Master the Essentials of Outsourcing Product Development

Establishing a talented IT department represents a challenge for startups developing an app idea into reality. Even the most successful tech companies constantly strive to recruit talent. Outsourcing app development solves these HR challenges.
Outsourcing software and product design to an app development agency enables startups to compete with companies established in similar verticals. Globalization and digital communication expand the number of outsourcing options available.

Essential steps of outsourcing app development.

1. Define scope

Don’t rely on an agency to shape an abstract idea into a polished product. Before approaching outsourcing partners, determine the specifics of your app, including details of what your company’s offering to users.

Ironing wrinkles from your plan helps focus your exact needs from an outsourcing party. Define the responsibilities of your business against the role of your external app developer to increase the efficiency of your arrangement.

2. Communicate with potential developers

Defining the scope of outsourcing needs makes it easier to communicate and compare bids from design agencies. Discuss your goals, current plans and details, like the platform upon which the app runs. Good agencies will understand your industry, and extrapolate a rough outline of a development plan.

Communication needs to be a two-way street. Listen carefully to their responses, including non-verbal cues. Review past work to verify their track record of success. If an agency submits the lowest bid, you should consider that a red flag instead of an unusually great deal.

3. Draft legal contract

After choosing an app development agency, you must formalize the arrangement with a legal contract. Stipulations should include timelines, feedback arrangements and data security protocols. Intellectual rights, compensation packages and termination also need to be established.

Always seek legal assistance when drafting and signing contracts with outsourcing companies, even if you’re a legal expert. Another set of eyes should verify the terms of the contract and eliminate detrimental loopholes.

4. Maintain contact

Outsourcing doesn’t eliminate your responsibility during the development process. The contract drafted needs to include provisions for feedback and quality control for this reason. Don’t expect your app idea created as envisioned without close involvement from your company.

Maintaining close contact helps the development relationship proceed smoothly. Solid app development agencies look forward to close collaboration with partners because they’re almost as invested as you in creating a superb product.

5. Ease into offboarding

As your app nears completion, so does your relationship with the outsourcing agency. The contract you create should be arranged to set up an eventual offboarding of the agency, reflecting the diminished need for services.

Gentle offboarding ensures the relationship isn’t suddenly or unexpectedly severed, which could create legal issues. Begin the partnership as magnanimously as you end the relationship. If the app development agency performs as expected, you may wish to collaborate again in the future.

Advantages Of Outsourcing Product Development

Eliminate training

Training new hires requires time and resources to get the new employee up to speed with the project. Outsourcing app development eliminates this costly task.

Instant expertise

When you hire a design agency, you immediately acquire the expertise that drives success. These companies thrive on innovation within their industry, an expensive asset to develop on your own.

Lower labor costs

You don’t need to provide vacation days, health insurance, office space or perks to retain talent. App development agencies pay those costs instead.

Quickly scalable

A sudden change in demand or an event beyond your control may require upscaling of app development. Partnering with an agency is the fastest way to upscale your project.

Reduced risk

Performing an intensive HR campaign to find and hire internal app development talent represents a massive investment compared to consulting with an agency. If your project doesn’t pan out as expected, outsourcing is a smaller risk than hiring.

Disadvantages Of Outsourcing Product Development

Loss of confidentiality

Prevent the loss of confidentiality by providing information on a need-to-know basis and creating an air-tight non-disclosure agreement.

Data theft

Avoid theft by allowing data access strictly to those working on the project. Monitor and protect the flow of information between your company and the outsourcing partner at all times.

Delays and hidden costs

Select a trusted agency with a solid portfolio and avoid lowball bids. Contracts should stipulate timelines and costs explicitly.

Communication barriers

Defining the roles of your company and the outsourced app developers helps prevent most communication problems. Arranging a feedback mechanism within the contract ensures you maintain contact and influence on a consistent basis.

Loss of control

Contracts play a key role in maintaining as much control as possible. Make sure explicit termination clauses exist if the worst scenario occurs.

Key Factors For Selecting Outsourcing Service Providers

  • Select a service provider based on quality instead of cost. No need to pay top dollar, but the smallest bid won’t provide the best solution.
  • Choose an app developer with proven experience in your vertical. Apps have common building blocks, but industry knowledge helps create a better product, faster.
  • Partner with an agency which communicates well. Offshoring may save costs, but distance and language barrier may create communication roadblocks.
  • Pick an app development agency which respects confidentiality. If they’re not keen on signing an NDA, don’t hesitate to step away.
  • Work with an outsourcing agency with strong data security. They’re more likely to understand the need to monitor data flow, restricting access on a need-to-know basis.
  • Refuse app agencies unwilling to agree on a collaboration scheme. Elect to work with outsourcing companies who agree on regular contact to avoid loss of control.
  • During the contract creation phase, make sure the outsourcing company accepts checks and balances as part of the deal. This includes timelines on deliverables and specific development goals.

Mitigate Outsourcing Risks To Ensure Results

Outsourcing development allows startups to compete with the app heavyweights of the world, as long as you mitigate the risks. Selecting the right agency to partner with your company involves a balance of quality and cost, without sacrificing confidentiality, security and control over the project. Master these essentials of outsourcing development to effectively manage your outsourced development team to create a terrific app, without the need to hire an entire R&D department.