Outsourcing is a huge decision. If done right, it lifts a huge amount of work off your shoulder, save you a lot of money and leave your team focused on their core competencies. But if it fails, in which 50% of the outsourced projects either fail outright or just fail to meet expectations. Why outsourcing fails? There are a lot of factors contributing to that, and making sure your vendors have the right credentials, expertise, experience, and technologies for the project can save you from this outfall. In other words, the process to hire the right offshore software outsourcing vendor determine 90% of your success.
You may ask, but isn’t that everything I do when evaluating their pitching, reading their proposal, and everything? Well, yes and no.
Information will always guide you to the right decision – but are you sure you have the right information? Did you evaluate them correctly, or did you just assume so?
This checklist of CMC Global is a generic list of questions designed to give you a proactive approach during the vendor selection process. You can adjust them based on your specific methods and needs. Some questions are for you (the client), others are for prospective providers and their employees/teams, and there are also questions for the references. So, let’s get started!
1. Your goal when hiring an offshore software outsourcing vendor
Having clear goals will help you determine what kinds of expertise you need, the qualify you are looking for in a remote team. This is also your chance to assess the main purpose of your project and whether you really need it for your enterprise.
- What is the main goal of your software development project?
- Why do you think your business needs the software/system?
- What is the overall scope of the project?
- What are your main technical requirements?
- What are the possible additional requirements/specifications?
- Which types of IT expertise do you need?
- How big/small do you want the tech team to be?
- Do you need an assistant, an advisor, or a full-service solutions provider?
- Are you looking to hire a client-managed team or a provider-managed team?
- What kind of business relationship are you considering ”a short-term one with clearly defined features or a long-term collaborative partnership with evolving requirements and solutions”
- What is your budget for software development?
2. An offshore software outsourcing vendor shortlist
With so many offshore software outsourcing vendors out there, choosing the one that best fits your needs can be overwhelming. So you need to narrow down your list of potentials. If you don’t know where to start, check out our Complete list of Top 21 Vietnam Software Outsourcing Companies in IT. From then, narrow down the list to just 2 or 4 companies by double-checking their company websites, social media profiles, and reliable business review sites like Glassdoor, and Clutch.
You can check based on these questions:
- Do they have the capabilities you are looking for?
- Are they among the top providers in the field?
- Do they have a good reputation?
- What is their ratio of positive to negative reviews
These questions are for your prospective offshore software outsourcing vendor. These can help you further narrow down your shortlist and help you choose the best solutions provider for you. You will need ample time to assess each one of them before you can find the right outsourcing software development provider that fits your needs.
Don’t send all these questions to your prospective vendors. Instead, we advise that you go through some of the items over the phone first to tick off a few of the questions, or perhaps have video calls. It’s even better if you can actually visit their offices. It may also be good advice to meet their teams before you make the final decision. That way, you will be able to assess not only their offices, workspaces, employees, and management style but also their location, communication style, and accessibility on a regular basis.
A basic profile of an Offshore Software Outsourcing Vendor
How many years have you been in the software development industry?
- How many years have you been offering your services to offshore countries?
- your company’s business model.
- What are your company’s main guiding principles?
- What are your core values?
- Describe your key services.
- What are your areas of expertise?
- Describe the company’s financial condition.
- sets your company apart from other software development firms?
- sets your company apart from other software/web development firms
Check their references
- Client list and references
- How many clients have you handled?
- How many clients do you currently have?
- Which countries or regions are your clients from?
- Have you handled and completed projects similar to ours?
- Describe the last three projects you recently completed.
- Provide at least two references with contact information.
- Provide the platforms on which you can be found.
After doing the initial research, it’s time to conduct a more in-depth assessment of each prospective provider. You need to have an idea about their size and structure, skills and technologies, and scalability so you can determine if they have the capabilities to complement your business operations and achieve your goals
Size and structure
- How many employees do you have?
- Provide the number of employees per position
Services, skills, and technologies
- What technologies do you offer?
- What is your team’s experience with those technologies?
- What additional services do you offer?
- Do you use subcontractors for any work performed for a client
Availability, flexibility, and speed
- Describe your process of scaling teams up or down.
- What happens to a project when an employee leaves your company
Find time to speak to a few of their employees so you get a better feel of their company culture and their team’s happiness index, which could also give you some clues about their overall sustainability
- Are all employees based in your offices or do you have remote developers?
- What are their educational backgrounds?
- What do you look for when hiring new employees?
- Are there specific certifications?
- Do you offer further training to your employees?
- What kind of cultural training do you provide your employees?
- How frequent?
- How does your company keep up with the latest industry trends?
- What is your attrition rate?
- What are your employee retention strategies?
- Describe your hiring and onboarding processes
Processes and tools
Understanding how your tech partner communicates, works, and finds their talents are crucial element not only for the partnership but also for the software development process. You need to find a vendor that can not only produce high-quality output efficiently but also deliver results consistently. It may also be wise to find out whether they can accommodate a provider-managed team or a client-managed team so that you will have realistic expectations about your partnership
- Describe how your team manages requirements.
- Describe the collaborative process your teams have with clients.
- What industry standards do you follow to ensure quality and customer satisfaction?
- Describe your escalation process.
- What collaboration and communication tools do you use internally?
- What collaboration and communication tools do you use with clients
Development & reporting processes
- What software development approaches are you familiar with and specialize in?
- What are your reporting guidelines for deliverables and performance?
- Describe your time accounting and milestone management process.
- Describe how teams log hours in the development process.
- What project management tools do you use?
- Describe the infrastructure expertise of your company.
- What tools do your teams use for the entirety of a software lifecycle that deals with code authorship, gathering and reporting code & quality metrics, defect tracking, and management changes?
Legal and Security
Aside from management style, talent pool, technological capabilities, and other important aspects involved in the software development process, you also need to address the business side of things. This means the contract, security, and other practical aspects of the project.
- What are your security and confidentiality guidelines in protecting your clients’ IP, source codes, and/or other sensitive information?
- Who owns the code, process, hardware, licenses, and other materials required in the project?
- What warranties do you provide for intellectual property and work deliverables?
- What are the major legal points of the contract?
- are the contract term, expiration, and renewal options
Whether you’re a startup founder looking to build a development team from the ground up, or you’re an established business owner looking for additional resources to grow your existing tech team, this checklist will help you narrow down your shortlist of software outsourcing vendors, and hopefully, enable you to make better and more informed decisions for your business. Outsourcing solutions allow companies like yours to focus on their core business. However, finding the right vendor ensures that you get the full benefits of outsourcing your solutions to software development firms in the Philippines or any country of your choice.