Setting Expectations For Your Outsourced Development Team

Gimena Aguerreberry
September 1, 2021

In today’s software world, outsourced development teams are becoming standard. Startups utilize them to minimize initial investment costs. Large organizations leverage them so in-house developers can focus on more high-value tasks, reduce development costs, or provide expertise the company doesn’t already have in-house.

Increasing productivity, improving product quality, and saving costs are only a few of the benefits software development outsourcing has to offer. You won’t successfully outsource IT development without thorough planning, though, so having a solid outsourcing strategy is the first step toward hiring a vendor to cater to your needs.

When it comes to project management, a lot of dedicated software developers and similar service providers have their own unique perspectives. Companies have endless options which, although beneficial, can make it quite difficult to filter out and select an outsourced software developer—especially if you don’t have an idea of what to expect from them.

Having the right software development partner is a key factor in the success of your IT project. To help you find the best one for you, check out these tips on how to properly set expectations for your software developer.

1. Effective communication is Paramount

Setting expectations is a conversation, but don’t be surprised if the team tries to set the dynamic. Likely, the software development team will try to set the tone and pace of the relationship. They don’t do this because they want to control the relationship, but because they typically have experience in this type of relationship.

Outsourcing companies are hired by managers like yourself far more often than you hire outside teams. In many cases, it’s smart to heed their advice about how these relationships work.

That said, don’t be afraid to tell if you aren’t comfortable. Do you want more updates? Shorter delivery intervals? Communicate these concerns early so the team can agree to your expectations or explain why they can’t.

By ensuring there is continuous communication between you and your outsourced software developer, you eliminate the risk of misunderstandings that could otherwise compromise your project.

2. Set clear parameters & clarify project objectives.

The more the team members understand about the project, the better equipped they will be to design and develop the necessary software. This is why clarity is crucial throughout the whole project, from beginning to end.

One of the first things you should do with an outsourced team is giving them a foundational explanation of why you’re building the new application. This conversation typically hovers around user needs and business goals.

By making user needs and business goals part of the conversation, you help the relationship focus on performance outcomes rather than shallow measurements.

3. UI and UX should be a priority.

Business owners/managers need to know whether or not the software company can do justice to their promise and meet consumer demands. Of course, they also need to improve the overall end users’ experience at every touchpoint. User Interface and User Experience should be taken seriously if you want to build up your brand image and loyalty.

4. Check their track record.

Always do your research before you commit to anything. Find out if they have developed any similar software for other companies, or delivered to clients that belong to the same industry as yours.

How was their performance? Did the previous client have positive feedback? You can reach out to their past clients and ask for comments or references concerning your software developer.

5. Expectations for Yourself

Finally, it’s important to set some expectations for yourself. That is, lay out what the outside development team can expect from you.

Clearly define the role you expect to play as the project owner. Will you play a critical part in planning the project’s roadmap, or will you be more hands-off? How will you contribute when the team needs help?

Most importantly, set an expectation to transfer as much knowledge to the outside development team as possible

Conclusion - Setting Expectations For Your Outsourced Development Team

Your outside development team is a valuable resource that can help you meet your goals. By setting clear expectations at the beginning of your relationship, you create a strong foundation for a successful endeavor that culminates in a quality product that meets your needs.

"Setting Expectations For Your Outsourced Development Team" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Mimi Thian

Categorized under software development.

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