We’ve all heard about a bad experience story with IT Outsourcing. For every successful outsourced project there is often one that didn’t meet its goals. On other occasions projects might not have even reached completion.
But we haven’t written this blog to scare you. At the end of the day it’s software, created by a team, things do go wrong. It’s just a question of how you plan to reduce the mistakes that might be made.
We believe that you can run a successful outsourced project with great vetted developers and we want to make sure that people have a positive experience. At companies like Yeeply, we work with clients and developers to minimise the risks associated with IT Outsourcing.
We’ve put together some common mistakes that happen on outsourcing projects and give you some tips for how to solve these, to make sure your project is a success, first time around.
Communication, Communication, Communication
Technology outsourcing involves working with people from outside your business, and often from outside your own timezone. Starting a new project can be daunting enough, but when you are starting a new working relationship on top of that as well, communication really is key.
Software and hardware development is an extremely intricate process that involves social interaction and often require in-depth communication, due to the different professional profiles and expertises working on them.
With the growth of remote working has come the growth of apps and tools for communication with teams, no matter where you all are. Slack, a messaging app for teams, has seen massive growth since its launch, and is a great way to keep in touch with your project team.
Video calls have also come a long way. Apps such as Zoom and Skype allow teams to meet online and talk through plans, milestones and issues on any project to ensure they are always on the same page.
Getting The Right Developer For Your IT Outsourcing Project
We wrote last week on the blog about how prototyping your app will ensure that you get an accurate quotation for your outsourcing project.
Giving a detailed outline of the project to any potential developer is key. As Farhad Divecha, Director of AccuraCast, notes from his own project ‘the developers under-quoted without realising the complexity of the job, which meant they had to then work more than the project was probably worth to them.’
Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, echoes this advice. ‘Long story short the contractor was magnificent at writing code however refused to realize the realities of crafting a product that solves the consumers problem.’ His advice to avoid this? ‘Create a prototype for your product before engaging a developer contractor to build it.’
Once you’ve outline the scope of your project finding a trusted, vetted developer is essential to move forward successfully.
Before you make any kind of agreement with a developer it is a good idea to look at their portfolio, check their references and previous customers, and get a feel for how they might approach your project.
Ultimately IT Outsourcing through platforms like Yeeply, with vetted developers, is a great way to ensure that you are working with the right person. We offer 100% certified professionals and we validate their skills, experience and knowledge. Only 5% of the applications we receive are accepted.
Although quality is a priority, anyone experienced in supervising projects is aware that there are other details to consider in that sort of decision, specially when it comes to outsourcing mobile projects. Proficiency in niche skills and accessing top talented professionals may not be at odds with reasonable costs.
Timings and Timezones: Plan to Keep Delays to a Minimum
Delays can be a common part of IT Outsourcing services and are not always a sign that something has gone wrong.
However, time is money and delays can start to have a negative impact on any project. There are ways to minimize this.
One of the realities of outsourcing projects in a global market is that you could be working with someone who isn’t in your timezone. Having someone who is working while you sleep seems like a good idea.
However, digital agencies approach this issue from a different perspective. TechSors warns ‘imagine that you want to change a feature. You send it off to the programmer, only to receive an answer the next day.’
When you are looking at developers to work on your project consider which timezones might fit into your own working day. If you can see a clear time that you will both be online each day to deal with any pressing issues, then this will help with communication – as mentioned above – and minimize delays.
Cracking The Code: Who Will Own The Code and IP?
Outsourcing your IT project is a great way to see your ideas and products realised, but it is crucial to ensure that you agree who holds the rights to the code and IP being created during the course of the project.
Just as you would with a design project, you want to make sure that any code created by the developer or IP for the app reverts to you at the end of the project.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation recognises this as a growing area where agreement should be worked out in advance. They note:
‘It is essential to identify, account for and clarify ownership related issues of IP assets improved or created during the relationship. More often than not, many companies overlook or pay inadequate attention to thisvery important aspect.’
Make it clear when you are talking about the scope of the project where the ownership of the code and IP will lie. You should also consider whether an NDA might be appropriate, especially if you have sensitive data that will be put into the app when testing it. An agreement like this will protect both you and your developer from any issues and ensure that everyone knows where they stand.
Testing Times: Will Your Developer Also Test With You?
Testing is an essential part of any mobile/app project. With many IT outsourcing services testing is part of any project they take on, but it is not always so check that testing is included in any quotes you ask for.
If your app looks and feels like you wanted it to, this won’t mean very much if users find it full of bugs or prone to crashing.
Farhad Divecha, Director of AccuraCast, notes that where data is involved, testing with an accurate size dataset is also key. He goes on:
‘While we tested the system with small samples of data – since a lot of this was potentially sensitive data, we did not share the full database with the developers, but instead created small test data sets of 100-200 contacts and uploaded those; while the system worked well for that small data set, when we signed off and actually uploaded our entire contact set of 8,000+ journalists, bloggers etc. it crashed the system every single time we tried to use it in any way.’
Ensuring that testing is part of the scope of your outsourcing project, as well as testing with a suitable dataset, can be the difference between going to market on time, or not going to market at all.
Outsourcing your IT project is a great way to get your app or mobile project started if you don’t have the technical skills in-house. Here at Yeeply, we see the positive impact of outsourcing every day and we are keen to help you feel the same benefits. By thinking about how to minimize common mistakes that others have encountered, you’ll be off to a flying start!