Ever since the agile development model took over in many firms, being able to justify it from a cost standpoint has thrown some of the work that would be traditionally outsourced into technology product engineering methodologies that are more traditional and quantifiable in terms of return on the dollar spent.

Yet agile non-withstanding, there is still a concern on the part of many experienced managers about being able to bring their projects in on time and under budget when using an outsourced team.

Here are some tips that can help your software development company forge ahead with the partners that you choose to create your next application with:

ROI doesn’t lie:

At a large software firm, both the development models and the way that internal engineers interacted during projects used to change as management was looking at finding the best match for current conditions. For someone then taking those results and trying to apply them to their next project with outsourced product development, it became a tricky thing to find a way to compare apples to potential apples, given the stripped-down nature of the outsourced product development methodology. Just the same, once a model was developed and validated, it proved to be very useful in providing both a forecast and a system of checkpoints when it came to both cost and schedule, guiding the outsourced team to victory in terms of completing project milestones and meeting the budgetary goals.

Re-think communication:

Although many development models rely upon the meetings to keep a team cohesive and focused, the nature of a software product development firm that uses electronic and video communications with its offsite workers favors leveraging online communications to keep the team abreast of how a project is progressing. It therefore should not be as necessary to require as many meetings in order to meet your project deadlines. One SQA team tried an experiment at a large computer firm, avoiding all development meetings and merely reading the online notes, communicating via IM and e-mail and phone, and putting together automated scripts in advance of the product’s release. As a result of that strategy, they were able to meet their positive ROI goals without having a negative impact on software product development. Had they attended several meetings, the time that they spent during those meetings would have meant that they ended up costing the company more than they would have on similar projects in the past where automation was not part of the process.

The upshot is that communication remains very important. Electronic communication, however can be leveraged to help meet technology product engineering goals.

How is their project organized?

Another thing that software development company managers can look at when they are
interacting with their offsite counterparts is how their outsourced team is managed. As the client, if you have spent millions of dollars developing the most efficient engineering processes around, it is never wrong to throw your weight around by asking to validate just how your contractors plan to accomplish your goals. You do want to be careful regarding how fine a brush you use because they are not your employees- yet getting an overall feel for how they will organize the project is still within your purview.

Outsourcing software product development can be rewarding to your firm when it meets the goals that you set for it. By using specific management techniques, you can create an environment where your contractors will be set up for success.