Mobile app development is a kind of process that is always good to outsource, no matter you own a big company or a startup. Unless you are another Google or Facebook and have a lot of experienced programmers on board, the benefits you can get from outsourcing are massive: you save your resources, time, and money and get the expertise of contractors specializing in the branch you need. After all, if you are sick, you won’t hire a doctor full time – you’ll only pay for one visit.
However, with the significant amount of money app development takes, it is obvious you are a bit scared about outsourcing it. You consider issues such as safety of sharing your data and ideas with your contractor, choosing a software house you can trust, or simply difficulties in communication with someone who is not familiarized with your company’s rules.
So how to outsource app development in a smooth and easy way? There are several rules.
DEFINE WHAT YOUR APP IS ALL ABOUT
It is obvious in every project but when you outsource a significant part of your business and expect easy app development, it is even more important to set clear goals.
Without knowing what you’re up to yourself, you just won’t be able to explain your idea to the company you will outsource to. So take some time to define what you want from your mobile app, what your target audience is and how your app will be monetized.
Also, think your app’s functionalities through. Do you want to combine the application with external API? Make use of devices’ sensors? Log in with Facebook? Your developer will need at least a general description of what your app is all about.
What functionalites to choose from? And how much do they cost? Fill in the form below and get an app estimation from our experts.
FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER
How to find a right software house to do the job? That’s the most tricky part.
Start with checking their market presence. Are they listed in mobile developers directories? Or even better, are they the first in their country or branch? Do they have an explanatory website or a blog with more information about them? Do they share their knowledge in media and throughout the Internet as experts? Search the Web and check out.
Another important thing is their experience. Do they have an impressive portfolio in which there are apps similar to yours or from the same industry? Are their reviews from satisfied clients are enough to convince you to trust them? Outsourcing should be based on one golden rule: they know their subject better than you do – so trust only developers who are experienced in your field.
Not sure whether the software house you’ve chosen is good enough for your project? Solve our quiz and check out!
SET UP COMMUNICATION
Once you choose a perfect software house, make contact with them. You will not always be able to visit them in person and it is understandable as your cooperator can be from a very remote part of the world. But you have to be able to talk to them via Skype or other communicator. Simply exchanging emails is definitely not enough if you want to outsource such a big project as app development.
A good contact with your Project Manager is also crucial for easy app development. Make sure you understand each other correctly and don’t hesitate to contact him if you think the work is going in a wrong direction. It is better to explain something twice at the beginning, than when the app is already in app stores.
DECIDE ON THE RULES
As your cooperator is not a member of your company, they are not familiarized with the rules and standards you require from your in-house employees. They just don’t know your requirements.
So don’t wait for a huge misunderstanding to occur – agree on the rules from the very beginning.
- How the communication should look like? How often do you want to be updated on the project? How much time both parts have for answering questions that may occur? Communication is where the majority of problems happen.
- What is your project schedule? What are the milestones? When each iteration should be completed? Is there time for tests, correcting bugs and changes?
- What is your payment model: Time & Material, Fixed Price, Mixed? When do you pay for their work? Is there a guarantee period after you get your final product?
Discuss such issues with your Project Manager and you won’t face any surprises.
Developing mobile applications is a teamwork. And it does not only mean that a group of programmers cooperate to create your product. This also requires you to take part in the process.
You may think that you don’t have time for building your app and after all, a good developers should know what they are doing. But in case of mobile applications you can’t be further from true. An app is a tailored product and just as a tailored suit or dress, it works best when the client cooperates with his team, check the progress once a while and answers developers’ questions.
It is especially important if your software house works in Agile methodology where the process includes a set of phases called iterations. One an iteration is completed, you will have to approve of the work done, give feedback and set up goals for the next iteration. More work on your side? That’s true. But imagine you get a fully developed app that is just not what you’ve imagined because you had no chance to clarify your thoughts throughout the process.
CHECK IT OUT
One of the most important steps in outsourcing app development is measuring the quality of IT services provided by your software house. In most cases, clients are not programmers themselves so they cannot judge the work done in a neutral way. So what can be done to prevent misunderstandings?
Above all, define the product that is considered to be the final version from the very beginning. If you agree what a final product means for both you and your contractor, there will be no situations when they expect money for something they consider done but you’d expected more.
What’s more, test your application yourself. A good software house will let you check whether everything is alright with your product both at the end and throughout the development process. They will also give you a 3 month guarantee to ensure any potential bugs will be quickly mended if needed.
Outsourcing has many benefits and in most cases developing an app with a software house is quicker, less expensive and easier than hiring a team of senior developers yourself. Stick to the guidelines above and your outsourcing experience will run in a smooth and easy way.