It can be a challenge to find and hire qualified developers, however, many development projects are well-suited to an outsourcing model. Your organization could outsource an entire project or work collaboratively using a team extension. This ensures that you can add team members with the right skills at the right time and in the right place to successfully complete your software development project.

Choosing the right outsourced team and vendor is not as easy as it might sound. Gartner reports, “Choosing the right <team> is challenging for many organizations as 40% of them report their sourcing team is not sufficiently experienced in selecting these providers.”

40% of organizations find that they don’t have the experience required to sufficiently select an outsourced service provider.

What to Look for In Your Service Provider

You need a provider that is not only experienced but is also able to work well within your organizational structure and deliver what you expect on time. We’ve found that by looking for the following factors in your outsourced service provider, you are more likely to successfully complete even the most complicated software development projects.

Experience

This may seem obvious, but your outsourced development team needs to have experience in a range of areas:

  • Senior team members: You want to make sure your team extension includes senior members that have the experience needed to engage and work with your business stakeholders. This is a critical factor in development project success.
  • Required technologies: You also want to be sure that your outsourced team has experience using your required technologies. There is no such thing as “generic” software development. Every project uses specific tools and you want your provider to work with your organization. The best providers will understand your requirements and be able to deliver using the tools you require.
  • Customer types and sizes: Software development is a critical component of almost every business, so requirements vary from project to project in terms of size, needs, and style. You want your provider to have experience across a range of customer types and sizes not just clients that look exactly like you. After all, startups can learn from enterprises and vice versa. A provider with lots of experience will be able to cross-fertilize relevant best practices.

It’s not just project experience. The right service provider will have experienced senior team members working on your team, understand how to use a range of technologies, and be able to use best practices to serve your project needs.

Willingness to Share Risk

Many outsourcing organizations operate on a time and materials model – but this model is flawed. When operating under this model the interests of the provider and customer are miss-aligned.

Instead, look for a service provider who is confident enough to bid on your project using a fixed price model. In this model, the provider and customer share risk in whatever execution issues that might arise. Plus, it encourages the provider to thoroughly scope the project from the start and assign the right people to the job the first time so it can be completed correctly and efficiently.

Flexible Team Deployment Options and Scalability

Find an outsourced service provider that can provide the type of team that you need. Some projects require on-site teams, while others don’t.  Of course, the question is usually more nuanced than just “onsite vs. offsite” with onshore, nearshore, and fully offshore options being more or less appropriate depending upon the project.

Find a provider who can supply a team where and when you need them – whether that’s in-person or off-site.

The best solution is to find a provider that offers a hybrid model that allows you to cycle between team options depending on the type of project and with the ability to scale up or down according to your needs. This way the team extension can act as a personnel utility – as team members are needed they appear and when they are done they go back to the provider.

Transparent Project Management

A service provider should be ready and willing to make all project management details available to the client without requiring them to deep dive into the specifics. Many providers still maintain a “black box” approach to project management. This means their team takes the requirements and returns with finished code – while you have no insight into their processes or status while they work. This can be a recipe for disaster for standard projects and when working with fast-paced methods like agile and DevOps, a lack of full transparency should be a non-starter.

An outsource software development team should be ready and willing to make all project management details readily available to the client.

Automation and Efficiency

Software development works well with automated processes. Look for a provider who has experience utilizing automation tools to help them increase efficiency. Some outsourced firms respond to project demands by throwing people at IT problems. If they are operating on a time and materials model – this is profitable for them but wastes your time and money.

A provider who is committed to risk sharing through a fixed price model will typically favor automation. It makes the software development faster and more economical while reducing human error.

Be wary of developers who shy away from automation.

It’s All About What You Need

There are many elements to consider while looking for an outsourced software development team. Some of these factors may be more or less important based on your unique needs, but we find that this is a good starting point of requirements. It’s also about finding that right fit and “Je ne sais quois”. Find a prospective partner who is willing and excited to work with you and who truly believes joint successes is the only measure of true success.

Ready to Find a Partner for Your Next Software Development Project?

We provide team extensions using a Team as a Service model. Whether you want an onsite, offsite, or hybrid team we can help you spin off innovation in your startup or enterprise company. Contact us about setting up a team for your next project.

Need to convince someone else about the utility of on-demand developers? 

Download and share our eBook Successfully Scaling Software Development with Teams as a Service (TaaS).