Before signing a contract with an outsourcing company, there are several important things that you need to know before outsourcing a new software product.
When you do not have the technical expertise to develop your product yourself, or you do not have enough qualified people, outsourcing is your best option. So, what should you be aware of when outsourcing a project?
Read this as well: Trouble selecting your Tech partner? Make the right decision!
Be A Visionary
The first step of the development process really begins here! It sounds easy but many companies do not have a clear vision on where they want to be in the mid-term and long-term. Being a visionary is really important in setting the specific tasks that you and the outsourced company need to do. And this will also define what kind of software product you will need. A good example of a clear vision would be that of Airbnb: “Make a home anywhere in the world for people while they travel.”
Specify Your Target
The project’s success relies heavily on how well-defined your objective is. The more specific the goal, the easier it is for you to define the functionality that the software will require.
Believe it or not, many mistakes and delays may happen when a good definition of your goals is missing. So, be really specific in defining your goal! A well-defined goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound). Instead of saying you want to improve the existing process, try to determine what an improvement could be for you, like, shorten the steps to complete the sign-up into two steps for new customers. You should also add more specific details to the goal or you could even break it down into smaller achievements.
Understand What You Need
When you are setting up your projects, don’t forget the following:
- Know your needs, as well as the functionality and the solution must have in order to solve them. Think of these as brief descriptions of features or stories about a user experience.
- Answer the 5Ws: What do you need? Why do you need it? Who is going to use it? Where is it going to be used? When should it be available? If you can come up with an idea of how to do it (an approach of technologies, languages, etc.), take note of that also!
- Narrow your target: Your software product always responds to specific needs for specific users. Research and define the audience very well that would take advantage of your software solution.
Map Out An Expansion Strategy
A broad strategy on how you are going to scale your product would help the outsourcing company to determine their development process, whether they should plan for an expansion or they can just produce something simple to quickly put it in production while preparing for the next version which would require more time. You may want to target a small group of audience at first or you may also want to scale it up to millions at a later stage. In any case, it would probably take very different efforts and therefore, more time and money.
Don’t Just Consider The Price
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for! Many times, cheap ends up being expensive, and if you are outsourcing your software product, you should be careful with this.
What to consider before outsourcing a software product? You may want to take some time to research whether the vendor had enough experience with clients and industries and the expertise in technologies and methodologies.
Beyond the price, you must ensure you will get quality, support, and sustainability from the company that you are going to outsource.
Read this: Price versus Quality
Decide How To Cooperate
This decision will depend on the type of project, the time required, the budget and the solution’s scope and some other factors. However, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of contract:
- A fixed-bid contract may be used in a project with a small solution and the requirements are completely and clearly defined. Fixed Price projects provide a promise of certainty. But this can come at a higher cost to account for uncertainty. Or conflict between parties could result if a bid is too low, if requirements or budgets change. To minimize problems, fixed price engagements require lots of documentation which can slow starting and progress and also adds to costs.
- Time & Materials offers you more flexibility on the development. The client can add more requirements during the development process.
- Agile methodologies are often used in a Time & Materials contract, which can allow for faster starts, changes in direction, lower cost, and more control over quality.
Think Agile and Do Agile
One major benefit of Agile methodologies is that they allow your software product to be delivered in the shortest time possible. Agile principles promote rapid responses, adaptive planning, effective communication between the parties, and speed, reliability and quality in the processes. The fact that there is continuous planning and feedback through the process means that we start delivering business value from the beginning of the project. Again, the idea is to deliver business value early in the process, making it easier to lower risks associated with development. By applying Agile methodologies in our development processes, East Agile’s engineering team can adapt to changing business and engineering priorities.
So, choose an outsourcing company has expertise in Agile and best practices in software development.
Read more: Why Agile works for your project?
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