By: Katie Johns
In this Covid19 lockdown situation, where many businesses are working remotely, many are left with no option but to shut the business for sometime(or permanently). During these difficult times, the outsourcing is the new normal. If your company’s growth is software dependent and your internal IT team has too many things on their plates, you should think of outsourcing your software development.
You might have heard of the insurmountable challenges in a custom software development project. CEOs, CIOs and Senior Execs from all kinds of Enterprises fear to find the right IT service provider for their custom software development requirements.
After a lot of research and experience, which we have acquired while working and solving the challenges of small, mid-sized and large enterprises, we have collated a list of the top challenges in a custom software development project. At the end of this read, you will be able to anticipate the challenges in a custom software development project and be prepared with the solution.
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Outsourcing customized software development requirement is a natural extension of globalization. It offers a world of benefits. If you steer clear of software development companies making tall claims, you can avoid customized software development disasters. So here we go:
1. Don’t hurry and seal the deal with the software outsourcing company
The technical capabilities and experience of the company may not be adequate for your software development outsourcing requirements. You might be in a hurry to accomplish your objective from the software development project but take time to evaluate the software development outsourcing company. The company may over-commit to something that is beyond their capability, technical skills and experience. Your decision to outsource your requirement might only be based on the lower price that the software outsourcing company is offering.
2. Ensure that you’re dealing with a company that doesn’t have a language barrier
There will be software outsourcing companies which will assure you that language is not a barrier and their team has great communication skills but the only way to assure that is to interview them. You can communicate directly with the team over skype or phone. It is critical that they understand your language well, dialect and accent so that they can understand your requirements completely.
3. Ensure that the team offers ways to overcome the time zone difference
Time zone difference can have a huge impact on the delivery deadlines. It is always better to seek a software outsourcing company flexible to work in your time zone and willing to fix online meetings as per your convenient time. Resolving the time zone difference early in the project can help you set a seamless communication flow.
4. Relevant experience
One of the best and most foolproof ways to check if the software outsourcing company is reliable is to ask for case studies, client testimonials and references. It will give you a fair idea if the IT services provider is competent in your industry and technology, and can fulfill your requirement of a custom software or product development requirement.
They must have relevant experience to develop software or product for your customized requirements.
5. Ensure that you have a highly skilled project manager
You must have a skilled project manager who is experienced, can manage pressures, can deliver on time/budget and be transparent with the project status. Check the experience of the project manager and the team size that he/she has managed in the past.
Ensure that the project manager is a scrum master who is proficient in agile methodology and can deliver as per agreed timeline and resources.
6. Ensure that the estimates are realistic
More often that we’d like, custom software development companies overstate the delivery capabilities and under estimate the project timeline. Ensure that you receive a realistic time and delivery estimate so that there are no surprises later. Experienced project manager will always account a few days for unexpected occurrences.
7. Ensure that communication channels and frequency are defined
You must decide the frequency and the communication channel that will be used for status update meetings. For example, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts are some of the leading tools to have video conferences with the team.
There are many free online tools to manage tasks better. If you work with an experienced software outsourcing company, they will recommend online tools like Trello or Slack or Asana for better management and transparency of work.
8. Adopt Agile Development Practices
In competitive times such as today, you need a quick time to market and faster turnaround time. It’s possible if the software outsourcing vendor follows the agile development practices. The agile practices help organizations to adopt changes faster, helps in rapid delivery (with fixed sprint duration) and focuses on technical excellence. You must partner with a software vendor who is aware of the latest updates in agile methodologies.
9. Check if the software outsourcing provider uses continuous integration practice
Continuous integration is a software practice that helps you deliver high quality software. The purpose of this practice is to prevent major issues getting uncovered late in the development cycle. It detects software for defects.
If your software vendor follows CI practice, chances are that they will be able to provide you transparency throughout the development cycle.
10. Engage with the team and keep them motivated
Though it is primarily the responsibility of the software outsourcing company, the team is working on your project. So, keep them motivated with appreciative mails and positive feedback during online meetings.