How to Deal with Uncertainties While Outsourcing Your Software Development Work

February 13, 2015

By Andy Hilliard

How to Deal with Uncertainties While Outsourcing Your Software Development WorkWhen outsourcing your software development work you can’t always eliminate uncertainty, but you can reduce it. Effectively dealing with uncertainties can help ensure your software project doesn’t fall victim to cost overruns, product delays, and applications that lack the functionality you originally intended. 

Here are some of our suggestions on dealing with uncertainties to make your application development a success.

Identify Any Sources of Uncertainty

First, it’s important to identify the main areas of uncertainty for any software project, and to be aware of their potential impact. Here are some of the main questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is your outsourced software team deeply familiar and comfortable with the technology and programming languages needed for your project, or is this project presenting something entirely new?

  • Has your team worked together before? If not, do the selected team members have skills that can complement one another?

  • What kind of timeline does your software development team have to work with? Is each task planned ahead and can you achieve your goals in the timeline given?

  • Finally, is your team big enough to handle the challenges and complexities of the specific project? Can the team easily flex up and down to meet changing needs?

Dealing with some of these issues in advance and asking yourself the right questions can help you deal with uncertainty before it rears its ugly head.

Utilize the Right Project Management Platform or Method

Often, uncertainties have to do with the team you’re working with. Are they staying on task? Are they delivering the core functionalities you want first and then building on them from there? Are they approaching each development task in a structured and cohesive manner?

A project management platform that overlays the right collaborative methodology and philosophy is essential to ensuring your software development is on the right track. This type of software allows tasks to be assigned to individual developers and ultimately allows you to add valuable input as your application is built. Project management software ultimately allows you to monitor your software development work to ensure that tasks are completed on time and you’re receiving the product you want.

Effective / Open Communication

It’s important to communicate with your team and create a schedule. Try holding meetings (or standups) on a weekly or even daily basis for updates on software development and to ensure problems are dealt with before they start.

It’s important to have an open environment of communication where your team is encouraged to work with your internal team to overcome problems. Creating an environment based on the concepts of “team”, “extension” and “collaboration” can help your project finish on time and within budget.

Uncertainty will never go away, but by using the above strategies you will be in a far better position than other project managers who enter the software development process unprepared.

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