Hire In-house or Outsource Software Development? Best Tips

Outsourcing software development
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Right now, a large proportion of companies are reporting that one of the biggest obstacles preventing them from moving forward is recruitment challenges. The employment marketplace has changed a lot in the last two years with Software Developers becoming the most sought after people in the UK. This means that we’re in an employee’s market now, and many companies are struggling to hire to such as extent that they’re looking into outsourcing software development.

Whilst You Build Internal Capability

We are seeing a lot of companies experiencing major challenges with running business-critical software that needs constant attention. Many companies who are finding that they're struggling to meet deadlines or to hire in-house talent are now looking to outsource software development by partnering with an established software development company. The benefits of this are that a specialist partner will be ready to hit the ground running. And they already have the skills to deliver your project, which means there's no ramp-up time needed. Software development outsourcing is something to consider. Here are a couple of questions to get you thinking:

· Do you currently have a development team that is not as experienced as you need them to be?

· Do you have a large enough budget for an outsourced software development team?

Just like recruiting an in-house developer team, the decision to outsource and bring on a partner can seem daunting. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the advice is actually similar to when you’re hiring a developer. Here are our top tips for finding a software development partner that’s right for you.

How Does Your Roadmap Look?

Outsourcing is a broad term covering software development partners, team augmentation and international day-rate development, a.k.a. off-shoring. When thinking about which of those three options is best for you, consider the detail of your roadmap.  

If you’ve got a detailed roadmap that can be taken and distilled into an actionable checklist, and you just need resources to execute, then team augmentation or international day-rate development is the best option. However, if you don’t have the luxury of a roadmap whereby you can hand an outsourcing company a list of actions and leave them to it, then you'd be setting yourself up for failure if you went for that option. In this scenario, you’d benefit most from working with a software development partner who can build a meticulous roadmap with you before they start development.

As a project manager or company owner, understanding your needs for each of your projects, in detail, will help to inform your decision-making process - especially important before you decide whether to remain with your in-house team, outsourcing partner or software development outsourcing company.

Establish Right Fit

If you don't have a brilliant roadmap and you're thinking of a development partner, then it's critical you find a partner that fits and that shares your values to make the development process as streamlined as possible. If a partner fits with your company culture and your way of working and delivering, you will save time and money – and headaches – in the long run.

Dig into the Delivery Plan

Ask for a comprehensive delivery plan from your partner and question it with the same intensity that you would question a candidate about their CV. A great software development outsourcing company will have no problem walking you through the process they use to create their delivery plan. Research company websites and look at case studies. Make sure that the delivery ethos of any potential partners mirrors your own; ask difficult questions about length of service, staff turnover, and how they handle project delays. And ask lots of questions to ensure they have a robust delivery plan; don't just let them tell you they do SCRUM, because you deserve much more detail than that.

Help Partners Understand your Business

If you do decide to outsource, it’s key that your partner understands the nuances of your business. And you shouldn’t expect to hand over development to a third party and expect them to bring back what you want without you getting involved. But a good partner will always match you up with developers and Product Owners that have experience in your industry, which saves you time because the outsourced developers don’t have to learn a language or an industry from scratch.

Remember - the communications between you and your software development outsourcing partner are crucial to make the project a true success.

Onboard and Feedback  

In the same way that you take time to onboard developers, taking the time to onboard a partner will add huge value to your relationship. This way, the partner can become an extension of your business. So take time to train your partner and maintain those same open-door policies that we recommend for internal developers. A robust partner should also provide constant feedback and give you opportunities to get involved through regular demo and feedback sessions. This also helps you to keep your partner accountable.

Remove the Headache of Hiring

Ultimately your decision to hire in-house or to outsource, or do a combination of both, comes down to where you want to spend your time. If you have a very small team of developers and you don’t have the experience and skills to hire, develop and grow a team, your time and expertise may be better spent managing a single partner.

Hiring and partnering is not an either or question, as most of our customers have found. They benefit from partnership to keep their plates spinning while they take the time to build their in-house capability. One example of this is TerraQuest, who were embarking on a major project to migrate to the cloud and increase their output so they can deliver their biggest project yet: Planning Portal 2 for England and Wales. It was critical that this undertaking would not impact day-to-day activities, so they needed someone to take the pressure off while they focus on the big picture and hit their delivery goals.

Because of the evolving marketplace, we’ve gradually reassessed our processes and made some adjustments to keep an edge on competitors. So that we can help you, we’re keen to share our learnings so you can also adjust your methods without compromising on culture or delivery.  

You can look back on our resources for:

At Synetec, we’ve been able to maintain a 100% on time, on budget delivery rate since 2019, and a critical part of that is the way we recruit and manage our team. We strongly believe that the same success is achievable for you, so we’d like to share our learnings with you in an eBook that’s available for you to download.

If you want to ensure delivery now whilst building your internal team, book a call with one of our senior technologist so that together you can build a plan on how to meet your goals.

Speak to a Software Development Specialist

If you would like to discuss a bespoke software development project, challenge or goal please book a 30 minute Clarity Call with us and we'll point you in the right direction (even if you chose not to work with us)

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Free Guide: How to Hire Developers (and keep them)

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