Five Pitfalls To Avoid When Offshoring Software Development
By Anup Mehrotra
In the context of the global economy and the constant evolution of technologies, neglecting outsourcing software development potential means missing out on an huge talent pool - while limiting yourself to a limited sphere of developers and engineers.
On that note, companies need disruptive hiring strategies that offer with cost reduction and risk management while combining ease of scaling and onboarding of new talent into their existing teams.
The estimation of the IT outsourcing market will exceed $413.7 billion by the end of 2021.
Over 70% of respondents utilize outsourcing to cut expenses, another 40% to assure flexibility and workflow, and the remaining 57% say outsourcing allows them to focus more on their core company.
Many leading American companies such as Samsung, GitHub, Slack, Oracle, Alibaba, Cisco, and others have outsourced approximately 210,000 software development projects to countries across the globe.
Offshore software development is gaining traction in the global marketplace - and for a multitude of reasons. Because of qualified individuals and low-cost services, offshore development is drastically transforming the ‘engineer-hiring’ schematic in startups and enterprises.
However, before we begin with the offshoring software development process, we must be aware of drawbacks related to this model. Let’s dive in and reflect on what you should avoid and consider before going all-out with your ODC strategy.
5 Things to Avoid While Offshoring Development
Communication Troubles - Language + Protocol
Communication is one of the most common yet critical issues when you try to integrate and access a global talent pool. You'll have to deal with a variety of time zones, cultural norms, and different accents to the English language. Therefore, it is critical to establish regular communication channels with the outsourced staff to ensure project success.
Also ensure that the team you hire is comfortable in English - considering that is the language what you’ll be communicating in.
You don’t want a language session in the middle of requirement elicitation - trust us!
Solution: Understanding the project requirements and clarity of deliverables are the most crucial elements to consider while communicating with outsourced developers. Best practices for building more robust communication channels with the outsourced development team. It includes collaboration tools like Jira or Asana, regular engagement with the remote team via video or audio contact, and stand-up meetings at regular intervals.
Scope - The Ins and Outs of Development Deliverables
Before outsourcing development to a remote team, it’s crucial to understand the requirements & deliverables of the project.
Because if things are clear to you, you’ll give clear insights to the developers and set precise milestones and targets. Failure to establish a clear scope of work may result in scope creep and misalignment of the product vision.
Solution: You must lay the groundwork and explicitly outline the functionality you intend to include in the app. A software requirements specification document (SRS) can be a great place to start, combined with the protocols for delivery and a methodology of engagement. It crafts a documented approach that gives the development team clear insight into the requirements. The development team then goes back to work on it, adding more details.
Bad Code - Poorly written code
Code quality refers to a set of characteristics that must be provided to the outsourced development team. Code quality is a nebulous phrase, yet maintaining high-quality code is critical. However, verifying whether the outsourced development team complies with the quality standard is challenging while developing an application. It's noticeable when you work for or operate a non-tech company when you don't have any coding experience.
Solution: When outsourcing software development projects to offshore teams, staying on top of the development efforts necessitates meeting deadlines, fulfilling expectations, maintaining quality benchmarks, and holding regular briefings with the team. Checks should be in place with the team you're outsourcing to ensure code quality consistency.
Bring in a QA team if necessary. And if you already have an in-house team, make sure that you include an audit process before integrating the outsourced team’s code into the main branch.
Uncertainty of Stakeholders
When outsourcing software development projects, failure to accept ownership by the outsourcing partner can lead to a loss of confidence, accountability, and commitment. Furthermore, project ownership becomes a risky proposition if the outsourcing company you choose employs programmers on a contract basis rather than on a full-time arrangement.
The back-and-forth of resources on your project can lead to inconsistent deliverables. This could also happen due to a lack of a project manager, business analyst, or a consistent team responsible for the task and present throughout the process.
Solution: Ascertain and define the offshoring team who will be working on your project. Also, make sure that at least a few project managers remain consistent throughout the development process. These are the people you can hold accountable, and they should be on all email threads, video calls, and other regular check-ins.
Giving up a large amount of money for legal expenses does not appear to be a practical choice in the early stages. However, a poorly drafted contract that favors the contractor may contain loopholes that the outsourcing business might exploit, resulting in significant financial losses.
Solution: Make sure your outsourcing partner drafts the contract correctly for offshore software development services before signing it. Ensure the contract specifies a time commitment, a categorization of the assigned resources, milestones and deliverables, and penalties if the offshore team misses the deadlines or the development process takes longer than expected.
Over the previous few years, an expanding number of businesses have adopted offshore software development and skyrocketed their profits. Technology businesses may streamline and scale their product development processes while saving money & time by offshore software development tasks. But if you're considering software outsourcing and relatively new to this sphere, you need to avoid the pitfalls highlighted above to create a win-win situation.