Outsourcing Software development is an approach known to all IT departments – and implied by many. According to some of the discussions with business and IT leaders, it was found that some organizations have attempted to use outsourced software development, but the results were displeasing and – sometimes catastrophic. In this blog, we will discuss the root cause of the issues that were not general to the decision to outsource nor caused by the outsourcing partner but rather caused by in-house organization factors that ultimately barred success.
Management Risks – This is introduced when management does not make the grade to ensure that software development goals are chased with clarity, intentionality, and a healthy team.
Technology Risks – Despite all the choices, we finally see that regardless of the choice of an outsourcing partner, risks are initiated by flawed elements of the technology planning and tools.
Each of these 2 fields has different areas of risk. In this article, we’ll examine the risks most commonly seen inside all two dimensions of a software development project, or any technological project.
Technology Risk #1: Inadequate Skills
It’s astonishing how many times we discover that an outsourcing partner has not been appropriately vetted: verifying that the team has the obligatory skills and experience to be successful. Functional experience, ongoing training, industry, and Certifications are all parts that should be kept in mind for your company’s due-diligence before going to contract. The question should be asked, do outsourced stakeholders team members have the precise technical skills? There should be obvious work knowledge and references provided to exhibit that the languages and means needed are part of the third party’s foundation ability.
Is industry or upright knowledge part of the essential skill set you need from an outsourcing partner? Be definite that your chosen software outsourcing collaborator has knowledge with developing solutions that reasonably counterparts your business context.
Technology Risk #2: Defined Operations
Driving energy behind the materialization of DevOps was the renowned gap between applications and IT infrastructure. These two parts must work well together during expansion and consumption. An effective way to get work done is when you add a software development outsourcer into the mix. However, it also adds a level of complexity to the project.
How will the software be specialized for the planned target platform – and “Who” will do it? Make sure both you and your outsourcing partner are aware of the shared responsibilities for testing the software.
Technology Risk #3: Effective Design
Do the blueprint elements of the system properly address the business goals? It’s surprising how often we find that deficient consideration has been taken to guarantee that alignment exists. For example, will this stunning new web application be out of order on day 2 of go-live when users try to start it on mobile devices? The design must impel the solution to attain the core business goals as saying goes “Form must follow function”. Poor alignment of design and business objective is a massive hazard factor to be avoided.
Technology Risk #4: Quality Assurance
The pace of agile development and the opportunity to arrange code to production rapidly – may create a temptation to fail to notice, or reduce, the need for adequate quality assurance.
Is requirement analysis procedure is in place and understood by both parties? Are they strong enough? Are the principles for the software clearly understood? A software outsourcer may not have a suitable understanding of what QA steps are expected or even demanded (by policy or government regulation). It’s very vital that expectations for superiority assurance practices are established in advance and “You” as the customer have the satisfactory responsibility to set those potentials.
Technology Risk #5: Technical Debt
Outsourcing software projects can be easily made safer, smarter and faster. Many times, we see companionships with large logs of traffic of software development or other technology requirements. This “technical debt” can run the length of much-needed functionality to stay spirited in the market and for advanced software version which is required to keep a critical application competent of being supported.
Corporations sometimes come across that their attempts to incrementally decrease their backlog can be described as “essential but not ample”. The speed of the planned change will not shift the company to a sufficiently better situation. In these cases, technical arrears must be addressed in thorough ways: accelerating alter through influenced outsourcing partners, “leapfrogs” of functionality or technical stands, for example.
Examine carefully your company’s technical traffic area of software. Is there a doorsill for a tolerable level of technical arrear? Is there a procedure in place to pay it off? Ask yourself “If there is going to be an impact in paying back your technical debt by this development project?”
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What is Management Risk?
At a meta-level, administration risk is jeopardy that’s introduced because the individual(s) ultimately accountable for stewarding the software development project fails to ensure that superior structure and team dynamics exist. Without first-class management practices, or else feasible software development project using an outsourcing partner becomes like an aimless drifting ship at sea: the likelihood of attaining the project goals are going to the currents of chance.
