5 Key Planning Tips for Software Outsourcing
As of 2019, 51% of technology companies regularly outsource the development of new software products. This sees the development of new apps and software products take place in offshore locations like Romania. However, software outsourcing can be challenging.
Are you looking for ways how to outsource software development successfully? If so, we can help. In our below guide, we will look at each of the basic preparation steps required when outsourcing.
Step 1. Identify Your Software Outsourcing Goals
It might sound simple. However, identifying project goals before outsourcing is hugely important. In some cases, it will not be possible to include certain features in new software products. For this reason, it often pays to invest in professional business analysis.
To improve the likelihood of software outsourcing being successful, business analysts identify key software goals. They then check that these are achievable. Business analysts also help companies project software development costs, alongside potential returns on investment.
Step 2. Identify What You Need to Outsource
In some cases, it may not be necessary to completely outsource software development. Internally, your company may already employ the likes of skilled backend developers and graphic designers. In such cases, you may only need to outsource the frontend development of a new app.
Because you may already have some development skills on-hand, it always pays to inventory the capabilities of existing employees. In some cases, you might even already employ people with development experience without realizing it.
Step 3. Invest in Suitable Project Management Software
Communication is key in software development outsourcing. As soon as a project starts, you need to be able to communicate fluidly with lead developers and others involved in the development process.
At its most basic, project management software allows everyone involved in development processes to communicate and collaborate in a shared workspace. However, not all project management platforms are created equal.
- Make sure that the development teams you plan on hiring are comfortable using your preferred collaboration platform.
- Look for project management software that will allow you to easily track every step of development.
- Only invest in software that makes it easy to share files and provides adequate storage space for project assets.
- Always test drive software to guarantee that it is capable of delivering the features you require.
When choosing project management software, it is also imperative that internal employees are confident using whatever platform you choose. In some cases, it may, therefore, be necessary to provide training.
Step 4. Choose an Internal Project Manager
When outsourcing software development, outsourced teams will be led by a team leader. This person should be able to provide proof of past team leader experience and possess impeccable communication skills. However, you should never rely solely on lead developers to manage projects.
- Always assign an internal employee to liaise daily with outsourced team leaders to monitor project progress.
- Set up a clear invoicing schedule so that outsourced projects are kept on budget.
- Task internal team leaders with reporting development issues and negotiating potential solutions.
Step 5. Protect Your Intellectual Property and Liability
Software outsourcing always comes with certain risks. Chief among these is the potential for code used in apps to be borrowed from existing software, or reused without your permission.
One way to prevent code from being borrowed or reused is to have outsourced team members sign NDA agreements. These should state in no uncertain terms that you will benefit from exclusive copyright ownership of all project deliverables.
Following each of the five steps above, will help mitigate several risks when outsourcing software development. However, it is important to remember that it can be difficult to enforce things like copyright law in some non-Western countries.
To ensure that code you take ownership of is not borrowed from or reused elsewhere, always consider outsourcing to developers based in legislatively friendly places like the EU.