Beginning an outsourcing relationship is often difficult for a lot of organizations due to the significant disruption that it represents. On the one hand, it’s easy to see why this can be problematic as you’re giving up a great deal of “control” over your systems. On the other hand, the benefits far outweigh any potential negatives – which is why you should always work to enjoy the most seamless experience possible.
While it’s true that there are a lot of potential pain points that you will encounter during this process, there are also a number of easy solutions that you can start using to overcome them as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Overcome the common challenges when working with an offshore development company with these strategies.
Challenge #1: The Art of Communication (or the Lack Thereof)
Developing a new software product is always a social process that demands as much communication and collaboration as possible. When your team is miles away this can be far more difficult than they were all in the same room… but one thing it doesn’t have to be is impossible.
Thanks to the Internet and its unlimited possibilities, long distances, and time differences aren’t a problem for modern entrepreneurs. You can use video conferencing, voice calls, emails to keep in touch with your app development team. Video conferencing services like Zoom, Join.Me, Google Hangouts and even Skype will be invaluable during this period. This new way of communicating may take some getting used to on behalf of your employees, they will soon fall into the type of pattern that leaves them wondering “why did we ever try this any other way?”
Partnering with an outsourcing provider that is locally based also adds a new level of collaboration, as well as much-needed speed in terms of communication. Clients always talk to seasoned, US-based professionals – meaning that there are fewer miscommunications and misunderstandings to deal with. Likewise, communication protocols are designed up front and policies and expectations are managed in a proactive way. This makes sure that stakeholders, expectations, routine and even format of communication are all defined to guarantee completeness, continuity and consistency.
Challenge #2: The (Perceived) Loss of Control
Again, one of the biggest pain points that companies often have when beginning an outsourcing operation is the lack of control over their enterprise. You’re suddenly depending a lot on a third party – more than you’re probably used to – which brings all sorts of implications with it like communication problems, slow response times, increasing costs and more.
The key to eliminating these challenges is simple: manage the process as carefully as you can. Set weekly goals for the development team to ease the workflow and achieve better results. Even better, choose a developer which has a local presence, like Pegasus One. We find that many of our clients place a great deal of value on the fact that we’re physically located in the same areas that they are. Our office team is a phone call away from you, insuring transparent tracking of time and resource utilization.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to rely heavily on time-tracking tools like Timely, PayDirt, Everhour, Toggl and Hours to help maintain the oversight you need when you need it the most.
Challenge #3: The Language Barrier
Another major pain point that many organizations comes by way of the very real language barrier. If your entire team is from the United States but your outsourcing provider’s employees speak English as a second language, this could cause confusion or miscommunication due to a lack of foreign language knowledge. Along the same lines, though English is a modern lingua franca, only a limited number of people can actually speak it well in the first place.
You also have to remember that you’re talking about two different teams of people with not only distinct languages, but distinct cultures. The chasm between two totally different lands can be a vast one, indeed. A poor cultural fit can often lead to misunderstandings that go far beyond a difficulty to communicate.
The solution to this is again, thankfully, a simple one. Carefully select an outsourcing vendor that has completed projects in your country and has an intermediary team who can facilitate communication. No matter what language the developer team is comfortable with, you will have no issue whatsoever in getting your point through.
But in truth, the best remedy here is always to educate the corresponding teams about the respective cultures at play so that all parties are aware. If both your team and the outsourcing firm have a good cultural understanding, they will get a clearer picture of what actually is happening at the other end of the line.
Challenge #4: The Quality Question
Yes, it’s true that the chances of getting low-quality code increase when hiring an offshore software development company. However, the solution to this is also incredibly clear: remember the old saying of “you get what you pay for.”
Don’t get fooled by low hourly rates and never hire a company that you don’t know. Read the reviews and always, always, always remember to ask for a customer list. If the company refuses to provide a list of launched apps or clients contact data, never outsource to such a company. Check company’s profile on sites like Clutch to make sure they can deliver a top-class software product.
Challenge #5: Test, Test and then Test Some More
Yes, you’re probably already going to be doing a huge amount of testing during the development process. If you truly want to mitigate risk from outsourcing as much as possible, you should continue to test – probably more than you even already are.
Start testing as early on in the process as you can, which will help make the phase itself as smooth and as seamless as a result. From the perspective of your outsourcing relationship, this will also help give you an additional layer of visibility into what your new provider is actually up to. Services like DeployGate, AppBlade, TestFairy, HockeyApp, HockeyKit, Applivery and others will become essential throughout this time.
Challenge #6: It’s All About Response Time
Never forget that outsourced teams will likely be working in a different time zone than you and your employees. If you forget this, it could lead to mission critical tasks and issues that need to get resolved NOW falling by the wayside. Even misunderstanding time zone differences will likely result in a serious waste of time that you just can’t afford.
This is another one of the many reasons why you’ll likely want to choose a provider with a local team of developers – to avoid these types of situations altogether. The local developers can help mitigate the problem till the regular developer team gets involved the next day.
In the End
Outsourcing to a third party software development provider can be a perfect way to save a lot of money that you can then funnel back into the growth of your business. It also comes with a number of challenges, too – but luckily they are easily avoided in most cases.
To make the most out of this situation, a solution-focused work culture should always be created and open and honest communication should be supported. You need to be able to encompass the extended team as a natural part of your own, making it clear that trust, innovation and the free flow of ideas are always welcome.
When outsourcing to an app development company, mind the above-mentioned challenges and pitfalls to avoid. Clearly, it’s a good financial and business option since maintaining an in-house app development team costs a lot. If you know what to expect beforehand, outsourcing an app development company won’t cause any problems.
PegasusOne.com is an offshore and near shore software development company located in California with software teams in India and Mexico.