There are an abundance of software outsourcing companies. How should one choose between them?
The key factor is to seek a software development company with a proven record of delivering high-quality products on time and within budget while surpassing client expectations. Unfortunately, many outsourcers fail in this regard. If you inquire with five past clients, three or four might express disappointment. How can you find a reliable one?
Here is a list of factors that one should look out for:
- Technical Expertise: Does the outsourcer have a team of skilled developers, testers, and other professionals with expertise in various technologies and platforms?
- Reputation: Ask for referrals to check the outsourcer’s track record. Look for testimonials and case studies to verify their quality work.
- Communication: This is probably the most important factor in determining if an outsourcer will be successful. Ask yourself, in your dealings with this company, do they communicate clearly? More importantly, do they understand your needs? Do they understand what you want? Can they articulate them back to you correctly? Or are they just giving you recycled boilerplate proposals and recommendations?
- Reliability: Do they stick to their commitments? One can tell a lot by an outsourcer by how they keep their early commitments like meetings, proposals, etc.
- Transparent Pricing: Outsourcers often provide vague SOWs at low prices to win clients. Later, they may introduce change orders that increase the cost. A rule of thumb: If a software outsourcing company offers the exact price you want without discussing your needs, they lack transparency. For more on this topic, check out our blog article on honesty in bidding.
- Cultural Compatibility: Successful software products have constant communication and interaction between clients and outsourcers. The more aligned the cultures are, the greater their communication and the more successful the relationship becomes.
- Scalability: Can the outsourcer scale up or down based on the client’s requirements? The outsourcer must meet the client’s personnel needs. This includes adding more developers for short-term needs and maintaining team continuity for long-term projects. It’s essential to adapt as business needs change.
- Process and Methodology: Does the outsourcer use recognized software development methodologies, such as Agile (which we strongly prefer) or Waterfall? Do they use professional project management tools and software (such as Jira) to track, manage, and report on progress?
- Continuous Improvement: Do they invest in training and upskilling their employees to stay updated? Do they have a commitment to continuous improvement, or are they satisfied with the status quo?
- Ethics and Integrity: Does the outsourcer have a reputation for being honest? Have they been honest in their upfront dealings with you? Honesty and trust is essential in an outsourcer/client relationship. If the outsourcer fears giving you bad news, you may think your project will be delivered on spec and time. Only to end up with nothing but an excuse when the deadline arrives.
To summarize, when considering an outsourcing company, it’s advisable to do thorough research and to pay close attention to how the outsourcer behaves in your early interactions. You want to make sure that they are honest, professional, communicative, and that they have a track record of delivering successful products on time and on budget.