For most startups and even big enterprises, maintaining their own in-house dev team is an unjustified luxury considering the expenses on salaries, technology, and hardware entailed. As such, hiring an outsourced software development team is the way to go for businesses looking to build products cheaper and faster. And here, the main pitfall hides. If money and time are your only criteria when choosing an outsourced dev team, you risk losing both and ending up with a subpar product.
So what must be your criteria when searching for an outsourced team? And what to factor in if you need not just a casual vendor but a dedicated partner who will cherish your business ideas like their own? We have you covered in this post.
Where can I find the best outsource development team?
Before you scour all the continents looking for the best offshore software development team, do some inner preparatory work. Visualize your future product and decide what features it must have. Only after you realize what kind of software you want will you be able to find a proper team (either offshore or onshore) for building it.
Independent research through Google
While searching on Google, try to use narrower terms rather than the broad term “outsource development team”. For example, mention the desired location (“outsourced software development team in Ukraine”), a niche (“outsource sports tech development team”), or a type of product (“hire outsourced web development team”). A team’s website usually gives you an idea of the scope of services a team provides. Nonetheless, the drawback of “googling” a team is that a great web copy does not mean great service, and it takes lots of investigation to find out what stands behind the words.
Listing websites and various B2B rating-and-reviews services such as YouTeam, Clutch, or GoodFirms are reliable places to look for an offshore software development team as they provide a robust filtered search. They let you filter search results based on the desired location, services, industry, budget, languages, frameworks, CMS, etc. What is more, here you can find some client ratings and feedback, which gives you valuable insights into what a particular offshore team is worth. Even though Clutch reviews are considered trustworthy, keep in mind that some positive reviews can be given in exchange for a free service, and not all of the team’s projects are reflected on such sites.
Ask your friends to recommend a software development team they had a positive first-hand experience with. This search channel gives you the most honest information concerning the team’s professionalism, reliability, and aspiration to meet client needs. The drawback of this method is that even “the most professional offshore software development team” (in your friend’s opinion) did not necessarily have experience creating a product YOU NEED.
How to evaluate an appropriate offshore development team?
Once you have a handful of candidates shortlisted, you need to weigh their strong and weak points. We will tell you about the most critical criteria that help effortlessly find and outsource a dedicated software development team that will help you achieve your business objectives.
Interviewing candidates helps you see two important things. Firstly, tell them about your software idea to see their reaction. A really professional dev team will ply you with questions and will be able to give their tech feedback (suggestions, critics, etc.) from the get-go. Secondly, interviewing an offshore software development team helps you assess their communication mastery and soft skills (English language fluency, honesty, self-criticism, respect for your expectations, etc.).
Ask a team to provide detailed examination of their dev cases. What you need to find out is whether this outsourced software development team has had a project similar to yours (both field- and technology-wise). Another salient point to check is whether they had (and coped well with) the projects of the same scope as yours.
Dev teams that fail to provide portfolios should not even be considered. Even if a dev team has an NDA signed, they must be able to sensibly explain what and how they built and how it benefited their partners.
Capabilities and services
Before your partnership starts, you need to know for sure what they can do and what they cannot. So ask a team about the scope of their tech competency. For example, which part of the development they can cover: frontend (working on the visual side of a project, e.g. design, UI/UX, etc.), backend (doing server-related coding), and full-stack (frontend + backend + database). We recommend opting for the outsourced dev team that can cope with the full-cycle development, from ideation to post-release support. You may also want to take a deep dive into the team’s cases and ask them about their workflow, development process, and problem-solving style. Give preference to a team that follows agile principles of development, which helps ensure better cost-efficiency and productivity.
Seasoned team manager
You will be supervising your outsourced software development team and sorting out all the details through a team leader or a project manager. It is critical that they not only have prominent tech expertise but also command the respect of their team members. Consider a team leader who shares your project vision and has the authority to communicate your best interest to his team. Needless to say that this must be a person you have no problem talking to daily, no matter the time or language/culture difference.
A partner rather than a vendor
We live in a time when buying software can be as easy as buying pizza. At the same time, you cannot just buy a commoditized software solution and expect it to transform your business. You need custom software tailor-built to meet the unique needs of your users. That is why you should look for a partner who believes what you believe and is ready to create bespoke and scalable solutions that will live and grow with your business.
How to supervise your outsource development team in the future
Chances are you will never meet your outsourced dev team in person. So transparency and awareness are essential to effective online control. Here are a few tips on how to oversee the remote team:
- Elaborate on the online meetups schedule (with the time difference in mind) and communication channels with your team leader. Require regular updates so that you can always stay tuned with every project milestone. The frequency of communication must be comfortable for both sides and not harm the work itself.
- Rely on effective project management tools (such as Slack or Trello) for tracking dev processes, managing tasks, scheduling meetups, time tracking, and exchanging information.
- Clearly communicate your expectations, priorities, and timeframes for each task. Agree on the criteria you will use to estimate the work done.
And last but not least, your outsourced software development team is not just a step to your goals, but PEOPLE in the first place. Even the best pros in the world cannot perform like machines. So take good care of your team’s positive mindset. Come up with regular feedback and encourage your team with kind words. Stay true to your goals but be ready to maneuver to keep your project up and running.