Part 2: Best practices.
Ameen Abu Leil
For many companies, the decision to outsource software development makes sense. They might not have the resources to support an in-house development team, and even if they did, it can be difficult to attract and retain that talent. So today we’re going to discuss about best practices for software outsourcing.
How Are You Going to Communicate?
Communicating with the third party developer is critical to ensure the project is completed on time, on budget, and that you’re satisfied with the result.
Location is a decisive factor when you’re selecting a partner to outsource development work. The outsourcing company’s location will determine what language they speak (for example, Israel has a high proportion of native English and Russian speakers), the time zone (will you be able to contact the developers during your business hours?), whether you can hold face-to-face meetings, and whether you’ll be able to visit the outsourcing firm (and vice versa).
A Project Point Person
Successful outsourcing requires someone from your company who will be the go-between for you and the third party developers.
When making the decision to outsource, choose a point person who’s deeply familiar with the project and understands exactly what needs to be done. This person should have excellent communication skills as well as the ability to encourage (and if need be, put pressure) on the developer to complete the project. The point person will also keep the company up to date on what’s going on with the project so no one is left in the dark.
Use the Same Environment and Methodology
It’s crucial that your firm and the third party developer use the same methodology and environment to create software. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with dashed hopes, wasted money, and a product that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
I recommend that the external development team work on the same source controls and tools as the internal R&D staff. That ensures that everyone is on the same page and that there are no miscommunications during the development process.
Defining the external production site as V-LAN keeps it secure and controlled. Moreover, you don’t need to make any major changes to your infrastructure or invest in running new cables anywhere. V-LANs are a cost-effective tool to achieving outsourcing success.
There are so many successful companies that have outsourced their software development. These outsourcing projects work out well because these businesses followed outsourcing best practices, and they chose a third-party developer that was professional, results-driven, collaborative, and offered an excellent customer experience.
Ameen Abu Leil is VP of Galil Software R&D business unit.