Outsourcing software development offshore has been popular among companies since 2018. Although the outsourcing market claims a great value on shifting development overseas, this method has its set of pros and cons that could either increase or decrease your project cost. Just like in-house software development, overseas transactions have common critical issues that companies should know about.
Whether to see these common issues as pros or cons depends on the project manager’s perspective. However, if the issues are completely overlooked, the consequences of the decision may become pivotal for the project and for the company as a whole.
Lack of a risk assessment or risk assessment plans
Outsourcing software development overseas creates problems such as the lack of risk assessment plans. A lack of risk assessment means that the team is not ready for problems and the troubles of the project in the long run. It could be hard to detect the main causes and analyze solutions when risk assessment is poor or completely lacking.
Lack of awareness on local laws on intellectual property
Your team will be sharing ideas and confidential files with the team offshore. Not knowing the scale of the area’s local laws is risky ignorance. If not foreseen, all your designs, symbols, trade details, and inventions could be in peril if you cannot protect your intellectual property in a place where you have zero ideas about the present policies.
No clear definition of the project requirements and deliverables
When the specific and measurable deliverables and requirements are unclear, it’s like sailing without a map. Since the development is overseas, the scope of work can appear blurry with poor communication. Even in-house software development teams need to have accurate information about where the project is going — all the more when working with overseas developers.
Not measuring key performance indicators
The challenge of monitoring and using key performance indicators to run the project is tripled when the development team is offshore. KPIs such as cumulative flow, sprint burndown, velocity, code coverage, and test automation can be overlooked and condoned.
Not understanding the timeframes working across timezones
Software development overseas means that teams will be working in different timezones. If the team has trouble understanding the timeframes, it may be impossible to maintain a proactive approach and manage the process upfront.
Lack of training on the product line or service expectations
With firm and adequate virtual planning, this issue is off your plate. Otherwise, the most important expectations are at serious risk if the provider is not well oriented to the product line’s critical elements. Meeting the investors’ service expectations is what fuels the company in any business.
Underestimating the effort needed to have all legal agreements in place
Remember that this is not a face-to-face arrangement. So the only solid evidence of the partnership is the legal agreement. Other teams underestimate the effort to have such documents in place. However, having legal agreements and documents aligned helps the team ensure that the project is going well as originally planned.
Inadequate prototype development plans
A prototype tells the status of development and lets you know if it is advancing in the right direction. It is a step closer to finalizing the designed product. Hence, this particular area of software development is critical in both in-house and offshore outsourcing. When the requirement is unclear, the key elements of the prototype can be highly affected.
Failure to set milestones and clear deliverables
The one strong factor behind every global software development outsourcing assignment is the failure to set milestones and clear deliverables. In this case, the team should have frequent discussions in order to aid the gaps and fill the necessary blocks for the project. Tracking progress is even harder to pull off since there’s no intelligible goal to achieve.
Lack of a feedback loop to inﬂuence outcomes
A feedback loop concept for innovation is imperative for software development teams to ensure that the outcomes, proposals, and influences of the whole project are intact. It is an internal review of the user function, systems, teams, and the rest of the factors that compose the development process.
Outsourcing software development overseas is beneficial, considering that it offers cost-effective and quality approaches. The common issues listed above are the subtle red flags that you must be aware of, to help your team assess the setup with precaution and conduct active decision making.