3 Questions Every Agency Should Ask A Potential Outsourcing Partner

January 2, 2015

By Mike McAuliffe

3_Questions_Every_Agency_Should_Ask_A_Potential_Outsourcing_PartnerYour mission: identify a prospective software outsourcing partner. For a successful engagement, your partner must have a total understanding of the requirements and objectives that are unique to your development work.

This means the outsourcing partner is not only in tune with your company's expectations and methods, but also able to meet existing budget restrictions, work with in-house resources, and commit to crafting an exceptional product. 

To find this group, you will need to ask these three important questions:

1. Does Your Team Prefer "Building to Spec" or "Innovating"?

Your need for “Building to Spec” or “Innovating” may change from project to project; some shops prefer (are better suited) doing one over the other. It is important to establish this from the outset.

Building from spec enables quicker software development and at a lower price tag for services. However, since building to spec often requires using standard software technologies, the end product will look more familiar, less customized. Companies in the finance and engineering verticals fit well into a "build to specs" scenario: industries that involve a rigid business culture, requiring a thorough understanding of software design-to-application.

But, when the software application involves little or no written specs, an agency needs a software outsourcing partner that is capable of “innovative” thinking in both product engineering and the developmental processes.

2. What Steps Do You Take To Ensure Effective Communication and Collaboration?

Words that define processes, project management, and other common activities provide little real-world evidence of communication and effective performance. No matter how tested and proven the system and process sounds, success boils down to individual and team communication within the organization.

Everyone says they have it, but can they effectively communicate with your company?

Before setting sights on a specific software outsourcing partner, consider floating a vague technical query that demands specialized communication between the purposed sales team and the proposed technical team. Include a reasonable deadline, and then take note of the following results:

  • Response time
  • Quality and accuracy of the answer
  • The nature and paths of the associated communications

Successful response to such testing is no guarantee of effective communication and collaboration, but it will weed out bogus promises. After all, before any company can create an outsourcing strategy that functions around your business, an efficient exchange of ideas must dominate the platform.

3. What Do You Look For in Developers When Assembling a Team?

Putting together, an efficient software development team is never easy. For some projects, the players can come from an existing bench of talent. Other times, it is necessary to build a new team.

Some thoughts behind assembling a great team:

  • Include smart developers who adapt to change, fix bugs, inject new ideas, and improve the possibilities for success.
  • Have solid project leaders who have reliable, people skills that complement one another.
  • Make sure they “walk the walk,” knowing the terminology is not the same as having the skill-set.
  • Wise managers purchase high-end reliability
  • Include a reliable mix of junior and senior developers  

Finding the right software development team can be a time consuming process. There are many software development companies around the world, and many of them have the qualities mentioned above. How can you be sure that you are choosing the right one? After meeting hundreds of teams and certifying only the best, we can help you find the right software outsourcing company for your agency.

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