Outsourcing software development is a common method for businesses to fill a need quickly with a simply managed expense. This applies to all kinds of software regardless if they are websites, mobile apps, or custom workstation solutions. Outsourced projects aggregate all expenses into a single cost that is more manageable. Some common risks do arise from outsourcing: loss of quality control, limited creative input, unknown coding styles, and security and debugging emphases. This is a short list that addresses most concerns but not all.
To tackle these concerns, a group of software developers wrote the Agile Software Development Manifesto in February, 2001. They listed 12 principles in which they felt displayed the proper process of software development. These principles focus on providing quality software that meets customer demands.
- Provide customer satisfaction with early and continuous valuable software.
- Accept changes, even late in development, to give the customer competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from weeks to months.
- Management and engineers must work together daily.
- Build projects around motivated workers, provide an environment that encourages them to work, and trust them to produce quality work.
- The best method to share information is face-to-face.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Development should maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity by managing work is essential.
- The best results come from self-organizing teams.
- The team regularly considers how to work more effectively and changes its behavior accordingly.
The principles of the Agile Manifesto concentrate on producing quality software for businesses and customers through well-managed processes that regulate themselves and adapt appropriately to new conditions. Software development agencies that follow these principles are likely to produce higher quality software more quickly that meets or exceeds all customer expectations.
As the principles state, they focus on providing a method that emphasizes meeting customer expectations while supporting a working environment that grows and adapts with each challenge. Businesses need not worry about losing quality control and creative input with outsourcing software development to companies that follow the Agile principles. These companies encourage and appreciate hearing from their customers.
Coding styles are important when working with software, and it is understandable for businesses wanting to maintain consistent coding styles across their applications, but outsourced software development in an Agile environment reduces this risk. This kind of working environment concentrates on providing software that works by recognizing that progress happens through producing products that work.
Security and debugging processes are important for developing quality software because these processes relate to each other. Secure software has few bugs, and debugging software closes security holes. Today, users worry about their financial and personal information getting stolen. Software developed in Agile environments maintains the premise of following technical excellence, so securing this information is analogous to providing a working product.
Outsourcing software development can introduce some other risks that businesses find troublesome. These risks arise because of cultural differences with international businesses. Things like difference in time zones, language barriers, and working remotely affect how information exchange happens about the project.
The difference in time zones can influence how a business is able to ask for changes in the project and receive a testable, working program that includes those changes; however, many software development companies can accommodate different hours to suit the needs of their customers.
Exchanging information is vital for any project, and language barriers can hinder the ability for businesses to communicate effectively every request they need. Translators can provide a solution for this problem, but generally, many software developers understand English. Pictographs and infographics express ideas through images and can provide another solution for businesses to express their requests to companies that have no native speakers.
Many software development companies allow their employees to work remotely. Companies do this to allow their employees the opportunity to work when they can, and it also provides them the ability to work in an environment that is comfortable for them. Network connectivity is a large risk, but most Internet connections are reliable and capable of delivering large bandwidth capacities for doing teleconferences, uploading changes to projects, and connecting with other members of the team.
Because the Agile principles focus on delivering quality software to customers, this method helps businesses to determine their partnership with companies to outsource development. These companies organize their development processes around excellent service. This facilitates a growing relationship with their customers and contributes to the success of their key accounts. Businesses will find that this kind of partnership conducts preference through better prices and earlier estimates of time-to-delivery.
Outsourcing software development can lead to some risks, but businesses should focus on how these suppliers operate. Those that follow the Agile principles focus on providing their customers with products that work reliably and demonstrate a consistent quality. Developers work through a process that encourages customers to request changes, so they can receive the product that they need. They focus on delivering testable programs quickly. Many companies accommodate for cultural differences between them and their customers. Outsourcing software development helps businesses to get a working product quickly within a managed cost.
The User Guided Group can help you design, build and/or validate products and services. With the technical resources to develop your product roadmap, the marketing expertise to help you reach your customers, and the data-driven insights to let you know what's working, we can help your product succeed from the first step to the last.