Outsourcing software development is a common practice for numerous companies across many industries. Ensuring that you get access to high-quality customized app depends on how well you work with the development company. While the planning, coding, and testing are in the hands of professionals, you can do your best to control the process.
Since software development can be costly and time-consuming, clients try to be as involved as developers to ensure top-notch outcomes. Even if you know little about coding and development methodologies, you have an opportunity to manage the process.
Let’s take a look at the best practices for managing outsourced software development.
1. Work on Communication
Proper communication is the key to successful collaboration. According to software developers from Entrance Consulting, by working out communication methods and schedule in advance, it’s possible to get the best out of the development process.
Both parties must be on the same page about the project and have an easy time communicating throughout the outsourcing relationship. Weekly conference calls, regular emails, updates, and phone calls are integral to proper collaboration.
- Always choose one main channel of communication, which is convenient for both parties.
- Always record whatever is being discussed during voice conferences or phone calls.
You can expect regular status reports regardless of the methodology used by the software vendor. This can help both parties catch problems before they turn into serious issues.
2. Establish Metrics
The software development process can take months. In order to evaluate its success regularly, you need to establish metrics to measure it. Metrics may seem too strict of a solution. However, they are a simple way to track progress while staying in control of the process.
You need metrics to quantify the results of the outsourcing so you can understand if the developers are succeeding. Measuring progress can also help improve the productivity of the developer and assess individual performance.
- Productivity metrics – measure the productivity of the development team and help you understand how much time is invested in the software project. These metrics may include code churn, active hours, and assignment scope.
- Agile metrics– if your software developer is using the Agile methodology, you can track the progress by taking advantage of agile development metrics (cycle time, code coverage, lead time, agile velocity, etc.).
- Operational metrics – measure how effective the team is maintaining software production (e.g. Mean Time Between Failures and Mean Time to Recover).
- Satisfaction metrics – give insight into how happy you are when interacting with the products (Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction Score).
By making a list of these important metrics and reviewing them regularly, you can streamline the development process and achieve top results.
3. Stick to Local Vendors
Working with local software developers is always easier than outsourcing to offshore firms. You don’t need to face language barriers or time zone issues. When hiring a software development firm, make sure you have an easy time communicating with the team members.
In case you choose to outsource to an overseas company, you need to create a strict communication schedule. Such companies often have experts working past the local office hours to cater to international clients.
You need to remember to respect the cultural differences you may have with your vendor and plan for national holidays. Usually, offshore companies have experience doing both. Make sure to speak to them about any barriers in detail.
4. Treat Developers like Team Members
Many clients make a mistake of treating the development team like workers instead of team members. Such an approach can interfere with the development process, making your expectations impossible to meet.
- Always (if possible) meet team members in person before the project starts.
- Remember, they may have responsibilities other than your project. Don’t expect them to drop everything your convenience.
Consider developers to be a part of your team and act like it. This can help you improve your collaboration and work successfully toward the same goal.
The success of your software development project depends on building a proper relationship with the software vendor. By setting up and following the right metrics, treating developers as team members, and establishing proper lines of communication, you can expect top-notch timely results.