Outsourcing Issues in Software Development

Technical Articles
Oleh Mykhaylovych
20 May 2016

FreezePro Software is a software development company with vast experience in providing outsourcing services. The team of company’s professionals reveal common issues related to IT-outsourcing and offer possible solutions.

Questionable Trustworthiness

It’s easy to doubt the reliability of an outsourcing company if their website is poorly designed and information about them is scarce. Companies should indicate in their contact information all possible ways in which a customer can get in touch with their representatives. Customers want to make sure that they’re dealing with the professionals. Indirect impersonal communication (emails) won’t convince them that they can trust this vendor. That’s why customers are advised to ask all their questions via Skype talking to a company’s manager. To be on the safe side, always conclude a contract even for minor projects after negotiating the terms and IP addresses.

Unclear Policy

As a customer, you want to have a clear idea of how your vendor’s team will work on your project, which methods they will use, how they will organize the whole process, etc. If you entrust a very important project to the vendor, you expect high-quality results. To make sure everything is going properly, closely cooperate with the vendor’s team at the initial stage (two weeks).

Companies with transparent policy let their customers know who work on their projects (junior or senior specialists, etc). However, there are companies that conceal this information. They can provide high-quality services nonetheless, but it’s advisable to choose the companies for whom transparency is a key element of cooperation.

Communication Issues in Outsourcing

Communication is a vital part of any collaboration, be it the in-team communication or the ability to communicate with clients. When young companies hire developers, testers, project manager, etc, they need to give preference to the specialists with good communication skills. Knowledge of English is a must for effective communication with the customers. It should be one of the main requirements for Project Managers.

Scrum methodology with its daily standup meetings can be implemented to improve communication between team members and ensure better performance of the team. Customers can also be present at scrum meetings, take part in sprint retrospective meetings and planning.

It’s understandable that both customers and vendors are looking for an experienced and successful partner. Customers want to find a reliable company with reasonable prices for the services while vendors would like to work with the clients that are more substantial than the service provider. Both of them want to seem better than they really are but they shouldn’t deceive.

Possible Solutions

There are three patterns of collaboration between different vendors and customers.

  • 1. The vendor and the customer are equally experienced and responsible. They understand each other’s needs and expectations. Vendors live up to their promise to deliver high-quality service. Customers, on their part, pay for it as arranged.
  • 2. The vendor is less experienced than the customer. In this case, the customer is the one who is at risk. The final sum might be bigger than they initially estimated due to lack of vendor’s experience but the quality might be as expected. If the customer is confident that the long-term vendor will do everything to satisfy their needs, then they may take such risk.
  • 3. The customer has little experience. If the customer has a vague idea about software development process but still has some knowledge in a particular area and wants to run a product, the vendor should enlighten him or her. The dialog between the vendor and the customer should gain the latter insight into further cooperation, help them manage expectations, and understand possible risks. Also, the responsibilities of both parties should be clearly stated to avoid any mutual blames in future.
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