Most businesses outsource software development to solve problems within their companies, whether they’re looking to create new products, want to deliver their services in more convenient ways, or lack the requisite talent in their own organizations.
But sometimes, the business-developer relationship can cause problems, too. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of common pain points during software development and how you can sidestep them as a team.
Pain Point #1: Lack of Clarity About Requirements
Requirements — the aspects and pieces of your project that absolutely must be in place in order to achieve your vision for your software — are the foundation of the business-developer relationship. Before the development team even begins building your software, they need to know what the goals are. This will also help them determine the budget and even whether the project is feasible at all.
Sometimes, clients change the requirements in the middle of the project. This can cause issues and delays, so businesses need to carefully consider what they need and articulate it to the development team early on. That doesn’t mean that they can’t change some requirements mid-development, but there has to be a powerful reason to do so, the change doesn’t have to be a radical departure from the initial premise, and the new direction has to be clearly communicated.
Pain Point #2: Communication Issues
Communication issues can arise due to many different causes during the software development lifecycle (SDLC). If you’re working with an outside company, you may not be able to get ahold of them at a moment’s notice. Or, perhaps you’re encountering language issues. Timezones can prevent streamlined communication, too.
That’s why many businesses choose nearshore developers in regions like Latin America, where timezones are more closely aligned and many engineers and professionals speak English. Of course, these aren’t the only communication hiccups that can occur: there can also be a lack of updates from both ends or a lack of clarity about the project in general.
To prevent these problems from derailing your project, designate a point person on each team. These individuals will serve as the leads and the people who will facilitate all communication to avoid confusion. There should also be a project manager, who might also serve as the point person, to keep things running smoothly.
Pain Point #3: Inaccurate Cost Estimation
Businesses may find that they’re disappointed with upcharges later in the project. This can result from changes in requirements, unexpected issues, and communication issues, among other problems. To avoid them, discuss potential scenarios with the development team before they start the project, so you’ll be fully in the know about how different circumstances will affect the cost.
This will help ensure that your development team is being forthcoming about the price before you get too involved.
Pain Point #4: Release Delays
Every business wants to release their product sooner rather than later to keep themselves competitive. So delays can be frustrating, not to mention costly for your business. Fortunately, you can avoid these disruptions from the get-go.
This ultimately comes down to choosing a skilled team. If they have the requisite experience and expertise, they will be able to complete your project within the timeline you’ve discussed. Make your needs clear from the beginning, and look into the prospective team by reading reviews and perusing their portfolio, so you know they’re capable of completing the project in a timely manner.
It’s important to understand that some delays are unavoidable, such as when the client adds more requirements or otherwise changes the project. Being clear and communicative and trying to minimize disruptions will keep the project on track.
Pain Point #5: Lack of Quality Assurance
The presence of bugs and other defects in your final product will make it flawed at best or ruin your reputation at worst. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your development team employs a thorough, rigorous quality assurance (QA) process to help you rest assured that your project has been carefully examined and screened.
QA testing can’t completely guarantee the absence of bugs, but it can catch as many as possible. It’s an important step to take toward enabling you to deliver a quality product.
Pain Point #6: Micromanagement
When you form a partnership, there’s always the risk of one partner attempting to overstep and want to be the sole controller of the project. But it’s important to remember that this is a team effort. After you’ve looked into your software development team’s credentials, experience, and skills, you need to trust that they know what they’re doing.
That doesn’t mean you don’t get a say, though. Ultimately, your business is the face of this product, so it’s natural to be concerned about the end result. In order to keep anyone from micromanaging, ensure that there are frequent updates and that the lines of communication are kept open at all times. You should feel confident in entrusting your project to your developer, but you should also feel comfortable asking questions.
Pain Point #7: Refusal to Share Responsibility
On the subject of partnerships, bear in mind that this is, truly, a joint effort, and you must both shoulder the responsibility of the venture. The software development team is responsible for delivering a product that meets your requirements and specifications in the agreed-upon timeframe, and you, the business, are responsible for equipping them with the information and tools they need to complete the job.
In order to make sure you’re both sharing the burden, articulate the terms of your arrangement in your initial contract, including who is responsible for what. This is also another paint point that requires constant communication from both partners, ensuring you each live up to your side of the bargain.
No software development relationship or agreement is without hiccups. You may well encounter these and other complications during the project. But with this as your roadmap, you’ll be well-equipped to resolve any issues that come your way as you and your software development team build your next great product — together.