The decision to outsource software development projects is a difficult decision for any company. Outsourcing means giving up full control over the results, and relying on another company for your project’s success. Software development outsourcing is a tricky matter, and project success depends on choosing not only the correct service provider but service model as well.
Different Software Development Outsourcing Models
There are different approaches to software development outsourcing. These affect everything during software development, from the planning, testing and to the software maintenance. Here are the three basic service models for outsourcing software development:
Staff Augmentation – In this model, the responsibility of putting together the software development team and work location falls on the provider of the service. Everything else, from task distribution to work process management is controlled by the client. The outsourced company simply makes sure that they have the necessary people needed for the job, and then report the project’s progress and total work hours to the client regularly.
Dedicated Team – This gives more control to the service provider. Aside from putting together the team, the service provider also manages the team directly. They are in charge of motivating the team, handling promotions and demotions, as well as task distribution. However, all decisions relating to the project are made by the client.
Project-Based – In this approach, the focus is not on the team working on the project, but meeting project goals. This model is typically seen with companies that hire freelancers for different tasks. There is no single, large team that handles everything and manages the project. All project-related tasks are recognized and outsourced to different providers as the need comes up.
Choosing The Correct Method
As a company, you should be careful what software development outsourcing model you choose, as this could spell success or failure for your project. When choosing a service model, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind:
Company policies and methodology – This applies not only to your company but the service provider you will outsource your project as well. Your company and the service provider’s company do things differently, so you should choose a service model that will complement both your company and the service provider’s methods.
Service provider’s capacity – If you’ve worked with the same provider for a long time and you trust them enough to deliver results by the specified time, then you might be comfortable enough to give them more responsibilities. However, if it’s a fairly new provider, or you don’t trust them enough to risk failure, then staff augmentation would work best as it still gives you control over everything.
Project Longevity – Long projects have a tendency to change frequently, because a lot of things come up during the process, and you have to amend and revise the plan to make up for problems, delays and other occurrences. These tend to be stressful and annoying for the client. Clients choose the dedicated team model for longer projects because then the stress of people management and task distribution falls to the service provider. Shorter projects are easier to manage and are best suited for the project-based model.
Choosing the right software development outsourcing model can result in lesser delays, fewer expenses and project success.