Outsourcing web development can be an excellent option for saving money, while still getting your hands on the technology you were looking for. Although cost-savings is a significant benefit, it’s no secret that there are drawbacks to outsourcing. We’ve even addressed some of the most common offshore software development risks in past blog posts.
But when outsourcing is your only option, however, you need answers for how to make it work, and the good news is that we have them. While there are many shortcomings associated with the practice of outsourcing, there are also several steps you can take to avoid encountering them.
Based on our experiences, here are the 5 key mistakes to avoid when outsourcing web development.
Unprepared for cultural differences.
When significant cuts in your budget are on the horizon, it can be easy to become blindsided and forget about the potential issues that may arise as a result. For instance, while many offshore teams speak English, cultural differences still have the potential to impact your project significantly.
In addition to the language we speak, culture impacts our values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. As a result, your team’s culture will also impact how they approach your project. For example, culture often influences which software development methodology they choose to follow or if they choose to follow a specific method at all.
To avoid being caught off guard by cultural differences, familiarize yourself with your team’s culture. This will give you a better idea of what to expect as you enter the development process. As you select your team, you can also look for one that follows a method that aligns with your own cultural expectations, such as the agile method.
2. Poor choice of an offshore team.
Even when you’re prepared to face cultural differences, there’s still a chance that you’ll simply hire the wrong team for the job. When searching for a team, it can be easy to get excited about low rates offered by some offshore teams, which are sometimes as low as $10 to $15 per hour.
Unfortunately, offshore development teams that advertise low prices often provide poor results: What you save in money, you’ll likely lose in quality. The additional costs that you may spend are usually dedicated to providing the project management and quality assurance necessary for providing you with a great final product.
With this in mind, take your time when searching for your offshore team, and don’t be afraid to explore several options. Take a look at your potential team’s portfolios and read their reviews. For on how to the ideal offshore team, here’s how to hire a WordPress developer.
3. Undervaluing project management.
As you search for your team, you may notice that some offer a project manager, while others don’t. Hiring a team without a project manager can be tempting, as you can save on project management costs and wear the hat of a PM for themselves. However, this often creates a lot more grief than it’s worth.
Without a project manager, you could become responsible for developing schedules and designating tasks, ensuring your team stays on track, and coordinating calls for communicating progress and updates. Balancing all those tasks alongside your other duties, however, can be complicated, especially when working across timezones.
By choosing to hire a team with a project manager from the get-go, you can pass off the burden of managing your team to someone else. That way, you’ll have less on your plate, and you can feel confident your project will be completed in a timely and efficient manner.
4. Starting with an unclear vision.
Once you have selected your team, you’ll need to share your vision for your site with your developers. If your vision for your site isn’t fully fleshed out, however, it may be difficult to explain your ideas to your team. Likewise, your offshore team will have a difficult time starting your project.
Without setting clear expectations, your team will likely present you with the best version of what they think you want. Most likely, you’ll be unsatisfied with the results they provide you with and request changes. Unfortunately, the further you get into the development process, the more complicated and costly implementing those changes will become.
Rather than finding yourself in this scenario, take the time to plan out as many details of your website as you can before starting development. Some questions you should pin down the answers to include:
What is the purpose of your software?
What is your budget?
What does your MVP (minimum viable product) look like?
What do I want my website to look like in the future?
5. Opting for a short-term relationship.
In the past, outsourcing was generally short-term partnerships; when you (the client) received the product from your team (the supplier), the relationship would be over. The downside of short-term partnerships in web development is that your website is a living advertising platform that will call for updates and bug fixes, among changes.
Especially if you don’t have an in-house web developer, this can make keeping your website in top condition a difficult feat. Without the team who originally built your site, you’ll need to start the hiring process over and find another team to implement changes. In turn, your new team will have to overcome the learning curve of revising someone else’s code.
With more of today’s offshore development teams prepared to partner with you in the long term, there’s no need to carry out a short-term relationship with your team. From the beginning of development to on-going support and maintenance, a long-term relationship with your team can provide you with a better experience and even better results.
Getting started with any web development project can be overwhelming, and outsourcing can add to that stress. However, by avoiding these 5 mistakes, you should be able to enjoy your experience outsourcing web development, while saving some money along the way.
At ClikGlobal, we change the game for how outsourcing web development is traditionally approached. Instead of purely outsourcing our projects, we bring together U.S. and offshore team members to provide you with quality and affordable web development services.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.