A short while back, companies opted for outsourcing to minimize operational costs. This remains one of the leading motivations for outsourcing software development, only that it’s now a norm across the world. Outsourcing provided businesses and brands an avenue to access top industry talent and the latest technologies in the industry at an affordable price, at least compared to hiring in-house software engineers.
In this post, Saigon Technology spotlights some of the key aspects to look out for in a vendor before partnering with them.
1. The development methodology
There exist various methodologies and approaches to handling software development projects. Traditionally, the waterfall methodology premised on a cascading sequence of activities at various development stages has been widely applied. However, Agile methodologies have proven to be the most effective, allowing for adjusting strategies and iterative development and complete focus on the end-user throughout the project.
Your selection of a preferred vendor should be informed by the development approach they utilize and how suitable that is for your project. The ideal approach is one that delivers the highest impact and delivers quality output.
2. Do a thorough background check of your prospective partners
There are multiple outsourcing destinations hosting thousands of offshore software development companies. But choosing the right partner from this wide pool can be challenging, mainly when they all portray the ability to deliver results and exceed your expectations.
Therefore, it is prudent that once you have narrowed down and identified prospective partners, conduct a thorough background check to assess their competencies. An analysis of the company portfolio, reviews, and testimonials from previous clients can help you gauge their competencies, professionalism, and the quality of their output.
3. Look at the company size
While most might overlook the company size, it is one of the best indicators for judging a vendor’s ability to carry out an assignment. A small company guarantees full attention to your project and easier team management. But it also often means working with limited resources – people, tools, and technologies. Large companies might have advanced technology and resources, but your project might not be given top priority or be assigned the top talents, particularly if it’s a small project.
4. Look at company experience
The vendor should demonstrate experience working with companies similar to yours or handling projects like yours. This can help you assess the quality of their output and creativity. Experience working with big brands, particularly fortune 500 companies, is a good indicator of competence.
Be wary of vendors offering overly attractive prices as that often comes with a compromise on quality. The ideal partner is one who offers competitive prices. While the objective is keeping costs low, price should not be the primary determinant of a vendor to choose. Quality always comes first.
Projects can get complex. Handling one effectively calls for flexibility in approach to development. As such, it is important to look for an offshore development partner who is flexible enough to adjust based on the requirements of the project. The development methodology is also a determining factor here. Agile development approaches create room for flexibility through development.
7. Flawless communication
There should be sufficient and adequate frameworks to facilitate smooth communication between you and the offshore development company. It is often necessary to agree on a communication model that gives you room to assess the project through its execution before commencement. This includes agreeing on timeframes for checking in and the channel to be used.
Cultural considerations might come to play when selecting a vendor.
8. Check tools used
It is important to inquire about the tools used for source control and tracking bugs. This is part of assessing the effectiveness of the vendor’s quality assurance frameworks. The offshore development company should utilize the most effective tools for tracking, logging, and fixing bugs discovered during development. Source code tracking and bug tracking tools are very important markers that determine a software development project's success.
9. Sweet Spot projects
This might require you to do some research, but understanding the ideal focus area of a software development company can help you identify the right partner. The portfolio can often indicate this, but it is also important to do a critical assessment of their expertise. It might even be necessary to establish communication with them to get a clear indication of their focus and specialties.
10. Service Level Agreement (SLA)
This is a binding document that ensures you and the offshore development company are on the same page. This is part of the contracting process and comes at an advanced stage. Nonetheless, it is an important document that helps define the nature of engagement. It ensures all guidelines and rules of engagement are agreed upon for the successful execution of the project.
Offshore development is only growing bigger. Hopefully, these tips will help guide you in selecting an ideal vendor for your project. But beyond this, it is important to understand that technology is fast evolving. As such, working with a vendor conversant in the application of the latest disruptive technologies can help future-proof your business.