All businesses which have a large client base and employ a substantial number of people use software for their operations. However, many companies outsource their software requirements to software development firms specializing in the domain.

With software development outsourced to another firm, the collaboration between the two firms becomes utmost important. An effective collaboration results in a reliable software that can handle the firm’s operations. As a result, the outsourcing firm needs to follow some best practices.

In this blog, we will go through best practices that need to be followed in order to collaborate effectively with an outsourced software development team.

Best practices & tips for effective collaboration with software firms

Software has a significant impact on the functioning of all organizations these days. The majority of the firms outsource their software development needs. This makes it critical for them to follow best practices for collaboration.

Best Practice#1 Risk Awareness:

Outsourcing software development comes with the risk of not knowing the team involved in the development. So, you need to hire the right people who have a clear idea of your project scope.

As new technologies keep coming in software development, you need to hire the right people with the required skill sets.

Best Practice#2 Focus on Functions:

It would be best if you focused on function rather than micromanaging the developers. The reason being micromanagement gone too far can prevent the hired team from producing their best work.

Any team gives its best when they are given the freedom to experiment a bit. Although, there should be regular assessment of the product being developed.

Best Practice#3 Document Everything Precisely:

It is very easy for miscommunication to happen when you outsource your outsource your software development requirement. This makes Scope of Work(SOW) a very important document for any project.

SOW should have a list of your project’s specific characteristics, including tasks and responsibilities. Important criteria should be very specific, although do not spend too much time documenting routine things.

Best Practice #4 Keep it Secure:

Security is always paramount when sharing data with another firm that needs it for the software development project. As a result, a secure channel must be established between the two stakeholders to transfer information.

You should also have control over which team members of the software development firm have access to sensitive data. So, be crystal clear about the security measures and protocols your software development partner has.

To make it simple, just clearly state what can and cannot be done with the information they receive. You should go for a Non Disclosure Agreement(NDA) to be on the safer side.

Best Practice#5 Payment Terms & Conditions:

Your budget is important, but that does not mean you can go for the cheapest company available. There has to be a balance between what you expect and how much you can pay for it.

Once you have finalized your total payment, the next step is to finalize what will be paid out and when. Payments that will be triggered with the completion of each stage should be cleared market out at the very beginning.

There is always a chance of overshooting the initial budget with an outsourced project. So, you need to have contingency funds to handle such a situation.

Best Practice #6 Exit Plan:

You may think that having an exit plan in place at the beginning of the project may be negative thinking. However, in a business scenario, you must be prepared for everything.

What works today may not work tomorrow, as the business world is constantly in flux. This makes the exit plan an important cog in your software development outsourcing wheel.

Exit plans should have points like early termination and change in requirements. Both stakeholders should agree to the exit plan and acknowledge it.

Best Practice#7 Allot Your Resources:

You cannot expect your software development partner to do everything from the beginning to the end. You need to allot some of your employees who will be responsible for collaboration between the two companies.

Thus, having dedicated personnel from your end ensures proper communication between the two firms and no wastage of time due to communication delays. This will speed up the development process and shorten the time for software deployment.

Best Practice#8 Opting for an Engagement Model:

There are three engagement models which are generally considered for outsourced software development.

Hourly Rates: In this engagement model, the hired team is paid a set rate per hour. Mostly, in this case, the lifecycle of the software development project is relatively short.

So, it makes sense to pay only for the time spent on that particular project.

Fixed Rates: A fixed amount is decided at the start of the project with clearly chalked out project scope, duration, and requirements.

Dedicated: This is generally considered for large projects which require a dedicated team of developers.

Best Practice#9 Overcome Cultural Differences:

It may happen that the organization to which you have outsourced your software development requirement is located in a distant part of the globe. As a result, there will be cultural differences between employees of the two organizations.

To overcome this obstacle, the project can be launched with the introduction of each organization and its culture and values. This can clear many issues at the very beginning and reduce friction.

Best Practice#10 Select the apt Development Methodology:

You should choose the optimal development methodology for your outsourced software development project. This will also depend on the culture of the hired team who will do the software development.

In Asian countries like India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, people respond better to well-defined tasks. Waterfall methodology will work best in this region with clearly defined tasks and borders between project stages.

Agile methodology has a project scope divided into sprints and the possibility of modifications during development. Companies in the USA and Western Europe use this methodology more often. So, if you outsource software development to a firm based in this region, go for agile methodology.

More Reading: Using CI/CD Pipelines for Improving Quality of Software Products

Wrapping Up

Software is what is driving the operations of all midsize and large companies and hence needs to be up to the mark and robust. You should carefully choose your software development partner, taking into consideration all aspects. Make a list of all possible options before deciding on one company.

Software & IT infrastructure can be the difference between a market leader and an average firm in the same domain. It can catapult your business to heights you might never have imagined.

Once you have signed a contract with a software development firm, follow the best practices and tips we have discussed for effective and efficient collaboration.

For your software development requirement, you can get in touch with V2S Tech solutions.

Leave a Reply