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Outsourcing Your Software Team – How to Do It Right?

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With the increasing digitalization of businesses and customers’ turning toward digital products, practically every company needs the support of a software team to a certain extent. How to find the right team and cooperation for you?

Not that long ago, it wasn’t that common to pass the essential tasks to the hands of an external team. That has changed in recent years, and we owe it partially to the digitalization of various industries. A reliable team with the right spectrum of software competencies is not easy to complete, and sustaining an IT team full-time is costly. No wonder that more and more companies turn towards outsourcing. But how to make the most out of this model? In this article, we provide useful tips and debunk myths you could have come across.

When to consider outsourcing software development to a dedicated team?

There are many reasons why a company that doesn’t specialize in software development could need the external software team’s support. One of the most common is the development of their internal systems, that no longer meet their needs as the company grows, starting to accumulate technical debt. 

In this case, the companies often engage external teams to rewrite the existing legacy software taking new features and integrations into account or create a new system from scratch. 

Your company could also find itself in need of a solution for its customers that grew accustomed to digital ways of engaging with the product or service. Recently, that has been a common scenario in the commerce and financial industry. The companies have to act on the evolving market needs and trends quickly to keep their customer base, so they engage an outsourcing team available on demand.

Which outsourcing model to choose?

There are two models you may follow when cooperating with software houses. The first one is end-to-end development, and the other is team extension. In the first case, a dedicated team composed only of external specialists takes charge of your product, covering every stage of its development, from ideation (or the further one, if you already proceeded) to maintenance. After the product is implemented in the market, they continue taking care of it throughout its lifecycle. 

The second model aims at making the most of your internal team’s potential while filling the competence gaps with the help of an external one. The software team joins you, adopting your project methodology and other relevant aspects.

End-to-end development is perfect if you:

  • don’t have any competencies available on your side (development, UI design, UX design, project management, QA, etc.),
  • want your team to focus on your primary activity,
  • want to cut your product’s time to market,
  • emphasize result-oriented cooperation,
  • have not yet started developing your product.

Team extension is a great choice if you:

  • already have in-house specialists that could bring valuable expertise to the project,
  • want to keep maximum control over the project,
  • have an uncommon working model or project methodology,
  • can sacrifice some time for onboarding.

What to verify if you want to outsource the development team?

There are various aspects you should pay attention to when choosing an outsourcing partner, among them:

  • Tech stack – if they do not have it listed, you will likely find it in their case studies. Some tools and languages, like JS, have a steep learning curve, and you don’t want to waste time mastering them. This aspect is particularly relevant if you have your tech stack preferences or limitations which exclude the usage of some technologies in your project.
  • Experience – there are cases when the new outsourcing company does a marvelous job. However, if you want to ensure quality, it might be safer to pick a partner with experience in similar projects.
  • Project methodology – if you work with a particular methodology on a daily basis, it might be hard to switch to another. If you go for a team extension, check which one the team has been working with – Scrum, Kanban, waterfall… Even if they declare flexibility, their experience determines how fast you will be capable of launching the project.
  • Project organization – does the company provide you with a detailed plan of steps and phases in case you pick end-to-end development? What does the quoting look like? What are the tools you will use to communicate with the software team? Make sure to get answers to these questions before starting your cooperation.

We hope that these tips will land you a perfect partner – good luck!

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