly.
For a brief overview of some of the most popular software development models, take a look at this short video from WeTeach_CS:
Check Each Company’s Workflow Process
An established software outsourcing company will have robust workflow processes in place to ensure projects progress seamlessly. It’s important that every software developer involved in your project is aware of the schedule and the underlying principles of your project.
In addition to having a documented process, outsourcing companies also need to be flexible enough to adapt to specification adjustments.
A good outsourcing team will assign a Project Manager and Team Leaders to ensure that communication channels are open throughout the project. Having a management structure in place also ensures responsibilities are met and decisions are finalized.
Large software development projects can become quite complex and a good outsourcing company will use management software to chart progress. Tools like Basecamp, Asana, and Trello should be a staple in every outsourcing company’s workflow to provide an overview of how the project is progressing.
An outsourcing company with a documented workflow is far more likely to deliver on time and to your specifications.
Check the Company’s Reputation in the Marketplace
Before you decide which software outsourcing company to partner with, it’s important to check their reputation. Most established outsourcing companies will have case studies on their website. Although case studies do provide an insight into the company’s approach, further clarification is advised.
Try to find reviews and testimonials of the company on third-party review websites. How satisfied were previous clients with their work? You should also check their social media channels. What type of content do they share? Are they actively involved in the software development industry and if so, what’s their positioning?
It’s also a good idea to make contact with their previous clients to hear first-hand about their experience. To summarise, here are our four steps to choosing a software outsourcing company:
- Evaluate the skills of your internal team and decide what additional expertise is needed to progress with your project.
- Decide which software development model is best for your project and create a shortlist of companies that offer the methodology that you need.
- Ensure that the companies you have shortlisted have a documented workflow. Find out how they approach projects and decide if their methods will work for you.
- Check that the company has a good reputation by contacting past clients and evaluating their market positioning on social media.