Outsourcing web development can seem like a daunting task. You need to determine whether this model really suits your business, find the right contractor, and generally set up your workflow. It does take a lot of effort to some extent, but with the right approach, you can reap significant benefits.
So, this article is intended to help those who are new to website development outsourcing or have previously had an insufficient experience. In addition, even companies that have already successfully established the outsourcing process will be able to test themselves, as if by a checklist, or supplement their work with new principles.
Do You Need to Outsource Web Development?
Outsourcing web development has many benefits. Of course, this does not mean that it is absolutely suitable in all cases. When comparing this model to, for example, outstaffing or an in-house team, it is important to rely on the project size, budget, timeline and workload, and team experience. Only after evaluating all the initial parameters is it possible to determine how best to organize development in the company. For example, if you have a large project and do not have time to work with internal experts, or even lack your own specialists, outsourcing is an excellent solution. If your project is small with clearly limited terms, requiring a quick immersion in the specifics of the business, it is better to implement it yourself within the company.
Overall, outsourced web development helps you get the best experience for your project. Since you do not need to attract people to the staff and be tied to an office in a specific location, your team can be located anywhere in the world. In addition, in this way, you can reduce development costs by choosing a country where specialists have a lower average development cost. This does not mean at all that you will lose quality. And perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of outsourcing is that you can fully focus on your business goals, improve existing lines of business, and build new ones. You don't have to waste resources worrying about code and team management.
5 Things You Should Know About Outsourced Web Development
Nothing will work without clear business goals and project vision
For the collaboration to be successful, it is necessary to prepare clear input for the outsourcing team. Understand what you want to create and why. This does not mean you need to immediately specify the programming language. But in order for the team to pick up your idea, you need to convey to them a clear vision, goals, requirements, desired deadline, and budget. This is one of the most important starting points, and with the right approach, you won't have to spend extra time and money solving problems. Be prepared for additional questions, and do not miss the opportunity to clarify all the nuances from your side.
Poor communication creates difficulties where they may not exist at all
Communication plays an important role in outsourcing. So that the work does not stall and go down the wrong path, think over the methods and rules of communication in advance, take into account the work schedules of teams, time differences, and holidays, and avoid the language barrier. With a variety of communication and project management tools, it's easy to find a way that satisfies both parties. When teams adhere to a clear schedule of calls and providing reports and can simultaneously solve emerging issues, there will definitely be no problems with communication on the project.
A successful project requires process transparency
Because outsourcing involves a distance between you and your web development team, you need clear, understandable, and transparent workflows. First, it minimizes chaos and confusion. Secondly, you always understand where your developers are. It's great if you are given access to all platforms and project management tools (so you can, if necessary, ask questions during the work and comment on its separate parts). In general, the openness of the team and transparency in all processes speak of its professionalism and reliability.
Sometimes it's important to be flexible
As we said, it is very important to have a vision for your future product and understand what functions it should have. But sometimes, in the process of work, it becomes obvious that certain features should be abandoned for various reasons (or slightly modified from what was initially planned). Adjustments can also affect the pre-calculated time for completion. It's okay if there are unpredictable changes in the process. Therefore, it is essential to listen to the opinion of the web developers and trust their expertise. If your outsourcing team has strong arguments, try to weigh this information, and don't be afraid to adjust the plan if necessary.
Everyone is interested in security
If you are concerned about the safety of your data and project code, sign an NDA. This is a common procedure for any professional outsource web development company. Moreover, outsourcers can offer you a template for such an agreement. Of course, you can work through the document, make changes, or suggest your own version.
Step-By-Step Guide on What to Do Prior to Outsourcing Web Development to Make It All Work
1. Finalize your business goals.
If you don't know exactly what you want, nobody will know. Therefore, from the initial homework assignment, you can compose a description of your future product, including its main functions, target audience, and so on. If you can, think over and outline the technical requirements. Prepare a list of questions about the project you want to discuss and a separate list of questions for selecting outsourcing teams. It is important to determine for yourself the budget you are ready to invest and the desired time frame for obtaining the ideal product.
2. Make a list of your potential contractors.
To select companies providing outsource web development services, you can use the platforms Clutch.co, GoodFirms, Top Developers, and others. There you will find descriptions of companies, a list of technologies they work with, links to sites and portfolios, reviews, and customer ratings. If you also have specific recommendations from peers, great, list them.
After analyzing the information gathered, your list may be narrowed down. This will take you to the next step: scheduling video meetings for the first acquaintance.
3. Conduct interviews as detailed as possible.
Since you will conduct more than one interview, and the information received will be quite a lot, create a file in advance in which you will enter all the details of the interview results. So in the future, you will not forget or lose anything, and it will be easier for you to compare the companies, making the final choice.
In addition to specific answers, it is important to evaluate how the call is going in general. For example, pay attention to the way teams communicate and present information, the level of English, the willingness to discuss your questions in detail to find the best web development solutions, and so on.
The main points on which you can collect information are as follows:
- general information about the company
- development process: methodology, testing and bug fixing, integration with the client's team, team roles, project management system, document storage, and so on
- code examples, examples of implemented functions, and designs
- development cost and preliminary size of the required team, payment terms
- methods and rules of communication, reporting
- opportunity to get to know the whole team
It is important to note for yourself the activity of potential colleagues; the more questions they ask you, the better. This is direct evidence of a professional approach to work.
4. Agree on communication rules.
Think about what communication and project-management tools used by the outsourcing web development agency you will be most comfortable working with. Pay close attention to whether the workflow is available to you and whether you can control the execution of tasks using Jira, Confluence, GitHub, or other platforms.
If the company uses Scrum, pay attention to the sprint duration, the number of internal team meetings and general meetings with you, and demo and feedback work.
5. Analyze the collected information.
At this stage, it is important not to rush and not choose a contractor for sure based only on the minimum cost. Also, analyze non-price points to find the perfect balance for yourself across all criteria. Take a break to check as much information as possible. Make a series of additional calls to clarify all the nuances for yourself. It is also helpful to request a technical interview with the developers.
6. Sign the contract and NDA.
After you have decided on a partner in creating your product, you need to sign all accompanying documents. Make sure the contract covers all of your agreements and the NDA ensures that your data is as secure as possible.
Sometimes, depending on the number of meetings held and the information discussed at them, an NDA can be signed before the final vendor selection.
Consider Gearheart Your Long-Term Partner
We create complex custom web applications from scratch for both startups and mature businesses. Our focus is on functional solutions, in which we fully take into account the technical side of the process. Our portfolio has a lot of different projects for different areas of business, and we mainly create tools for organizing workflows and working with data in Django and ReactJS.
We use a flexible workflow based on Scrum. And here we have described in detail the entire development process. We consider our clients partners and friends, therefore we adhere to transparent and trusting relationships. This is reflected both in constant communication and in the ability to control the project using all the tools we provide access to.
We are always open to the most daring ideas and interesting opportunities, and we are ready to get acquainted and develop cool projects together.
There are many reasons and benefits for companies to outsource their development. This approach is especially attractive to startups and small companies. They can gain strong talents, reduce costs and management workload, free up resources, and focus on growing the business. The main factor is to understand how to outsource web development and find "your" developers, who will help you translate the idea into a working product and realize your business goals. Try to follow our advice when you decide to outsource web application development, and we believe you will succeed.