Software development is strategically essential in our digital economy. There is more pressure than ever for IT departments to remain responsive to business needs. Unfortunately, many development projects fail due to a variety of factors. To combat this issue, companies have begun outsourcing these projects to outside software development teams.

Businesses must remain agile forcing IT departments to be responsive to business needs.

Why Outsource Your Software Development Team?

Software development projects fail at a high rate due to a variety of factors. These factors are rooted in project execution problems that stem from larger developer and organizational challenges. Outsourcing your software development team helps to combat the following issues:

  • Developer shortage: There are simply not enough developers available to handle all the software development projects out there and demand continues to outpace the graduation rate of computer science majors.
  • Skills gap: Developers often lack the skills they need to complete their projects.
  • Organizational issues: Many development teams don’t have the organizational maturity to handle complex or additional IT projects. Without this managerial bandwidth, it’s hard for teams to reach a consensus and to manage project expectations.
  • Budget limitations: As with any project, budgets are often a limiting factor. A survey of 200 IT decisionmakers found that 19.7% stated limited budget as the top obstacle for project implementation.

Outsourcing your software development team is an easy way to combat many of the common issues that cause development projects to fail.

Choosing an Approach for your Outsourced Software Development Team

Once you have decided to outsource your software development team, there are some implementation options to consider.

  • Complete project outsourcing: Some organizations choose to completely outsource the entire project to an outside team. This can be the ideal solution depending on the project type and existing organizational structure.
  • Team as a Service (TaaS): A complex project often cannot just be handed to an outside source because it requires lots of collaboration between your existing infrastructure and the development project. A “team as a service” acts as an extension of your team – adding team members with the right skills, at the right time and in the right place. Extending your team rather than simply adding an entirely new one is an ideal way to support collaboration.

How to Find the Right Partner: What to Look for in an Outsourced Software Development Team

To successfully outsource your software development team and scale software development within your organization you need more than just a highly experienced provider. You need a partner who can match your company culture and processes. That’s priority #1.

What else?

  • Risk sharing with fixed prices: Many organizations purchase their development service on a “time and materials” basis. However, this model is flawed. Teams that get paid by the hour have very little incentive to work efficiently. A fixed pricing model will align your development partner’s interests more closely with your own by incentivizing them to:
    • Have the right people assigned to the project from the beginning
    • Do a more robust initial analysis
    • Provide more accurate budgeting and scheduling estimates
    • Automate and use standardized processes more often
  • An engaged senior team: Senior team members can make all the difference in project success. These experienced individuals are more likely to have the emotional maturity it takes to successfully engage with critical business stakeholders.
  • Matching technologies: There is no such thing as “generic” software development. It is all associated with specific tools, platforms, and processes. You want to find a service provider who is skilled in the technologies your organization already uses.
  • Experience: Having a provider experienced in your project type is a no brainer – but you also want a provider who has experience in a range of customer projects, types, and sizes beyond your immediate requirements.
  • Flexible team deployment: Find a provider who can physically deploy staff as needed. Sometimes the physical location of your team is critical to project success and sometimes it isn’t. Look for a provider that can provide onsite, onshore/offsite, nearshore, and offshore staff depending on the project needs.
  • Transparent project management: All project details should be readily available to you and your team, without requiring a time-consuming deep dive. Make sure you have the accessibility and visibility into the project that you need – projects operated in a “black box” mode of project management fail at a much higher rate than ones that are transparent.
  • Automation and efficiency: Find a partner who utilizes automated process to improve efficiency and understands best practices associated with automation tools. Automation speeds up software development processes and makes it more economical while also reducing human error.
  • On-demand scalability: The optimal outsourced software development team can function under the TaaS model. It operates like a personnel utility – as you require more members– staff appear. As developers finish their tasks they return to the provider pool.

Want more information about finding the right outsourced software development team?

We wrote an entire eBook that includes all the nitty gritty details of how to find the right software development team. Download Successfully Scaling Software Development with Teams as a Service (TaaS).

Or if you’re ready to on-board a new team for your next project try out our TaaS pricing calculator for a pricing estimate and give us a call at 630-870-1936 to discuss all the specifics.