How to Avoid The Greatest Problems in Outsourcing Software Development

Thinh Tat - CEO & Co-founder of EZtek - explains the top problems that businesses often encounter and how they can avoid these issues to ensure the success of their next development project.

It is hard to deny the great benefits of software outsourcing services for businesses of all sizes but to apply it in reality is a real challenge. For most of the businesses that come to outsourcing software development as a try-and-see, failure is such a predicted result. 

Choosing the right outsourcing partner is extremely important!

Working with an experienced and highly-valued software outsourcing company as EZtek can help your business expand beyond the early startup stage, quickly adjust to market pressures and bring your custom software to market while maintaining agility as a growing organization. The best outsourcing partners will provide you with support through every aspect of the software development cycle, helping to conceptualize, execute and market your software. However, working with the wrong outsourcing partner may be counterproductive. It can lead to over-budget, damage the morale of the business and lead to the inability to get the job done on time as they struggle to correct their own mistakes. The following issues will help businesses avoid these pitfalls of outsourcing by identifying the most common problems in software outsourcing development, as well as solutions to overcome them.

1. Service quality

The most worrying concern regarding outsourcing software development is the lack of quality control. This can be reflected in the quality of outsourced developers, coding capabilities or the end product itself. Inexperienced outsourcing companies often focus on cost savings instead of using the most qualified experts. Worse yet, these newbie programmers often make basic mistakes, which can hinder the functionality of the software and cause frustration.

  • Solution to control high-quality of outsourcing development services:
    Making a quality assessment report before signing a contract with one of the Top Software Outsourcing Companies in Vietnam is the easiest way to prevent service quality issues. First and foremost, any potential supplier should be thoroughly researched, including feedback from past customers. Public reviews and personal feedback, specifically, can attest to the quality of the outsourcing partner, their customer service in the project, how they test and control quality to ensure that the development process runs smoothly. You should also use only outsourcing services of companies with proven track records of working with recognizable customers and across multiple industries.

2. The issues of cost

Many managers pointed out cost savings as one of the top reasons why they decided to outsource development services. However, assigning major development responsibilities to a bad outsourcing partner can actually lead to cost overruns, along with a host of other issues. While their hourly rates may seem appealing at first, some developers often make more mistakes and take longer to fix them, resulting in the total hours increased.

  • Solution to avoid over-budget in software outsourcing development:
    The easiest way to avoid cost overruns and set realistic budgets when starting a large-scale development project is to work with a reputable outsourcing company of quality. They can bring in experienced project managers who can help with the planning process, have access to super-specialized software that can accomplish their tasks in a shortest time. Moreover, knowledgeable outsourcing partners can help prevent cost excess by listening to stakeholders’ opinions and user feedback in real time, ensuring that the end product meet all needs and avoid the need for big changes in the development cycle.

3. Unmatched expectations

Perhaps businesses will feel extremely depressed when they spend most of their time and huge amounts of money on an outsourcing software development project and only get dissatisfied with the final product. However, this situation is exactly what many executives feel after working with a software outsourcing company. Objectives that are unclear and ignorant in the process can lead the outsourcing partner to believe that they capture the aesthetic goals and ideas of their customers, even if they have different interpretations of the project.

  • Solution to avoid misunderstanding in software outsourcing projects:
    The best way to avoid inappropriate expectations is to thoroughly understand what you want, and emphasize clear and regular communication from the outset of the process and set specific expectations from getting started. When searching for potential outsourcing service provider, it is important to understand how they meet your goals and ensure that their understanding of the project is appropriate.        The best software outsourcing partners will keep in touch during the early stages to ensure that both parties have the same knowledge about the project. Also, they will set important milestones throughout the project to gather feedback and ensure that the software is meeting stakeholder expectations before investing too much time or money.

4. Right to handle and decide

One of the most frequently cited issues relating to outsourcing software development is the incomprehension of the right to process and to decide after the contract is signed and the work begins. While traditional software development projects have shared the process and decision-making power between senior leaders and project managers, the introduction of outsourcing partners has turned this arrangement into a thread. How can software development projects remain agile and effective when decision-making is shared?

  • Solution to share the right of making decision in development outsourcing:
    The answer to this question depends on the level of outsourcing arrangement. For companies that simply hire staff augmentation such as software developers and testers, the right to handle and decide certainly belongs to the company to ensure continuity at every stage of the cycle.

    However, companies working with autonomous developer groups should seriously consider the consequences of each option. Keeping these decision-making powers within the company ensures the control of the final software product and uphold of brand standards. But transferring these decision-making powers to an autonomous development team can increase efficiency, reduce time to market and reduce senior management responsibilities.

5. Communication

The language barrier has been repeatedly identified as one of the major challenges associated with outsourcing software development services. Traditional outsourcing companies in Asia have developed a reputation for cost savings for a long time. But that financial benefit comes with a host of issues, with the language barrier being one of the most difficult to overcome. This barrier of communication can lead to inconsistent expectations, frustration on both sides and diminish of product quality.

  • Solution to deal with language barrier in outsourcing development:
    There are several ways to avoid this problem and to ensure that any outsourcing partnership starts properly. The easiest way to overcome the barriers of communication is to work with a software outsourcing company that has the trained workforce to use daily English skills. You can easily have a test on that.

    For managers who are having language problems, the following solutions can help reduce frustration. You can try to use video calls, text and images (using tools like Trello for example) whenever possible, since a photo is really intended to means more than words. While talking, you should keep your speaking rate slow, avoid slang and metaphors, which can help reduce communication barriers. Don’t forget to always check the level of understanding at the end of each conversation to ensure that all parties have the same understanding.

6. Time zone differences

A frequent concern for outsourcing software development companies in Asia is the incompatibility of their working time. Most companies in the US work from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm or later. So while the in-house team start working at 9:00 am US time, for example, their counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam may be relaxing and having dinner at 9:00 pm local time. This large difference in time zone can lead to a range of communication problems and delays because questions are not resolved in a working day.

  • Solution to resolve the time zone differences in software outsourcing:
    Don’t be panic because your worry is necessary at all. Looking at a positive side, if you make good use of these time zone difference, you can fasten time-to-market of your product as while the outsourced team is sleeping, the in-house team can review the work, give feedback and show the to-do-list for tomorrow to the outsourced team. What you need is to define a well working process for continuous report and feedback, also to find a outsourcing company that has well-organized teams.
Thinh Tat

Thinh Tat


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