This is the second article in our three-part series entitled “Choosing the right outsourcing development agency”. If you missed the first article in this series you can read it here. We continue where we left off by providing more useful guidelines and criteria that should be considered when seeking to appoint an outsourced web development service provider.
TECHNOLOGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
Should your project be an existing project that needs additional development done or a new project with specific technology requirements, it is fairly important that the new development company can work with the technology that the website or web application is built in.
However, this is not always the case; for example, a company with extensive experience and knowledge in developing projects using MVC frameworks, may not have worked with a specific required framework but can apply the principles and best practices from other MVC frameworks to the existing framework.
Version control is a system that records changes to a file or set of files within a project (for example the source code) over time so that you can recall specific versions later. Having a version control system in place is industry best practice and should be compulsory.
Commercial services like Github and Bitbucket can be utilised to facilitate the version control of your project. If the web development agency isn’t using version control this is a huge red flag and poses a significant risk to something going wrong in the project and not having the correct versioning in place.
THIRD-PARTY INTEGRATION EXPERIENCE
Your project may require integration with a third-party service provider, for example a payment gateway, SMS or text message provider, booking system, CRM, etc.
These integrations are typically done through an Application Programming Interface (API) and each service provider has their own API and ways of connecting and transferring data to and from the service.
A web development company that has experience in integrating with a particular third party can fast track your project and reduce the development time and issues that can arise through the integration.
LOCATION & CURRENCY
LOCATION MAY BE A FACTOR
For many clients location is important and for others location is irrelevant. Location may come into play when the client requires that the development company be in a similar timezone to themselves. This obviously means that the working hours are similar and communication can take place throughout the day.
When location is not a factor this means that the development team can work independently of the client’s timezone and commit work at regular intervals. This work can be reviewed, analysed and fed back by the client in their own time. This often takes place on a daily basis with teams communicating each day, with new development updates being deployed and feedback being provided on these updates.
CURRENCY COULD AFFECT PRICING
The development company may choose to bill the client in their own currency or in the client’s currency. This needs to be clarified and agreed upon upfront. A benefit to the client is that the currency of the development company may be somewhat weaker than the client’s currency, therefore the client could end up paying less for the same quality of work.
The key to making offshore, outsourced development projects successful is communication. Projects are often highly complex with many intricacies and custom requirements. Being able to articulate these requirements and provide constant input is extremely important throughout the project, from the briefing stage to the final completion and launch phase.
The client should ensure that the development company has a solid understanding of their language, preferably that they share the same first language. Therefore the development company needs to have excellent oral and written skills and must be able to read, write and communicate effectively and clearly.
Without this clear communication and understanding, a project is highly likely to fail.
Related to the language point in Part two of this series, communication needs to happen regularly throughout the project. All aspects of the project need to be communicated clearly and concisely, this includes potential problems and issues that may arise.
Communication can take place through a variety of mediums and technologies, such as telephone, email, Skype, Google Hangouts. Project communication can also take place through various project management platforms such as Monday.com, Trello, JIRA, Active Collab, Base Camp, etc. These tools need to be used consistently and effectively to ensure all stakeholders are informed and can access the necessary information when needed.
Items such as timezone, language, and even culture play a huge role in the project communication. Ensure that the company you choose to work with satisfies all these criteria.
END OF PART TWO
This concludes the second article in this three-part series, which provide key criteria and aspects to allow companies to make an informed, risk-reduced decision when wanting to find a suitable outsourced web development agency. Stay tuned for the third and final article which includes the final list of important factors that need to be considered and concludes this series.
If you are considering outsourcing web development work to a reputable, competent and reliable company look no further. We are here to assist you throughout the project development life cycle. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements today.