08 Dec 2020

When you’re looking at agile software development outsourcing, there’s a lot that you need to consider. This can be overwhelming, especially if you’re outsourcing for the first time. There are so many different firms to choose from. How do you pick the one that will be a good fit for your project? 

With over 2,000 successfully completed projects, over 500 engineers, and more than 90 distributed teams here at Unosquare, we know what it takes to work well with clients. The key to finding the best partner for your project is asking the right questions. Here are ten questions you should ask before choosing a firm. 

1. How do you find, train, and hire your developers? 

When you're outsourcing, you need to go beyond evaluating the firm itself and take a closer look at their talent. Ideally, you would find a firm that can fill any knowledge or skills gaps on your team. 

That said, don't just look at qualifications. Get more details on the company's process of hiring and training as well. This will help you gauge how well the developers you work with will meet your expectations through your project. 

2. What software methodology do your developers use? 

Once you know a little bit more about a firm's developers, you'll want to ask about the software methodology that they use. While most software developers use agile in their work, some use more traditional methods, such as Waterfall, which offer little to no opportunities for iteration and feedback. 

Data shows that agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects. If you want to put yourself in the best possible position to achieve your goals, you should choose a firm that truly understands agile development.

3. Where are your developers located? 

The location of a firm’s headquarters doesn’t necessarily tell you about the location of their developers. To understand what working with the firm will look like when your project starts, get more details on where their developers are and how they work.

Both offshore and nearshore outsourcing requires you to approach your software development project with specific things in mind. If you choose to go entirely offshore, you want to be sure to make accommodations for things like time zones and cultural differences. On the other hand, nearshore remote teams in the Americas may offer a nearly complete workday overlap. This may be a lot easier for some teams to adjust to.

Not sure what the right choice is for you? Learn more about offshore and nearshore outsourcing in other posts that we’ve written on the topic.

4. How involved will you be throughout the development process? 

This is a clarifying question to help you understand how much involvement firms will require from you. The answer will usually depend on the firm's approach and whether or not they're developing the project for you or with your team. The answer you're looking for here will depend on your specific needs and the expertise that you may have in-house.

5. How much visibility will my organization have into the project? 

Your organization should always be able to set goals and milestones for the project. However, your project’s success will usually hinge on your ability to get a complete view of the work as it progresses. Ask the software development firm how they approach transparency and how they keep clients in the loop throughout projects. 

If a firm is hesitant or is unable to provide you with details about visibility, consider this a red flag. You should be able to get clear updates on your project and gain an understanding of how things are going. When you’re unable to do that, you can’t make sure that the project stays on track.

6. How do you handle testing and quality assurance? 

QA and testing are critical parts of the agile development process. You want to make sure that the development partner you're considering has a strong QA team that can identify issues and ensures that the work meets all of your project requirements. Beyond that, they should understand the importance of user experience. 

7. Do you specialize in specific industries or project types? 

When outsourcing software development, you should look for a firm that has experience in your particular industry or type of project. If a firm understands your industry or already has experience working on similar projects, there will be less of a learning curve for everyone involved.

Ask the firms you evaluate what kinds of projects they take on the most and what they specialize in. If the answer aligns with the type of project you’re working on, it’s to be likely a good fit. Another thing to look for is reviews from other organizations in your space to learn about their experience with a firm.

8. How do you balance technology and business strategy? 

Balancing technology and business strategy is an important factor that you need to consider when choosing a software development partner. Some companies understand the technical aspects, but they may not pay close attention to business strategy. Look for a company that can go into specifics about how they approach both sides. 

9. How do you communicate with your clients?

Communication is key to any project. Be sure to ask development firms about their communication methods and ensure that they align with your expectations. When does their team work? How often can you expect to meet with them? Do they have dedicated project managers to work with their clients? What tools do they use? 

Getting answers to these questions will help you understand the firm’s communication style. Once you have that information, think about how this would work for your organization. Everyone should be on the same page before you select a partner and move forward.

10. Do you have testimonials from previous clients? 

The old saying is true, past success, while not a guarantee, is an indicator of future success. That’s why you should search for testimonials before selecting an agile software development firm. You can either request testimonials from the company or you can conduct a simple Google search to see if any of their testimonials are publicly available. You may find quotes from customers or case studies that you can evaluate.

Ready to outsource software development?

Unosquare helps operationally augment technology teams, design and build user experience focused web applications and products, and drive client initiatives in digital transformation in our industries of focus. 

We work with the best talent in the world. That way, you can outsource with confidence and bring in the expertise you need to get your software development project done. Let us provide expertise for your teams in a way that is fast, transparent, and efficient. To find out more about what Unosquare can do for your organization, check out our blog

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