Software is a core part of the business of all sorts of companies nowadays, and this means that managers who have never considered themselves IT specialists are now finding themselves caught up in the software development process. Even startups which specialize in software development can suddenly find themselves having to develop an app for a platform that their existing team has no experience in. This leaves them with a choice of cobbling together a mediocre MVP to meet their delivery time objective or massively overshooting their deadline to assemble a reasonable product.
There is a third choice, though, and it's one which an increasing number of companies with a variety of software development requirements are making. That choice is to involve a software development agency in the process. By outsourcing parts of the process to people who can do it quickly and efficiently, companies can focus on what they do best, secure in the knowledge that their software development is in the hands of the experts.
Naturally, many companies worry about losing control and the quality of the final product when they decide to outsource their software development process to another company. Some may have heard horror stories about how wrong the process has gone at other companies and will want to tread carefully as a result. Many of these issues and concerns can be overcome with careful planning and the right choice of freelancer, however. Even if you're keen to start work on your project as quickly as possible, it's worth taking a little time to slow down and make sure that you're working with the right people.
If possible, make sure that you have as much information as possible about how the process will be managed by your chosen partner. Some companies are very good at giving flashy pitches and presentations that are high on wow but short on details about how the development process will be managed and how your company will be involved in the decision-making process. Before you select your partner, make sure that you are happy with the detail you have been given and fully understand how the development process will work. Don't be afraid to ask detailed questions about what will happen if things don't go to plan or you find yourself having to make last-minute changes to your briefs. A good company will be happy to put your mind at ease and talk in detail about how their processes work. We always make sure that we provide our potential customers with consultancy and a full proposal before the development process begins.
Many companies also have worries about how they will manage the outsourcing process and the quality of the software that will be produced at the end of the process. This problem can be overcome if the agency and the client set a clear development workflow at the start of the process and schedule regular check-ins to ensure that all quality standards are being met and that the project is progressing on time. Our standard development workflow is built on two-week development sprints. Before every sprint, we ensure that our team is fully briefed on the client's expectations and that we are in a position to meet these during the sprint. At the end of the sprint, we will communicate the outcome to the client and work with them to sweep up any remaining work into the following sprint processes.
Most software development processes are completed smoothly and without any major clashes between the companies involved. However, it's good to know where you stand legally with your chosen partner in the unlikely event that any problems do arise. it can help to choose an agency that is based in a jurisdiction that is well known for swift and fair civil decision making and one where you understand how the law works. Many outsourced development companies are based in India, The Philippines or other countries with less well-developed justice systems. We are a GmbH company based in Germany, a country well known for a strong rule of law and excellent business culture. This gives our clients an extra degree of confidence in the quality of our work.
Some companies that come to us also have concerns that cultural issues could stand in the way of a good development project. Working with outsourced developers often means coming across new cultures and ways of working for even the most experienced of managers and this can cause confusions and delays to projects if it is not managed properly. Luckily, we have years of experience in working across Europe and with international partners to develop top-quality development projects. We're fully aware of the types of problems and work hard to ensure that there is full cultural understanding across our teams and between our teams and clients.
A good agency can also take care of a lot of the decisions which sap time away from managers and stop them from focusing on the projects that they are actually paid to deliver. By handing over your development to an agency, you will no longer be responsible for managing HR issues, absences and other facts of life that can get in the way of a successful development project. Some managers worry that this can lead to a loss of control and developers who are unfamiliar with their company's way of working. We overcome this problem by using dedicated development teams for our clients and ensuring that knowledge is shared throughout the team regularly so that no misunderstandings or other issues can occur.
Overall, there is no reason not to at least consider using a software development agency as part of your processes. They can be the answer to so many of the problems which face managers of internal development teams. They do not need to be a complete replacement for your existing development capability, and there's no reason why they should be perceived as a threat to your current team. Instead, a development agency can be a resource that compliments your existing developers and supports them at the moments when they need the extra resource. It also gives you the ability to grow and shrink your development team, without all of the HR nightmares that generally go with the process of hiring and firing staff. If you want to make sure that your development processes are ready for anything that is thrown at you, then make sure you have an agency partner by your side.