Outsourcing, despite the cost advantage that it brings to clients, is also very challenging in nature. Together, clients and outsourced software developers need to overcome barriers such as geographical distances and time differences for the partnership to work.
When problems or miscommunications arise, both the outsourced team and the client can be responsible in one way or another. There may be times when the outsourced team fails to meet the requirements or understand the given task. But there are also times when the client is at fault, usually because of their lack of understanding or knowledge of outsourcing and software development. This often gives outsourced teams a difficult time, and they end up wishing that their clients knew these things:
#1: What exactly you want them to do
Outsourced developers are there to help you achieve your idea, but doing so will be difficult if you can’t communicate well what you’re hoping to accomplish. Before working with an outsourced team, make sure to let them know what problem you are trying to solve and any solutions you have in mind.
You should also be able to relay those ideas with clarity to your team so they know what exactly they need to do. Stating what needs to be done and what is required of the outsourced software developers sets the work in the right path.
Software development can get exciting especially for clients since they will finally be able to see the fruits of their ideas in realisation. However, too much excitement can lead them to add new tasks after the other.
Remember that things can get overwhelming for your outsourced team, too. As a client, it’s important that you prioritize those tasks that are of importance, to those which would just be "nice to have”. This way, your outsourced developer can work on a proper timeline.
#3: Software development takes time
There are new methodologies today such as agile development which enables rapid delivery of products. However, that does not take away the fact that software development is a process that takes time.
You have given your outsourced team tasks they need to achieve in a certain period of time, and your outsourced team wants to help you meet those deadlines. Remember to set a realistic deadline with ample time for quality assurance and debugging. This is the only way you get a perfectly working software.
“Software development takes time and if the developers are provided with the right tools, in my case, as an app developer, I use: Github/Gitlab (code repository, source code management, automated testing, and issue tracking) and also Bugsnag (which I use for monitoring bugs in the app), then these tools will definitely help us developers deliver the highest quality of output on time.”
- Erwin Acosta, Cloud Employee
#4: More people doesn’t mean faster development
Adding more developers doesn’t always speed up the development. Some clients think that having more people in the team results in faster completion, but there are times when the opposite happens. Too many brains can cause friction, and too much friction slows down the development.
Consider the number of tasks and the time frame it should be accomplished. Use this to help you decide the ideal team size for your project.
#5: There’s no such thing as "done"
Technology is always changing and evolving. Tomorrow, a big innovation can happen and change the way we live, do business or communicate.
This is why it is strategic for you to find a reliable outsourcing company that can be your long-term partner for your software development. Your outsourcing partner can maintain your software for you while you focus on growing your business.
“In programming, there’s continuous learning for programmers since the languages are always evolving. As we continue to learn, we also apply the new things we have picked up to our projects to keep it up-to-date. After all, these developments in programming languages are there to better the work that we do.”
- JC Tadiosa, Cloud Employee
#6: There are different roles in a software development project
In a software development team, you will have tech talents with different fields of expertise. While developers are the core members of your development team, there are other equally important roles that other people fill in to get the job done Software developers don’t do everything.
You have the designers who are responsible for user experience and user interface. There are testers and there are quality assurance engineers. While developers can give you advice on matters related to their expertise, you can’t expect them to provide services outside their field.
#7: They want to feel that they belong
As they work far from you and only communicate through messaging apps, there is always that feeling of remoteness in outsourced setups. Your outsourced software developers also want that sense of belongingness, even though they don't openly express it.
Avoid treating them as merely order-takers, instead, treat them as collaborators who are part of your in-house team. Share with them your goals and plans, and ask them about theirs as well. This also motivates them to work better as they feel connected to you and your company. They will perform better because they feel that their inputs are valued and that they belong.
Mutual trust, respect, and teamwork—these three things are the key to a great client-developer partnership, and therefore, a successful outsourced development.
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