I’m sure you’ve seen those hilarious expectations vs reality memes. Guess, why they never get outdated and make us laugh out loud over and over again?
Because it’s a down-to-earth reminder that perfectly pictures the way life is. We usually call it a reality check...
In business, the same reality check is needed. Don’t get trapped in expectation mode thinking that outsourcing development is the best option for your startup.
Consider all ups and downs before sealing the deal with your new international development partner.
Software Outsourcing Reality Check For Startups: 4 Best & Worst-Case Scenarios
Scenario #1: High Quality & Flexible Price vs. Poor Quality + Hidden Fees
The number one basis behind the decision to outsource development for startups is money. Or if to be precise - the lack of it. As a rule, a startup’s budget is quite limited and doesn’t allow hiring a full-stack in-house development team. Even if employing the whole team fits the budget, that team will probably consist of junior specialists. That results in lower quality of an end product.
Eventually, such circumstances force you to think that outsourcing is your best option. Well, maybe yes or maybe no...
Clearly outsourcing development agencies have great expertise, skilled developers, and launching five-star products experience. They’re also a lot of package deals available that make pricing pretty flexible and budget-friendly.
Here comes the evil BUT.
But it’s time to lower your expectations and face the reality. There is always a possibility you’ll get poor-quality software and additional costs* with outsourcing. Why? Because when dealing with 3d parties, it becomes much harder to predict the outcomes. Consequently, there is always a risk that the outsourcing business model might not work.
* Additional or hidden costs occur when you add more features, make changes, hire extra developers, order software maintenance, etc.
Case #2: Quick Talents Recruiting vs. Exhausting Vendor Selection
The possibility of hiring an entire team of first-rate talents worldwide in a day or two is a dream come true. Especially if your future product is complex and requires a unique technological solution or narrow expertise No doubt, the speed and free access to global talents is a competitive advantage and a real reason of the fast-growing demand for software development outsourcing.
But here’s the thing, with all those instant goodies also come challenges. The first one is selecting the right outsourcing vendor. Even though software development agencies growing like mushrooms in the rainy season, the reality is - a decent development partner is hard to find. There is no single database of the top-picks agencies that you can search for or a clear list of expertise & technologies they offer.
Let’s say you’ve hand-picked a great company abroad to outsource your development. The other challenges waiting around the corner are poor communication as a result of remote management. Or longer response time and project delivery delays due to time differences. A language barrier and a cultural gap can also be serious issues in decision-making, conflict resolution, and day-to-day communication, etc.
Those are not challenges that should kill your idea to outsource once and for all. Those are points to consider and think through for successful software execution.
Case #3: Effective Collaboration vs. Tricky Remote Control
Today, remote work can be as effective and efficient as working in a company office. Communication channels and processes are all set and tons of tools are available to hold meetings, arrange presentations, organize voice or video chats, or weekly team sync ups.
When it comes to the in-house teams within a single company - that might work well. What about the remote control of the independent team on the other end of the earth?
Much much harder! Particularly for startups with no previous experience working with international outsourcing companies. So get ready! It will take some time and united effort to set up an effective system of remote project and quality control for your development partner. And If you do so - you are destined to succeed.
Case #4: Successful Partnership vs. Deadly Alliance
Let me tell you a story one successful business owner once told me. It’s about a paintball game - a team-building activity he organized for company employees.
After being divided into teams, they were given 5 minutes to come up with a strategy to win this game. He was witnessing an intense discussion in one of the teams. The team’s strategy was brilliant. Everyone was engaged and focused. Each team member was assigned a clear position and tasks. And guess what happened when the game started?
Half of them ran in the opposite direction forgetting everything they agreed on as a team. Clearly, the team lost.
The point I’m trying to make is that you can still lose with the best strategy, the greatest talents, and the most effective collaboration. Like it or not, but you become a team with your software development partner, which means now your entire business success depends on them too.
Take it a step further, in order to develop a software or an app you share sensitive information, confidential data, and transfer intellectual property. Your joint venture can become a successful partnership or deadly alliance.
Don’t rush your startup into outsourcing development. Research, analyze, study, negotiate, plan… take time to do your due diligence before entering an agreement. Get our free dev shop checklist with guidelines and questions to ask your development agency to help you find a reliable development partner.