Hey CTO, Choose your External Software Development Team Wisely
30 Jun 2021CommunicationCooperationOrganisation
If you have your own software development team, you know how difficult it is to scale your team – the market for exceptional talent, especially in-house, is competitive. Hiring an in-house team entails hiring, onboarding, and training new employees. External help is usually a speedier and more efficient option to build your team, but it can sometimes present challenges. But don’t worry; we’re here to assist you in overcoming them.
Choosing your software development company
We’ll give you some tips on what to look for and how to avoid potential mistakes.
It’s a good idea to start by researching software development companies that offer the services you require. You may use sites like Clutch to make sure you’re only focusing on legitimate businesses who deliver. Clients evaluate software development firms based on a variety of characteristics, including delivery, communication, timeliness, and cost.
(As an example, you can check our profile on Clutch and clients reviews here)
That should give a better idea of what the company does, and if you’re interested in learning more about their projects, you may look at their portfolio. All of this is quite self-evident so far, but certain parts are a little trickier, such as cultural alignment.
Check for cultural compatibility
This step is sometimes missed, yet it makes a significant difference in practice.
After you’ve gone over the tech stack, portfolio, and possibly even blind CVs, and read some client evaluations, there’s still one thing left to do: examine the cultural alignment.
Just though a company has 100 clients or has a high Clutch rating does not guarantee that your collaboration will be a success right away. Depending on your needs, software projects can take months or years, and it’s critical that „new employees” on your team are a good fit for your firm.
The importance of good communication
The work culture and communication are the most crucial factors to consider.
The work culture encompasses all aspects of project management. For example, adhering to Agile principles, planning, reporting, and delivering demos, or simply having a strong work ethic and accepting responsibility for the job.
Most of the communication aspects are already covered by effective project management techniques. But it’s not only about weekly planning and daily standups; it’s also about communicating in the middle of it all.
The external team should be able to tell you all about the technical specifics, as well as have some commercial knowledge and be good communicators. The chit talks are merely a great addition, not the goal of your cooperation 🙂
Communication with time zone difference in outsourced projects
When the team has to clarify a feature, many emails may be sent back and forth, and work may be stalled until the requirements are well-defined and understandable to everyone. It’s difficult to communicate anytime you want.
We have a so-called blocker in the project if we require information, and we are frequently faced with a dilemma: we may assume what the customer wants, prepare it, and then consult, or we can wait until the client is available. So, if the team misread the clients’ expectations, or if we are waiting, rework may be necessary. The cost of the project rises as a result of the requirement for rework, and the client’s satisfaction falls.
When we operate in various time zones, making appointments might be difficult. Working hours are relatively flexible in our organization, however, if there is a 9-hour time difference between us and the customer, it’s difficult to schedule a call within normal business hours. This is why it’s extremely important to organize sync calls at hours acceptable to everyone. These meetings have to be planned well in advance.
When considering how well your future team manages communication, including channels, regularity, guidelines, and soft skills, keep in mind that you should also consider how well they speak the language in which you will all communicate.
You might also be interested in our article about Soft Skills:
Soft Skills Every IT Team Needs
Ask all sorts of questions
These might be useful:
- Can they quickly scale up your team if necessary?
- What method do they follow to project management?
- How will they keep you updated on their progress?
- How can they ensure that software is of high quality?
- What tools do they implement in their development process,?
- What method do they use to estimate time?
- Do they participate in IT communities on a regular basis?
Check the typical outsourcing mistakes
- Underestimating communication – Communication has the potential to make or break a corporate relationship, therefore it should not be overlooked. With all of this in mind, and because we’ve been a fully remote organization since the beginning, we needed to figure out the dos and don’ts of communication and collaboration in a distributed team. It’s great if you’re open and honest with your spouse, and you should expect the same from them.
- Imprecise expectations – You must provide the team with defined objectives, requirements, and precise descriptions if you want your partner to deliver great work (and you do). Begin with workshops to help you get to know each other better, discover common ground, and share ideas, and then launch the project with all of the necessary pieces completed.
- Prioritizing price over all other considerations – Price is a crucial consideration that should never be overlooked, but it is not the most significant element. Even if the company promises wonders for this little price, going with the cheapest choice available can quickly backfire. It’s crucial to remember that your time is valuable, so striking a balance between price and quality is critical. Naturally, looking at pricing ranges is a good idea, but there are many other variables to consider (as indicated in the points above) when choosing a vendor.
A successful partnership with a software development company
It’s not always easy to find the right development team. We recommend that you consider your options carefully, confirming the prospects, spending time getting to know them, and asking questions.
Important topics to mention:
- software quality
- data security
- time estimation
If you are looking to partner with a remote Software Development team:
- learn about their inner work culture,
- make sure they discuss progress on a regular basis,
- choose teams that show interest in the wider context of your project,
- make sure they understand your needs and expectations,
- see if they know how to condense their questions to a simpler form, to avoid long and unproductive meetings,
- make sure to hold frequent meetings with them, and to choose the right people to attend,
- take a look at their documentation to see what they’ve got.
The presented content was written by our experts and is based on our company's experiences.