The practice of outsourcing software development by businesses to external software development outsourcing firms is on the rise and is expected to gain further momentum in the future. This is because of the numerous business advantages like low costs, quality work, and high flexibility that businesses get by outsourcing their IT works. However, businesses have to be careful about zeroing in on the software development outsourcing firm while outsourcing their software responsibilities. This is because; the success or failure of the project largely rests on the shoulders of the development company.

Here are a few handy tips that, if followed thoroughly, would help organizations ensure that the outsourced software development project is a successful one.

Selecting the Engagement Model: This is the first and one of the most critical steps for businesses that choose to proceed with software development outsourcing. There are different engagement models with outsourcing companies and the best one for the client would depend on the nature of the job expected from the software vendor. For this, the client has to carry out a thorough assessment of the project needs, the capabilities of its in-house development team, and other dynamics of the project.

Based on the assessment, organizations can choose from Project-Based Pricing, Fixed Cost model (if the requirements are clear-cut), Time and Material model (if the work scope may vary as the project advances), or for an Offshore Development Center (an extension of the client’s team at a different location).

Setting Clear Expectations: Setting wrong or ambiguous targets is a sure-fire way of draining money and resources. This is why the client should set clear project goals for the software development outsourcing team before the commencement of the project. There should be well-defined KPIs and other distinct ways of assessing the progress of the team. This would help in detecting deviation from the set project track and taking timely actions.

Project transparency: It’s imperative for the client to maintain a clear line of communication with the software development outsourcing team for monitoring the latest developments and providing helpful insights. Before striking the deal with the vendor firm, both parties must work out the project mechanisms, priorities, and information requirements to avoid future tensions.

Choosing the partner wisely: The market is crowded with all types of big, mid-sized, and small software development outsourcing companies and it’s not a cakewalk to figure out the best one for any project. The client should search for references if the shortlisted vendor isn’t a big name in the market. It should try to get the list of their previous projects and clients as this would reveal a lot about their work quality, professionalism, and expertise. The internet can also be a great help in the background check of the potential business partner.

Post-development strategy: There must be clearly defined terms for the work and expectations from the outsourcing team once the development phase is completed. Usually, the contract includes a maintenance period during which the vendor employees gradually handover the developed product to the in-house people. This may include training the in-house staff on the critical aspects of the product and the gradual phase-out of the software development outsourcing team.

Bottom line

Before outsourcing any kind of IT work to vendors, careful planning and detailed analysis of the factors involved are very important. Hiring the services of a dedicated software development outsourcing firm can prove to be a highly profitable business decision if the above-listed points are abided by.

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