With the global IT outsourcing market expecting to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2020 to 2027, software development outsourcing is rising. Many businesses want to outsource their projects to third parties instead of managing them in-house, from startups to small businesses to large enterprises.
Businesses have also witnessed compelling benefits from outsourced software development. They have released software faster at reduced costs and improved quality. Also, many businesses have been able to focus more on tasks that matter, as software development is the outsourcing partner’s responsibility.
Overall, outsourcing can be a game changer for your business. But to make the most out of it, you must be aware of the mistakes you can make while outsourcing your project and avoid them at any cost. In this blog, we’ll discuss six such software development outsourcing pitfalls and how to avoid them at any cost. Let’s begin:
Six Software Development Outsourcing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
1. Not Doing Enough Research
Researching to select the right software development outsourcing partner is time-consuming. As a result, most businesses either skip it altogether or don’t spend enough time on it, which is like committing the biggest software outsourcing pitfall.
Research is crucial as factors like company portfolio, expertise, reviews, and cost are critical in deciding which outsourcing partner you must choose. You can’t just base your decision based on one factor. A cost-efficient outsourcing partner may not offer the best services, or the one who does may be beyond your budget. Hence, spending enough time on research is essential before deciding on an outsourcing partner.
2. Ambiguous Requirements
Another mistake most business owners make is outsourcing their projects without completely understanding what needs to be done. It is a significant pitfall because when you don’t have a clear idea of what you want in your project, it becomes difficult for the outsourcing partner to define the requirements clearly. As a result, the project didn’t turn out to be as expected.
That’s why you must clearly define requirements before you outsource your project. It would give the outsourcing partner enough idea of what you want and deliver on your expectations.
Here are a few questions you must ask to clarify your project requirements:
- What do you want to achieve from the project?
- Who are the stakeholders of the project?
- What are the constraints of the project (e.g., budget, timeline, resources)?
- What are the deliverables of the project?
- What are the acceptance criteria for the project?
- What are the communication channels for the project?
- What are the escalation procedures for the project?
- What are the contingency plans for the project?
By asking these questions, you can better understand the project requirements and ensure you are on the same page with the stakeholders.
3. Communication Barriers
Outsourcing is a double-edged sword. It offers access to a global talent pool but also makes you fall prey to communication barriers. It’s because outsourcing your project to a third party means you would be working with a team operating from a different time zone, speaking a foreign language, and having a different culture. Without proper communication, things can quickly go haywire, and your project can become a nightmare.
That’s why it’s essential to establish proper communication channels. It maintains transparency and ensures everyone in your team remains on the same page. You can use collaboration tools like Jira, Basecamp, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Asana.
4. Lack of Technical Expertise at Your End
Many businesses need more technical expertise and rely on the outsourcing partner. They assume that everything is aligned in the project. It is a significant pitfall, often leading to failed projects and poor-quality software.
Just because your outsourcing partner has the technical expertise doesn’t mean you don’t need to do homework. You need technical knowledge to ensure the project heads in the right direction. But if you are not available to manage projects daily, you must have a project manager who can manage your projects.
5. Underestimating the Importance of Code Quality
Non-tech firms often fall prey to this pitfall as they don’t have the coding expertise and fail to determine whether the team is adhering to the quality standards. As a result, the outsourcing partner manages to build the software, but the coding doesn’t happen properly, making it difficult to maintain the codebase in the future.
Hence, paying attention to code quality while outsourcing your project is essential. But first, you need to define what you mean by high-quality code because code quality is ambiguous. Does the good code mean to you that it should be clear and easy to maintain? If yes, clearly define those requirements to the outsourcing partner. Set the quality benchmarks so that there’s no confusion in the future.
Here are a few other things you should do to ensure high-quality code for your application:
- Ask if the outsourcing partner follows measures like code review, unit testing, and functional testing to maintain code quality.
- Emphasize rich documentation and regular meetings to ensure consistency in code quality.
- Use project management tools for logging issues and managing backlogs.
- Use regression testing whenever changes are made to the code.
These precautions will ensure high code quality and deliver a robust application that meets your business needs.
6. Not Paying Attention While Signing the Contract
Many businesses, especially startups with tight budgets, aren’t keen on spending much on legal fees. As a result, they build a loosely framed contract that leans in favor of the outsourcing partner and gets exploited by the outsourcing company. Such contracts cost these businesses millions in monetary losses.
Nothing harms a business more than a poorly written contract. It results in extended deadlines, inflated costs, and poor-quality software that fails to meet expectations. Hence, you must frame your agreement carefully. It should include everything, such as time commitment, deliverables, and penalties if deadlines still need to be met. This way, you would remain in control of your project and save yourself from the brunt of losses if things don’t pan out in your favor.
Additional Tips to Make Software Development Outsourcing a Success
- Effectively communicate your expectations with the outsourcing partner to ensure a productive relationship and a high-quality product.
- Have a sound project management system to track progress, identify and resolve issues, and ensure the project is completed on time.
- Be prepared to adapt and compromise, as things may sometimes go differently.
- Constantly provide feedback to the outsourcing partner to steer the project in the right direction. Also, be willing to listen to their suggestions, as it would help you improve quality and ensure the project meets your expectations.
Outsourcing is an efficient way to access global talent and build your project faster. But it can quickly become a nightmare if you’re unaware of its pitfalls. Hence, it’s essential to keep these drawbacks in mind and ensure your project is on track.
Hopefully, the blog gave you enough idea of what outsourcing pitfalls businesses often make and why you must avoid them at any cost. Now, it’s time to implement these learnings and witness your project becoming a success. Best of luck!
Tricia Pearson is an experienced writer at Net Solutions with five years of domain experience across marketing, Tech, and B2B solutions. She works to inspire creativity and encourages team members to bring their best to each project. Tricia thrives in competitive teams and gets satisfaction from late-night writing sprints. She prefers reading by the beach, hiking, and discovering new local cafes during her downtime.