A nowadays circumstance which aggravates this type of risk is the growing implementation of highly iterative development methodologies such as Agile. After years of embracing classic waterfall and iterative methodologies, many project teams have discarded this approach to software development projects. Generally, the underlying principle is that an inflexible, bottom-up, unidirectional progression of software design and develop is unproductive. The evolution away from the waterfall is lucid and suitable, but what’s sometimes left behind is a promise to progress tracking, clear milestones, etc. Paradoxically, pace and litheness versus good process and arrangement are NOT mutually exclusive — you can have it all.
Management Risk #1 – Unrealistic Expectations
Any manager with knowledge in contractual associations knows that divergences can arise over contractual compulsions. Habitually, there’s an anticipation of one party which doesn’t counterpart the actions of the new party. “Well, what was planned by that part of the agreement is…” has been said time and time again.
The “grey area” of prospects and assumptions are typically where danger occurs. Rational parties working jointly can usually find an edible compromise – but impractical expectations can disrupt the relationship. How do impractical prospect surface? Reason and effect of postponed decisions: We see patrons take a very rigid line on due dates or cost without considering to the delays they caused because of low participation in the creative process. Don’t assume that you’re outsourcing partner can “make up for lost time”.
Management Risk #2 – Unfocused Leadership
Leader manages projects, direct crucial work division, and make sure industry rules are infused into a program system. In an ideal world, all organizers are willing – and able – to pay attention to the software development project as the main concern. But that’s not always the case.
From time to time the “precise” customers – based on acquaintance or skill – are allocated to a project, but the obligation doesn’t take into account the need for alert attention on the project. Have other business main concerns have been properly factored into what may land on this person’s plate? Sporadically, we do see distracted project managers. For a multiplicity of reasons, including opposing priorities, a project manager may be “posting it in” — not implementing work progress against a plan, not keeping a pace of status reporting, not following project metrics, or not managing good change control.
Management Risk #3 – Unclear Milestones
In the splendor days of pure iterative methodology projects, “Go Live” was the sole “Big Bang” event. In these days of a waterfall and continuous deployment using methodologies like Agile, milestones need to be tremendously clear.
Lacking obvious and clearly corresponded milestones, partners can create superfluous confusion if they voice that a software release is “missing something” that was never proposed for the current iteration liberation. On the other hand, indistinct milestones also depart open a chance to miss a characteristic in the sequence of production discharges.
Management Risk #4 – Lack of Team Interaction
High-quality communication has always been significant in software development projects. Iterative methods of development and deployment like a waterfall, multi-geographical teams, numerous time zones, and a velocity that can edge on frenetic means good communication is a vital core competency of the project team. Procedures and collaborative technologies must approach together in graceful ways to ensure that the constant back-and-forth handoff between participants is seamless and low-risk.
Outsourcing of software is confirmed as an effectual strategy, but for many organizations, it introduces a new dynamic for successful collaboration. When “walking down the lane” simply is not an alternative, it’s dangerous that the project leaders create clear constructs for efficient communication. Usual, effective rank meetings are vital. Believe the uses of tools that augment collaboration – and permit all team members to see “at a glance” what the progress of all tasks is.
Management Risk #5 – Weak Processes
Knowledge can never conquer bad procedure in a software development plan. In fact, the pace that technology brings will basically choke down a project abrupt in bad implementation methods – or cause the project to go faster “into the ditch” at a high rate of velocity. The paths and measures to be used by the project must be fully implicit by the company and the outsourcing seller – and each side must be effortless and diligent in the use of the methods over the life of the project.
Be Risk Reluctant
The course of deploying and developing application software is complex. Although working with a software outsourcing partner has plentiful benefits, it also adds difficulty to the project. Don’t allow the potential for failure or suboptimal completion to creep in by ignoring signs of technology risk in your project.
Be risk reluctant! Be gravely self-aware of these risk areas and take steps to alleviate the risks or steer clear of them completely.
If thinking about Software development outsourcing gives you severe headaches, it’s time to consult the specialists and execute it to perfection.
In a global market awash with world-class developers (and some not-so-great developers), finding the RIGHT ones for your enterprise/startup may seem impossible if you decide to search on your own.