4 Things Your Software Development Team Wish You Knew

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In our six years of experience as a software development provider, we have noticed that lots of the companies who go into outsourcing tend to have limited experience in dealing with third-party providers. This lack of experience can often lead to miscommunication if the provider doesn’t guide the company in the course of the outsourcing relationship.

Miscommunication, as we all know, causes delays in the accomplishment of the project and will require additional expenses from the outsourcing company. While some miscommunication issues could be blamed on the provider, many are caused by the client’s unrealistic expectation.

If you want to establish a productive working relationship with your outsourced software development team, you need to know what to expect. Here are four things that software development firms like Arcanys wished clients knew.

1. We can’t always give you the exact cost and time delivery of your project.

Clients with no outsourcing experience have this habit of asking for a clear-cut budget and timeline for the project. While we understand that this helps you project the Return on Investment and plan for the release of the product, this is just not possible in a lot of cases.

Honest developers won’t commit to an exact project cost and deadline unless the project is extremely well defined (and this doesn’t happen so often). There are too many factors to consider, and too many moving targets to keep an eye on if the client wants to allow himself to change his mind along the way. But, what most providers can do for you is specify the cost and give you milestones as the project progresses.

In some cases, if the client can provide the complete requirements with no room for interpretation, we can give a fixed price for the project.

With Arcanys, you will get a thorough analysis organized into user stories and estimated in a very detailed way. You will also know the ideal team size, project duration (in weeks), cost, architectural plan, as well as recommendations on the technologies. All of these can only be provided as soon as the requirements phase or design phase is done.

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2. Our performance and the final product is a result of our combined efforts.

Outsourcing is a two-way relationship. Before complaining about a sub-standard product, you must first ask yourself if you constantly monitored the project, if you gave a definite set of requirements, or if you gave quick decisions during the development. Not all of the blame can be placed on just one party.

This is also a reminder that you can’t just hand off the project requirements and wait until it’s done. As a client, you need to be involved in the project from the initiation phase up to the closing phase.

During the initiation phase, project objectives are identified. In the planning phase, the project requirements, limitations, budget, and timeline are set. Then, during the implementation phase or the actual development, progress is continuously monitored, and adjustments are made and recorded. Lastly, evaluation is conducted to find out if the product meets the original objective and to identify areas for improvement.

Notice that each step of software project management heavily relies on client involvement. Companies that mainly outsource parts of their operations understand this. That’s why, over the years, they have developed their own standards and systems in outsourcing.

Although most providers already have processes and systems in place, these are not enough to keep the project running smoothly. You must be proactive in managing the project. This includes communicating whether you want to change the direction of some aspects of your project in the middle of the development and predicting issues that can arise and affect the software.

Another issue that affects the performance of development firms is the speed of the decision-making on the client’s side. As the experts in your business domain, you are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the necessary adjustments to be done. Accelerated decision-making helps reduce bottlenecks in the development and improve the productivity of the team.

3. Adding more people to the project won’t (always) make the development faster.

We’ve encountered many clients who have asked us to add more developers to their project thinking that work will be completed faster. They assumed that having more talent means that the team will benefit from having more expertise. But, the opposite is true.

Ever heard of the adage “too many cooks spoil the broth?” When too many people are involved in a task, chances are, it will not be done properly, regardless of how talented each member is.

In fact, more people leads to more friction. In Arcanys’ case, for every developer added, we lose a reasonable 10% of our efficiency resulting in a less agile workflow. When it comes to deciding on the team size, the primary consideration should be the amount of tasks that needs to be completed, and the time frame to do it.

At Arcanys, you can get a team of dedicated developers where each member complements the strengths and weaknesses of one another. This ensures that we’re maximizing your available resources.

4. You can always ask for our advice.

Aside from the actual software development service, you are also paying for our expertise. This is our core competency, so you are always welcome to ask for advice when you need it.

You will benefit from our team’s years of experience working with various clients. Chances are, we’ve dealt with companies similar to yours, so we know what your software development needs are. We can also give some business advice on how you can manage your startup company whatever stage you are in since we are multiple time entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

In addition, we’re continuously updating our skill sets to ensure that you’re getting the best pieces of advice in your industry.

Establishing a productive working relationship with your software development team is a major step toward project success. It all starts with having a clear set of objectives that is properly communicated to the team. This should always include the key decision makers and end users.

A clear process must be followed, and every detail must be accounted for to ensure that all expectations are met. Any problems that might arise along the way must be addressed immediately. Those involved in the project must also have a good understanding of what a successful end result looks like.

You can get the highest quality of service if you take the time to get to know the outsourced team you’re working with. Keep these tips in mind the next time you talk to them, and you’re well on your way towards building a reliable partner that you can rely on for years to come.

As former clients and now as providers, Arcanys knows the expectations of both sides – making us the perfect partner for your next software project. Talk to us today to find out how we can make your software vision a reality.

About the author

Frédéric Joye Frederic Joye is a technology entrepreneur and startup investor, with an extensive background in helping businesses grow and succeed on the web. Frederic is Co-Founder at Arcanys, an accelerator specialized in developing high quality software with a strong focus on innovation for startups primarily from the US, Europe and Australia.