Outsourced Product Development: Our Recommendations

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 7, 2021

Outsourcing is everywhere these days, customer service, legal and accounting needs, administrative activities, financial, HR and IT operations, are all outsourced by many businesses, large and small alike.

According to Statista.com, the IT outsourcing industry garnered $62 billion in revenue in 2018 and has become a truly global business.

Software outsourcing It’s not just helpful for startups, major companies like Slack, or GitHub, have successfully leveraged the benefits of outsourcing development in their initial days. Outsourcing has the potential to improve your business’ efficiency, reduce the time to market of your application, and result in significant cost-savings.

But there are also risks involved in outsourcing development, finding a trustworthy development company to partner with you in your development efforts can be a tricky task.

If you are considering outsourcing, whether it be through hiring an outside team for a specific project task or outsourcing full product development, we prepared a small guide to help you outsource software development the right way.

Choosing your partner

When searching for a company to outsource with, knowledge is key. Diversity in the understanding of product development requires that individual team members have experience across multiple industries, platforms, and components.

It is likely that the firms you talk with may not have developed a product exactly like the one you are inquiring about. But the breadth of knowledge and skills that they have applied to other similar projects will give you an indication of their fitness for your project.

Diversity of experience and expert knowledge is a priority when searching for a company to work with on your product development engineering project.

If you need more tips on how to find a perfect partner for nearshore development, we’ve put together a series of articles that will help you.

Any reliable product development process should assure you:

Fast delivery. A shorter time-to-market results in reduced costs and getting revenue sooner.

Broad tech expertise. Your vendor should be independent of a particular tech stack and choose technology according to your needs. Small companies usually have a certain tech focus, and you risk limiting your product capabilities by it.

Related Services. A reliable partner should add value with related services, like UX consulting, that you may need. Small vendors may be competent to develop a product only up to a certain point of evolution, and then you’ll either have to look for another vendor or wait until they build up additional resources.

The structure of the development process is one of the most reliable indicators of a vendor’s efficiency.

Communication

The biggest benefit of outsourcing development is gaining access to a global pool of talent, the downside is that it also creates one of the major likely pitfalls: issues in communication.

Depending on the destination you choose, you’ll need to overcome different time zones, languages, and cultural conventions. Communication with the outsourced team becomes crucial for ensuring project success.

The best developers realize that successful product development requires clear and open communication across the development team.

When evaluating outsourced product development firms, pay close attention to the communication approach they propose, and consider if it will work for you and your team. Clear, consistent communication with the product development teams will ensure that project goals are defined, expectations are focused, and progress is consistent.

For more information on this subject, check this article where we discuss best practices to communicate with your nearshore development team.

Code Quality

Determining whether the outsourced development team is adhering to the quality standards while coding your application is a challenge when you run a non-tech firm without coding expertise.

Well-documented and well-tested code that follows best practices and coding conventions of the programming language the application is being written in is crucial for long-term success and bug-free execution.

The team that you are outsourcing to should have checks in place to ensure consistency in code quality. Before you sign on a firm, ask if they take measures like code review, so you can ensure they will develop a robust application before releasing it to you.

The key takeaway is that you should always look for the same level of excellence in your outside team that you do in your house team. Quality help is out there and is ready to go to work on your project.

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"Outsourced Product Development: Our Recommendations" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Scott Graham.

Categorized under software development.