Saving money always sounds like a great idea, and maybe that’s why you think it may be a good idea to outsource software projects, rather than have them built by an in-house or onshore team. Unfortunately, there are several common offshore software development risks, namely the potential to receive a low-quality product.
The good news is that many offshore software development companies are placing greater value on providing clients like you with a quality software product. Quality is often provided through stronger processes and project management, among other notable qualities. No two offshore teams are alike, however, posing you with the challenge of finding a team that can deliver the quality they promise.
In this way, you’ll need to know what to qualities to look for in your potential outsourcing partners. To ensure that you receive the software product you’re envisioning, use the following as a guide to find a team capable of building a product of the quality you deserve.
1. A solid plan for communication in place.
Did you know that over half (57%) of projects fail due to breakdowns in communication (Phillippe Ruiz, PhD)? In this way, it should come as no surprise that communication is where many outsourced software projects tend to fall apart. Oftentimes, language barriers are the root cause of miscommunications, while timezone differences result in delays to apprehending these miscommunications.
In order to reduce the potential for miscommunication, look for a team that has a stable plan for communication in place. For example, communication should not be produced in strictly the written form, as some conversations are better had verbally. Likewise, to consistently ensure that both you and your team are on the same page, your offshore team should create and distribute a communication schedule.
2. Create a detailed architecture of your project.
In addition to communication’s potential to impact the quality of your project, poor planning can also inhibit quality. In fact, “A lack of clear goals is the most common factor (37%) behind project failure” (Project Management Institute). One way your offshore team can provide clear goals, however, is by providing a detailed software architecture, or an in-depth overview of how your team plans to approach your project.
Documentation, such as the software architecture, can help to provide written verification that your team is on-track. Moreover, this documentation can act as a valuable form of accountability, as it gives you a point of reference with the details of your initial agreement. Most importantly, your offshore team will have a guide to refer to as they develop your project.
3. A strong project management presence.
Maybe your potential offshore team has a solid communication strategy in place, and they promise to deliver a detailed architecture document before getting started on your project. But even with great communication and planning, the development process itself can fall apart without solid project management. Most successful projects (80%), on the other hand, are led by a certified project manager (Wrike).
With this in mind, a team with a person dedicated to overseeing your software project is more likely to succeed. If you plan to work with a strictly offshore team, you can look for one with in-house project managers that directly oversee the software developers. Some teams, however, take a more blended approach and have a U.S. project manager oversee the offshore software developers from abroad.
4. Quality assurance (QA) is a part of their process.
Having a project manager on your offshore team is vital for ensuring that your software project is completed on budget and on time. However, your project manager should also play a pivotal role in providing you with quality assurance (QA), as project managers are often the ones who perform product reviews before handing it off to the client.
When performing QA reviews, your project manager assesses your software project to ensure it’s free of defects or other issues. That way, once you receive it, it’s ready for use. By verifying that QA is a part of your project manager’s list of to-dos, you can feel confident you will receive a quality product at that you and your customers can enjoy right away.
5. Partnership with onshore team members.
Even with the aforementioned qualities, cultural differences still have the potential to negatively impact the quality of the results you receive. One article compares how having low- (U.S). vs. high- (e.g. India or China) context culture impacts work ethic, including how your team views deadlines, communication (oral vs. written), and decision-making. In this way, offshore teams sometimes fail to provide the anticipated results based on their cultural views.
To ensure your offshore team is not inhibited by cultural differences, it can be helpful to choose a team that incorporates U.S. team members into their business model. For example, with a U.S. project manager, your team will be more likely to follow U.S. processes, and with a U.S. senior developer onboard, your software product will be more likely to be of U.S. quality.
How can you receive the quality you deserve?
By choosing a team that incorporates all five of these aspects into their business model, you should be able to outsource your software project with success. We’d like to note, however, that most offshore teams do not embrace every one of the aforementioned aspects–that said, our team does.
At ClikGlobal, we bring together U.S. project managers and senior developers with offshore software developers to provide you with affordable software development, without compromising on quality. With our U.S. project management and processes in place, we guarantee that you will receive the quality product you deserve.
Outsource software projects with success today—reach out to us now!