Questions to consider for outsourcing software development

Serengeti

Business

30.09.2020.

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Business continuity has been a big theme during COVID and will continue to be a big theme afterward. Because this year has been so crazy for so many, we’ve seen a bigger push by companies into software development outsourcing. Some of the big reasons including speed to market, flexibility, cost structure, and more. 

OK, so let’s say you are considering turning to an outsourcing partner for some of your software development needs. We have previously put together a checklist on what to look for in outsourcing partners (can link if you want here), but now we want to try something else: what questions should you consider asking an outsourcing partner to vet whether they can do your software development projects and work on your timelines, with your existing team? (Or serve as your team for software development.)

Here are some of the big (and some small) questions to start with

Expertise

  • What languages can the partner work in?

  • What coding languages does the partner show expertise in?

  • What industries have they worked in?

  • How experienced are their team members?

  • Can you see examples of projects they’ve completed?

  • Can you see the professional background of the developers that would work on your projects?

  • Are they more of order-takers to complete projects on time, or do they have a history of helping drive strategy and new products for their partners?

  • What is the background of the leadership team?

  • How long have they been in business?

  • What types of clients have they had so far?

Working model

  • We are all remote right now because of COVID, but what is the working model?

    • Does the partner blend into your team?

    • Do they work on some parts of a sprint/some stories while your team works on other parts?

  • How will the in-house team and the outsourced software development team communicate?

  • Who will be the leaders of the communication process?

  • Can they interact before the contract is signed?

  • What are the general timelines and expectations?

  • What issues have you had with outsourcing before, and can this partner speak to those concerns with collaborating? 

  • How comfortable is this partner with a team spread out across Europe or the globe? 

  • Who can you talk to if you think the relationship isn’t working well? Do you have access to the CEO of the outsourcing partner, or would it be a project manager?

Pricing

  • What pricing model does the outsourcing partner use? (link to pricing article when it’s posted)

  • How does it compare to other partners?

  • Beyond just cost, is the value there? 

  • What happens if the scope changes?

  • What happens if you want a refund because of quality?

  • What would the cost look like at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months?

These are some questions to be thinking about when you start discussions with a software development outsourcing partner. It will help you get the best quality team, most expertise, best collaboration, and best cost/value position that you can.

Consult our checklist that can help you choose an outsourcing partner:

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