Defining Your Software Development Methodology When Outsourcing

A company’s software development methodology covers every fundamental ground rule defining the process used to create your software. This includes control over the source code, testing, the criteria for release, and of course where the responsibility for this procedure lies.

Individual programmers’ productivity has increased dramatically thanks to interactive development environments (IDEs), and with efficient new methodologies such as agile software development, the efficiency of programming teams has also been greatly improved. While of course different companies will have vastly different needs – what works for you works for you, regardless of the name it is given or the definition it falls under. We recommend agile software development.

Agile software development

In our experience, self-organised teams coordinating and collaborating to organically evolve a product-specific methodology is an ideal solution for most software development needs.

It is essential, of course, for your outsourced team to know what you want, but this will be par for the course if your chosen outsourced agile team is up to scratch, and the main benefit of that team will be their focus on continual improvements to your software, allowing you to track the development and keep the project on the course you want it to be on through repeating builds and releases. What you must ensure is that communication channels remain open at all times. Discussion, collaboration and cross-functionality will ensure you are all on the same page.

Define your management structure

The key to success in this field is effective control of your in-house engineering team. They should be in charge of management, not coding. Decide who in your management hierarchy is accountable for the daily operations of the outsourced team. That person needs to be granted the authority to freely manage your in-house engineers as well as the offshore ones. They can then keep the outsourced coders on a defined path. It will be your experienced employees’ knowledge and perspective that will make your software development a success. Remember, outsourcing is a hugely successful way of improving efficiency, not of buying vision.

If you are interested in learning more about how to successfully implement agile methodologies when outsourcing, please contact us.

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