How to overcame the fear of hiring outsourced developers?

published in Business
by Małgorzata Litwin

There is many a legend about outsourcing which successfully keeps away entrepreneurs. Stories about software which never even existed, despite the fact that the developer had promised that everything was fine - even ahead of deadline. No communication with the developer for a long, long time and then it turns out that nobody has been working because it is Chinese New Year! These are telling examples and they are not isolated. I can only imagine the fear that grips some people when the subject of outsourcing steps out of the shadows! Let’s just deal with the most common fears of hiring outsourced developers.

1. Unfounded fears

All right, but what are we really talking about here? In recent times, I have seen two great examples of unfounded outsourcing fears. One, of an Aussie startup owner I talked to about our company’s software development services, was worried whether Polish programmers could speak English well enough to collaborate with his internal team. He spent time with our developers speaking and even joking a lot via Skype until he was ready to say, “Margaret, there is no real communication trouble; I don’t know what I was expecting!” I acted like it was a big surprise and said to him, “Really, Matt? Well then, you should visit us and see if there aren’t polar bears walking the Polish streets.”

Come on, guys! Let’s get serious and lose the untrue stereotypes.

outsourced developers

I’ll give you another example: having been in Stockholm last week meeting a potential client, I’d forgotten a few important papers, I told him I’d come back in two days. He didn’t seem to believe the promise until I showed him all the flight listings from Stockholm to Wrocław which, in fact, require less than two hours to fly. Now, instead of talking via phone, we prefer to meet and speak directly, because it’s a cheap, quick and simply nicer. 

However, there are important differences, some very subtle yet still valid, that we should bear in mind:

  • In regard to public holidays, there is no work in some countries and this should be respected. 
  • Different continents and time zones make efficient project management more difficult and will require a compromise from both sides. 
  • The methods of communication between software house and client should be defined in the early stages of cooperation and include all possibilities (electronic, phone call, video room, slack channel etc.) in case something goes wrong. 
  • Payment arrangements and currency of payment and payment terms should be specified in the wording of the relevant contracts. This is key. 

2. Hidden costs

The best way to reduce any unwarranted fears may be to turn an eye to your available software development budget and your local software house rates. This will make you look at what is most important; finding the best compromise between software quality and programming cost. We need to get away from stereotypical thinking and focus on ensuring our company’s competitiveness by securing external assistance. We need to look at outsourcing in a much more multifaceted way, and we also need to deduce that these services can bring us considerable benefits and that it is going to be simple.

Another significant indicator is the cost per software designer. The cost of application UI/UX will also be lower when choosing both software and design. We are talking about massive savings! How we could make it more certain? 

So, rule number one:

  • You may very much want to pay less than 30$ per/hr for developer work, but let’s not kid ourselves there, that could be as tragic a mistake as the tragic quality of code and code review you would get. Excessively low prices for software development should give us pause to think in order to avoid failure. 
  • It is also worth remembering that saving on the number of programmers (not enough hands for coding) may bring expensive delay to projects and that this frequently gives rise to great annoyance to both the software house and client. 
  • Features only in your head? Well, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. Hidden costs are very often the result of the lack of a roadmap, without app specifics, a mockup or even a doodle on a piece of paper.

Too often, we cannot see the woods for the trees. Software outsourcing frequently does not resolve the problematic holes in some budgets or half-baked ideas. One striking lesson is certainly that we have to distinguish the real from the real from the imagined.

3. Trust and data privacy

Let’s not take a chance with something going wrong here. So, my advice on this one would be to stick to a few rules before you start cooperation with any software house:

  • Check the technical documentation they have created for a previous client. If you find it to be incomprehensible, don’t hesitate to ask. If you don’t care about specifications, you could have real problems later on. A great majority of software houses don’t want to take on unfinished projects without accurate information. 
  • The list of relevant information regarding your project should be submitted after signing an NDA. Every software outsourcing provider should have a copy of one with the possibility of including individual changes. If not, think twice before you sign a contract. 
  • The same should apply to the software development agreement. Get your copy from the software house and make sure everything looks to be in order with the papers. That’s your insurance in any case. Don’t be afraid to ask for and propose changes. Let yourself feel confident about your business. 
  • Any payments should be based on invoices and, additionally, the invoices must be translated into English and contain information such as a due date, IBAN number, the details of the payee, and date of issue. Any modification in payment is entered in the annexes of the agreement. 

You may rest easy knowing that your application is secure and protected by a reliable contract. 

software development

4. Too small for outsourcing

When I first started on the job with Zaven, there were only 7 employees with a minimum of experience in sales, despite the excellent hands on boards for software development and system architecture. As a person who speaks the language of marketing, I was sure of one thing: we immediately needed to get professional support. This stance met some significant opposition, most notably from our finance officer. ”We’re just a relatively small company in the market, you know? So, we can’t afford to hire an outsourcing company for help.” It was hard for some people to understand that without external support, we had no chance of getting bigger and developing. We’re finally taking advantage of outsourcing support in sales and since then it has brought in new clients and earnings have increased, nobody is raising their voice in protest any longer and people see the necessity of change.

software outsourcing

In my experience, sometimes for some companies the only means of developing is to figure out a way to get outside help. Particularly with regard to a small companies without teams of specialists. I can see the benefits of software outsourcing in just looking at our clients; how their businesses have been boosted with the help of software outsourcing. We give them time to concentrate on their companies’ development and not on solving software problems alone. That’s what this is all about, right?

In conclusion…

I trust that has cleared up the confusion for you and now you know how you can overcome the fear of hiring outsourced developers. Meaning that you will only work with a legitimate outsourcing firm. K. Oleksowicz said, “Business is the art of making conclusions about your own mistakes.” Therefore, let’s not be afraid of finding new solutions. The benefits greatly exceed the possibility of failure. 

Check our another business article: 3 steps to choose a software development company.

Małgorzata Litwin Project Manager

Gosia is a Project Manager who mainly takes care of sales & marketing department at Zaven. She is a huge fan of mobile games and that’s what she does after work. She plays and checks its functionality at the same time!

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