5 Quick Tips Before Outsourcing Mobile Application Development
Mobile has undoubtedly taken over the digital yardstick and is a global trendsetter. Businesses, small and medium alike, are incorporating mobile technology into their strategies.
Many companies have amazing app ideas but they lack the skillset and resources to develop applications in-house.
So, as they say, “When in doubt…outsource”!
Outsourcing is popular for being convenient, reducing costs and providing flexibility to companies. It injects your app in the market fluently, without wasting much time, effort and money.
Outsourcing mobile app development for many companies will produce cost effective results most of the time, but having a dispersed team can result in several issues which can potentially affect the quality of the end product. This is because someone else is controlling and having a greater command on the development process.
Be sure to spend a lot of time researching and contemplating before outsourcing. It is very important for companies to reach an early consensus on whether outsourcing is right for them or not and to understand the pros and cons of outsourcing.
Here’s a list of things to consider before outsourcing mobile application development to help avoid trouble. These practices will save your energy and time, and protect your efforts from being undone.
i- Make sure your requirements are understood
Project requirements and expectations should be clearly stated at the very beginning. It is very important as it allows contractors to stay in accordance and keep track of time. The development process should not be rushed into initiation. There is ample time available for any company to understand your requirements before they begin on the project. Break it down into details and specifications, document the process into targets-to-be-achieved and goals so that it becomes clear and easier for the hired team to function.
The developers need to understand everything about your app. When laying out objectives, consider specifying and prioritizing the features that you want the most. Optional features can wait.
The contractors must be aware of your main goals and have a clear image of what is it that you actually want.
ii- Technological Differences — Staying Up-to-Date
The resources and technological capabilities of an outsourcing company might not be as advanced as of application developers in the more advanced countries, or they may not have similar means to creating apps. Trends in app designs are dynamic and always changing with newer styles emerging. Not adapting to the changing times and failing to adopt the latest gadgetry will push you behind the times and put your development at risk.
iii- Have Centralized, Focused Teams
Clearly demand a centralized and focused team which is dedicated to providing the most appropriate solutions because a group working on multiple assignments might imperil your app’s direction and detract it. Individual expertise levels on the team can vary and have no significance as long as they are working as a dedicated team, headed by a supervisor or manager. The manager is responsible for acting as a spokesperson for the team and relaying its performance.
Having a dedicated team will also help you determine the levels of support you need when you look to create unique cases, integrate applications to deliver cloud-to-cloud services and shorten application development cycle.
iv- Communication Barriers
Communication barriers are one of the biggest hindrances in outsourcing. Being unable to see in person the amount of work being done is upsetting. Language barriers and time differences can also disrupt the process of communication between companies and teams. To keep companies coming back for more products, there should be a sense of personal trust between the outsourcer and outsourced.
The contractor should also feel a sense of independence, especially when asking for questions. An open communication channel ensures that all miscommunications and failures are minimized or eradicated all together, especially if the contractor is offshore.
Expect punctuality; clearly convey your deadlines to the contractors. If they’re offshore, review everything at a later time and leave notes for them to check afterwards. Tender reminders will also help. For local developers, regular meetings can be held to facilitate the feedback process and assist in a speedy development of the app.
Different time zones can also become a major communication barrier when you require timely updates or feedback to complete a work cycle. Having domestic workers or people within the same time zone helps a lot and keeps the communication cycle flowing. This way, providing ease of access becomes convenient for your development team.
v- Design and Test Issues
Knowledge sharing between you and the development team is very important to the designing, developing and testing process. This is important because it caters to customer specific needs but when you’re outsourcing to teams outside your region, you’re prone to receive functionality which is local to that region. Many times, these ‘odd’ functionalities can disinterest the customers and lower their expectations.
Also, the design is crucial to how the end product appeals to the customer. Most companies want to supervise the design/style process themselves but when depending on external developers, this process can be a complete fiasco.
Apps also require extensive testing at all phases of development. Demand prototypes from contractors before the product is finished, to test-drive yourself. Rigorous in-house testing ensures that there are no bugs when the final product is launched. Also, the code should be designed as such to facilitate future requirements and updates.
Expect impactful user experiences and interfaces to drive higher adoption rates. Insist upon having responsive designs, high end performance and glaring features.