You may have heard the statistic that over half of software development projects fail (CIO). And if you’re considering outsourcing your software project, you probably know outsourced software projects have an even higher likelihood of failing.
What can you do to ensure that doesn’t happen?
Despite the negative statistics, it is still possible to save money and successfully outsource your software project. By choosing an offshore software development team embraces offshoring best practices, outsourcing your software project should be both a positive experience and a great choice for your organization.
So you know what to look for when interviewing your potential team of offshore developers, here are 5 offshore software development best practices your team should adhere to.
1. Clear communication strategy.
Did you know that one-third of business projects fail due to poor communication (CoreWorx)? This in mind, most issues with outsourcing stem from poor communication. Whether it be struggling to find the time to communicate due to time zones differences or understand one another due to language barriers, communication often becomes more of a headache than a part of the software development process.
Your potential team should have a strategy in place for circumventing communication-related issues. First and foremost, your team should create and distribute schedules for 1) when certain tasks are set to be completed and 2) when updates will be communicated to you. This keeps you in the loop and provides accountability for when things are getting done.
Not only should your team plan to communicate on a regular basis, but you’ll want to ensure they use more than written communication. Written communication is often where information gets lost in translation. To prevent written communication-related issues, ensure that conference calls or video chats are also a part of their communication strategy.
2. Solid project management.
In terms of project management, common issues team face include reaching deadlines (45.8%), sharing information across teams (43.9%), keeping team members on the right task at the right time (41.1%), and staying organized (39.3%) (LiquidPlanner). But if your offshore team has solid project management, you can feel confident that your team has these aspects of project management under control.
Ideally, you’ll want to look for a team that has a project manager. A team’s project manager acts as the ring leader for your software development team. By regularly communicating with your developers, your project manager will work to guide them in the direction that best meets your and your project’s needs. As a result, the project manager will keep your team’s level of organization, timeliness, and accuracy in check.
3. An appropriate software development methodology.
When looking for an offshore software development company, you will likely (or perhaps already have) notice terms like agile, scrum, or waterfall being thrown around—these are software development methodologies. Software development teams follow the frameworks of such methodologies in order to take an organized approach to developing software.
For context, our team generally embraces the “Sashimi” model, which blends waterfall and agile practices. In layman’s terms, we take a more sequential approach to development (waterfall) but place an emphasis on strong communication and often develop aspects of each project concurrently (agile). We won’t claim that our method is the best method, but it allows our team to get things done right and right on time.
Without a methodology, it can be difficult for a team to decide where to begin. Like project management, methodologies help to provide a standard for your team to adhere to. As such, the lack of a methodology (even an informal adherence to one) is often a major red flag.
4. Partnership over a client-supplier relationship.
In the past, outsourcing your software development resulted in a client-supplier relationship. In other words, you (the client) would request your website (for example) to be built, and your offshore team (the supplier) would build the site and move on. While some teams still rely on this model, the better companies take a slightly different approach.
With a partnership, your software project is developed through a collaboration between you and your team. Most teams that take this approach follow the agile method, which places an emphasis on seeking regular communication and feedback from the client as the software product is being produced. (Perhaps that’s why the agile method has a 28% higher success rate than other methodologies (PWC).
By taking a partnership-based approach, your team will increase your project’s likelihood of becoming what you’ve envisioned.
By keeping these best practices in mind, you will increase your chances of selecting the best offshore software development team. In turn, you’ll increase your chance of seeing your software project come to life as you pictured it.
At ClikGlobal, we strive to follow these best practices, so we can offer the most to clients like you. With our U.S. project management and proven processes, we are able to ensure that our offshore team members’ work meet your expectations and deadlines, as well as helps you to achieve your business goals.
Whether you’re looking for web or mobile app development, we’d love to help you make your vision a reality. Drop us a line today.