A project’s safety is one of the most common concerns people have while deciding on software development outsourcing. Have you ever asked yourself how safe is IT outsourcing? If yes, please read on.
These challenges or risks may include:
- Code quality – is the team experienced enough to deliver your project?
- Management issues – how can you maintain control over the project?
- Communication – how to get your message across?
- Idea or information leak – how to prevent it?
Let’s find out how to safely outsource your IT project’s development.
1. The quality of the project
The no. 1 risk regarding outsourcing IT projects is ending up with a product of poor quality. In this case, you waste a lot of time and money only to receive something you will need to do all over again or to fix with another company.
To avoid this, you need to validate outsourcing team experience and skills. Your task at the stage of finding a reliable software house is to prove to yourself that the team has the expertise and knowledge you need, that can provide you with the code quality you require.
Today, it’s quite easy to search through many IT companies from around the world. Websites like Clutch offer unbiased client reviews, collected by third-party employees. This means that it’s more difficult for the company which you’re evaluating to alter the reviews, hence you can trust what they say.
You can also view a company’s portfolio to see what projects they do and ask for their programmers’ CVs to see if you’re about to work with experienced employees, or juniors that will use your project to learn to code.
Always try before you buy. It’s not a bad idea to find a small task or a feature to develop with the team. Even if it might not be for free, it’s worth every penny to see if the problems will manifest. Sometimes it’s the only way to detect business culture clashes.
2. Managing the project
Following the best practises of project management is crucial to your project’s success. You should require your IT vendor to follow them as well. If not, your mileage may vary. You may end up with an unfinished product.
Managing remote teams, though sometimes challenging, is usually a simple process. Once you learn how to do it, things will become a lot easier. Common tasks include:
- Project scoping – deciding on which features will make it into the project. Project kick-off is one of the most critical steps for starting a new project.
- Planning the project – making the goals and milestones clear and achievable, and reacting to changes.
- Staying in the loop – having close communication with the team. It’s not a bad idea to schedule weekly or bi-weekly calls to get updates on the project’s delivery.
Don’t let the agile development process mislead you. It is still a process, not an excuse for chaos. Certain rules must be followed. Tools like Azure DevOps, YouTrack, or Jira can provide help.
3. Avoiding miscommunication
Communication has a crucial part in software development. For the project to be successful, each member of the team must know what to do. The original idea needs conveyance from the original author to the executor. Every time it’s communicated is like playing a game of Chinese whispers. Messages get distorted. It is vital to keep your communication path as short as possible, preferably direct.
Have a place when you can share the information about the project and communicate as a group. Team communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Gitter or even Skype could be of use here. You might also think about setting up a wiki page so that everybody could quickly update the information for people involved in the project.
Working and being together in the same place is the most efficient solution. But when all or some people are remote, one can create an illusion of being in the same room by setting up a TeamSpeak server or Discord group for voice chat. All you would need to do to communicate in such an environment would be to open your mouth. Unfortunately, this would not solve the problem for the teams working in very different time zones.
Staying in a loop and being able to review the work alongside its completion allows you to make corrections early on. In software development this saves much time and money, as making changes after the project’s completion would often require rewriting large chunks of the code.
Choose communication channels to speak with the team, schedule regular calls and make sure that your vendor updates you on the progress of your project.
4. Idea and information leaks
Securing the quality and project management standards for the project reduces the risk of ending up with an inadequate or incomplete product.
There is, however, one more, essential thing to bear in mind. IT projects are based on knowledge, expertise, insights, and ideas – this information defines the project’s competitive advantage. As you won’t lose this advantage, you need to prevent your design from being stolen.
Signing a Non-disclosure Agreement is one way to secure the safety of your idea. Creating an NDA, you need to specify what information is confidential and assess its worth. Signing an NDA for your project is a standard procedure even while asking for estimation, so don’t hesitate to ask for it while looking for an IT company with which to work.
Ensuring Safe IT Outsourcing
If you’re about to hire an IT company to deliver your project, fear not. Managing IT projects can be simpler and safer than you think. The rule of thumb is to follow the best industry practices regarding the quality and project management tactics you employ.
Of course, you don’t have to know everything – in this case; it’s good to find an IT partner that will introduce you to software development delivery and be able to suggest the best solution for your project.
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