Whether to outsource or build in-house, almost every entrepreneur faces this fork on the road at least once in their entrepreneurial journey. Indubitably, there are pros and cons to both options. However, experimentally speaking, outsourcing can give you unparalleled benefits when compared to developing in-house.
“The key lies in choosing the right development partner, who strikes the right chord with you, and turn the cacophony of your thoughts into a melody.”
In the era when almost every startup depends heavily on the mobile app for its existence, the selection of the right development partner is of utmost importance. If you feel you have a weakness here, this guide will surely help you with ins and outs of outsourcing.
1. NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement): Imagine you have a novel idea and you think it might become the next big thing in the tech world. But you’re afraid to share it with the world. However, while finding your development partner, you ought to disclose the details in order to make a synergy. Now, this is where NDA comes in.
NDA is an agreement between two parties that ensures that any information being shared is not disclosed to a third party, irrespective of any situation.
TIP: Before disclosing the details of your idea, make sure to sign an NDA with the development company. Any discussion related to outsourcing your mobile app development work should start with NDA.
2. Communication: Clear communication is very important for any teamwork. And it is of imperative importance that your outsourcing partner speaks the language you do. Language is a medium to transfer your thoughts. So there should not be any communication or understanding gap. Also, in the majority of an outsourced development project, there is a geographical distance between you and your development team. So you should ensure that what will be the medium of communication and both of you have the quality infrastructure to support seamless communication. Make sure you speak to their development team.
Tip: Generally, most of the companies may have good English speaking sales team, but their development team may not be good enough. So do not forget to speak to the project manager who’d be handling your project.
3. Technology or Solution Focused: The majority of development companies try to develop a solution to technologies they are comfortable working on. This can make a significant impact on your solution. However, a good development company must focus on the solution, irrespective of the technology it takes.
Tip: Talk to your outsourcing partner and try to figure out if they are biased towards any particular technology.
4. One-Stop-Shop: It is very crucial that your outsourcing partner takes complete ownership of the development of the solution. End to end development not only helps you in saving money but also eliminates the chances of communication gap between agencies. If you procure different phases such as design, development, and testing from different agencies, it can become a never-ending cycle.
Tip: Look for a partner who houses a team of specialists for all the phases of the application development cycle like business analysts, UI/UX designers, database experts, architects, etc.
5. Past Experience & Expertise: Domain experience and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is very important in translating your ideas into the solution. With experience in a particular domain, SME can suggest you n number of add-ons and exponentially improve the value of your application. And most importantly, this value addition practically comes free of cost. Also, check with whom your potential outsourcing development partner has worked with. What kind of solutions have they developed?
Tip: Ensure to check if they have done projects for your domain. It can be an added advantage if they have significant experience in developing applications for your industry.
6. App Maintenance & App Up-gradation: Generally there are numerous bugs that remain hidden even during UAT (User Acceptance Testing) phase. Moreover, you might also want to roll out new features to your app after the initial launch. Hence, it will be relatively easy and cost-effective to fix those bugs and roll out an upgraded application
Tip: Ensure that your development partner does app maintenance for at least one year. There will be a lot of bug fixes and tweaks when you will take your app out in the market.
7. TimeZone & Shift Overlap: This situation usually arises when your outsourcing partner is an offshore company and works in a different time zone than yours. Coping up with their working hours can become a real challenge.
Tip: Ensure that your point of contact and team either works in your time zone or at least have 3–4 hours of overlap. It will help you in faster communication and reporting.
8. The scope of Work: The primary conflict that arises while outsourcing is regarding the scope of work. The reason behind this conflict is usually improper planning and requirement understanding. Before initiating your project, make sure to get the scope of work document prepared. The more comprehensive the scope of the working document, the lesser are the chances of getting surprises at the end. Make sure to read between the lines of this document. If anything looks fishy, stand up and speak
Tip: Discuss on regular reporting and divide the whole project into measurable milestones or sprints
9. Engagement Model: There are usually two types of pricing models that most of the outsourcing companies follow. Fixed Price model (Predetermined Lump Sum project cost) and Hourly model (Time and material). A fixed price model is generally considered if you have clear and well-defined requirements. The project costs are linked with well-defined and tangible deliverable/milestones. Under T&M model, an hourly rate is mutually agreed upon for a defined skill set of resources, who would be working on your project scope. It suits the projects that require ad-hoc changes, testing, code review, and research.
Tip: Whatever the pricing model you choose, make sure that they have a fair and transparent pricing structure. Rather than choosing the partner with the lowest quote, choose the one that provides you a realistic quote.
10. Methodology: What development model is preferred by your partner? Do they follow an Agile/Scrum methodology? The agile development process has numerous inherited advantages over the now outdated waterfall development process. Once your idea is validated by your actual users, then you can scale up and add-on the feature as per the specific feedback and requirements.
Tip: Agile will help you get your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) at the earliest & at the minimum cost. MVP will help to test the true potential of your idea by entering the market at the earliest & at minimum risk & investment.
With these points in your mind, you can prepare a comparison matrix for all outsourcing partners you are considering for development. You can assign a relative weight for these points and then give marks to each partner on points and let the agency with the highest marks develop your app.
At Vivirhub, We’re removing hourly pricing and offering you monthly pay-as-you-go subscription plans. We attribute our growth to our ability to focus on solutions and not just technology.
Contact us to learn more or to set up a personalized consultation with us. Read more on our website: www.vivirhub.com