Outsourcing is here to stay in this global economy. The specific benefits and pitfalls are debatable; it is increasingly becoming a vital aspect of today’s business. Among all the business functions of an organization that are typical candidates for outsourcing, Outsourcing software development stands out as the single most common business IT function that is selected for outsourcing, often called ADO for application development outsourcing.
There are several factors as outlined below and within the full white paper that are critical to the success of any software application development initiative. These factors include internal culture, industry and domain, geographic location, and market conditions.
1. Selecting the Right Provider
The first decision of selecting the provider of your ADO will have a recurring impact on all aspects of the project. An important part of the selection process should include researching providers in detail. If the ADO provider is based in an offshore software development location, doing this research is critical to protect a business from making an incompatible choice. The factors that will in large measure determine the nature of your outsourcing relationship are: the provider’s track record, their specific technology skills, the company’s size and location.
2. Managing Expectations
As an organization makes the decision to outsource software development, there are several expectations that the ADO provider and client develop during the process. These expectations cover many aspects of the project, such as: specific details about their software change, the quality and experience of the ADO provider team, and the cost savings that can be achieved through the partnership. The ADO provider will see the benefits also, with learning a new product or technology the provider can add that skill to their experience, and contributing to the growth of a satisfied client. While both sides of the ADO initiative have different perspectives and expectations of the project, it is important to make sure they are pragmatic and achievable.
3. Managing Communications Effectively
Communication between the software development company and the client is of paramount importance. Within the ADO setting the importance of managing communication is increased. Factors that are important to the success of the project are: language differences, communications in writing, and time zone differences. Leveraging communication technologies is one way to enhance the communication between provider and client. Video and audio chat applications, and video conferencing, and desktop sharing applications are great ways for team members to feel connected.
4. Bridging Cultural Differences
Cultural differences are a major factor affecting the ADO initiative. Each country has specific cultural uniqueness, so understanding the cultural differences between an offshore application development provider and client countries and learning to bridge them effectively can go a long way in making an ADO initiative successful.
As the world continues to move toward the global economy attempting to bridge cultural differences is a win-win for business. Learning the culture of your business partner, training the team about the cultural aspects of another country will never be a waste of time or resources.
5. Evangelize the Change Internally
It is crucial that all parties involved in a project be on-board with the use of an outsourcing provider. Success of the project depends on how committed the stakeholders are and how the employees on the periphery feel they are impacted by the project. Quite often the ADO initiative is viewed negatively by staff who feel that it may lead to eventual job loss.
It is important that the ADO project be well advertised and the benefits clearly promoted. Having an executive champion the ADO project and be the public advocate for the project to deliver a clear message about the benefits of the outsourcing decision is critical to the project’s success. Creating an outreach program for communicating with the entire team or company can encourage enthusiasm and cooperation throughout the organization.
6. Establish Best Practices
Implementing best practices can add a lot of value to any ADO initiative. While it is an overhead cost, the long term payoff is well worth it. An ADO initiative is a great candidate for developing a set of best practice guidelines throughout the organization. There is much research on best practice guidelines for outsourcing. Organizations should utilize those guidelines for development of their own set of best practice guidelines.
A failed ADO initiative can leave both the client and provider teams deeply affective in many ways. It is very important for organizations to understand the factors involved in making an ADO project successful. Once an ADO initiative is underway, managing expectations and utilizing communications are key success factors that impact the day to day functions of the ADO process. Offshoring can be a win-win on both sides of the project. Implementing best practice procedures can provide a structured path to success. This is a synopsis of the white paper: Success Factors In Application Development Outsourcing, to read more please go to our website.