Product development outsourcing. Ok, you’ve heard of it, but what types are there? And do you need it for your particular project? Will your in-house development team be overwhelmed if you don’t outsource? These are all legitimate concerns and the best way to tackle them is to understand product development outsourcing and its applications.
With this piece we’ll be looking into the what, why and how of product development outsourcing. Let’s dive in!
What are the different types of product development outsourcing
In a nutshell, the types of development outsourcing you may require depends on which part of your operation needs support.
One scenario in which you may require product development outsourcing is when you have an application built, but certain technical requirements still have not been met. (To learn more about the most pressing technical requirements, click here.) For example, maybe your app is not accessible across both Android and iOS devices. Or the desktop version needs work or doesn’t even exist yet.
Moreover, you’ll want to make sure that the initial engineering is good so scaling and product maintenance will be easier in the future. This is where technology-related product development outsourcing comes in handy.
Human capital development
In reality, the proficiency and skill set it takes to create a well-designed product requires a broader knowledge reach than the one that was used to create the app originally. Put simply, you may need to onboard some targeted help and that’s more than ok. In fact, it’s better to supplement your in-house staff than to overwork them and risk demotivating them by having them take on tasks they are not up for.
Does the end justify the means? Well, in product development, you may be faced with changes, support, maintenance upgrades, or even a rewriting of the app based on customer feedback. And the only way to tackle any of this is to have proper documentation, good configuration control, pristine architecture and coding standards. You never want to have the headache of untangling poorly written legacy code! It’s better to get it right the first time.
Actually, even if you don’t get it right, that’s ok. Fail forward by always getting it neat. And needless to say, if you feel you are overwhelmed in any of these departments, this is another area where product development outsourcing can go a long way to making your product competitive and successful.
Why is product development outsourcing useful?
No matter what the requirements are, there will be challenges associated with trusting an outsourcing provider. However, you may also run into difficulty when trying to keep everything in-house. For example, if you lack experienced staff or a certain tech stack, this could be a major roadblock to success. So whether its complex new product builds or legacy product support, don’t be afraid to on-board help. It will cost you less than failure in the long run.
Figuring out the right option for you is all about weighing the benefits against the challenges for every scenario in order to create a great action plan.
Onboarding Targeted Skills, Knowledge and Expertise
As we mentioned above, if you’re missing a skillset, reach out to an outsourcing company. As a rule, they come with years of experience and most likely specific cases of developing products like yours. Rather than winging it, try onboarding a dedicated team or staff augmentation so you can fill in the missing knowledge gaps. Better to get the help you need than to put your team and your product in an unwinnable situation.
Agile Software Development Application
If real estate agents say “location, location, location”, then we say “agile, agile, agile”. The reason why Agile software development has been popular for years is simple. It’s effective. And why? Because it reduces time to market and allows you the dev. team the flexibility needed to make the roadmap changed and move on.
Since your idea may be in the beginning stages of development you may want to take it slow and see the results on a step by step basis. You also may need to back up and make a few changes. This is exactly what Agile lets you do.
As a startup, you most likely want to take baby steps and see the results at the moment. It allows you to make changes on the go, continuously improve the product aligned to the new market trends, provide stakeholders with fractional parts of working software, and gather feedback from early users even before the startup launch.
Software companies using the Agile methodology can provide experienced project managers (Scrum masters) that will break down the project into sprints (1-2 weeks). Each sprint has a goal that stands for a key feature or a software component that will be tested and demonstrated at the end of a sprint.
So essentially, Agile makes things easier and faster while letting you micromanage to keep your eye on the bigger picture.
Reduced time to market with outsourced product development
Needless to say, with the right development model and the right expertise, you could have your product on the road to launch in no time. Having the resources you need on your team and properly up to speed will ensure your product runs into less hiccups and setbacks. And all that equals, less time wasted and a reduced time to market.
Outsourced product development leads to lower costs
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Time is money.” So, yes if you spend less time developing your product, you’ll be more able to test it, get feedback and finally move toward profitability. But that’s not all. Having the right outsourced development team work with you is often more cost-effective than hiring everyone in-house.
With experience comes wisdom. An outsource development team can and should pull from its past projects to help your product be better, more stable and faster developed. That’s why taking a targeted approach is the way to go. Outsourcing teams can come in surgically and give strategic and comprehensive solutions to product development.
To sum it up, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider outsourcing your development. Each software company has its own list of services that details just how they do that. What’s important is to be able to identify where the gaps are in your development and contract a software development team to help you fill them in. If you’re not sure what gaps there are, a consultation will be a good idea. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. The sooner you onboard the skills and manpower you need the closer you will be to realizing your product goals.