Tips On How To Set Expectations For An Outsourced Software Developers Team

Engaging expert talent is one aspect of building quality software. A good strategy for managing your outsourced software development team is the other. Just as you have certain expectations from your team, 

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Nitin Nijhawan, CDOicon

Engaging expert talent is one aspect of building quality software. A good strategy for managing your outsourced software development team is the other. Just as you have certain expectations from your team, they too will require clarity on requirements, deliverables and communication. Use these tips to put together a strong strategy for running your outsourced team and maximizing results from your software development consulting dollars.

How to manage an outsourced software development team for the best results 

The benefit of defining your engagement strategy is that you can use it as many times as needed across all your IT projects. Documenting the strategy is useful to make modifications that might become necessary as your experience working with offshore software development services grows.


1. Clarify roles and responsibilities

A traditional development team has distinct roles – product owners, project manager, team lead, full-stack developer, front-end developer, backend developer, tester, UI and UX designers – and a hierarchical system. Still, specifying who does what and reports to whom is essential. For a self-managing scrum development team, assign someone experienced to guide and oversee members.


2. Explain your workflows and best practices

If you’re taking the hybrid approach, bring outsourced developers on par with your team in terms of the coding best practices, tech stack, programming tools and design patterns you use. On the other hand, if you’re relying entirely on the software outsourcing company, reiterate your software development workflow, preferred working style, and anything else you believe will help the team align with your expectations.


3. Ensure everyone understands project scope

A lack of clarity on deliverables, timelines, schedules, parameters and other details will likely derail your project. The resulting wasted efforts and resources will also call your motive into question. You can avoid these repercussions by preparing a statement of work containing all project details, and a software requirement specification document describing product functionality and specific requirements that the team should know.

4. Have a robust communication strategy 

Offshore software development services adopt tools for effective communication of dev teams with client team members. It’s a matter of using tools like  Slack workplace, Trello board or other tool, and you’re set. That said, you should take the lead in deciding the regularity of online communications, meetings and performance evaluations. Also think how best you can use a positive yet assertive communication style to build mutual respect and keep everyone on the same page.

5. Check certifications and accreditations

A cardinal mistake in software development consulting is assuming that the outsourced talent knows everything you think they should know. It can lead to problems once the project is underway, and fester if you have a hands-off approach. So, do check the company’s credentials and accreditations, as well as the certifications and skills of your outsourced development team members. If possible, conduct live sessions with them for confirmations and questions.

6. Be transparent

A less discussed aspect of setting expectations when engaging a software development outsourcing company relates to the client’s obligation to state any issue or problem that may arise just before work has commenced or after it. A seemingly small problem may snowball into a major unanticipated issue, catching the development team off-guard. By disclosing the issue early on, the team may be able to suggest a solution or workaround.

7. Put security-related assurances in place

Just as you’re expected to be honest about project vision and scope, so should your development team, particularly with regard to keeping some of your information, such as an innovative product concept or employee information, secret. Here’s where a non-disclosure agreement comes in. Depending on the nature of your project, you can consider adding a non-compete clause that prevents your team from helping your competitors.

8. Instill the importance of performance

You’re paying good money to hire software developers. Get the output you desire by setting expectations on performance and what happens if they aren’t met. Depending upon your software development approach, you may be able to set milestones and interim goals. This apart, consider quick daily meetings to address questions and get updates. And don’t wait to escalate frequent inconsistencies to your software development outsourcing company.

9. Document everything

Instructions, requirements and feedback can get lost in emails and messages. Documenting key communications and creating meeting minutes using relevant tools will allow for quick reference and remedial action, if needed. It can also help avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts. If any verbal directive or assurance is important enough to be documented for everyone’s understanding and acceptance, it should be done.

10. Make cooperation a priority

Businesses understand that when outsourcing to software development companies, they must take language and cultural differences into account for effective and respectful engagement. In case you’re hiring dedicated developers who speak a different first language, it’s worth understanding how best you can communicate with them, without letting the language barrier get in the way.

Bonus tip: Ask if they can create a unique solution 

A custom software development company is an excellent bet to build products and services that make a difference to your business, whether in terms of improving performance, establishing a foothold or enhancing your competitiveness. Be sure of the type of talent you will require for your project. Also overstate the importance of building a unique product (if this is what you want) rather than a replica of a successful existing software.

Meet your goals with a smart outsourced team management strategy

Setting expectations early and identifying the right expectations to set goes a long way in creating a smooth path to end-to-end software development, no matter where your team is located. It requires work, but your effort will be worth it when you consider how your product turns out as well as your overall experience working with the software development consulting firm.

Read here for the top strategies for outsourcing software development.

Admittedly, you will have an easier time partnering with a technology company that has experience providing outsourced software development in your industry. They’re also likely to be digital-forward with technological depth, which can be an asset if you plan to retain them for future projects.

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