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4 Mistakes to Avoid When You Outsource App Development

Developing an app can be a stressful time in one’s life. Whether it is due to missed deadlines, poorly functioning servers, or lack of communication with your team, a lot can go wrong when working on your project. This is the reason why a lot of companies and individuals choose to outsource app development. Having an offshore team that is experiencing in developing apps can take a huge weight off of your shoulders.

However, when you outsource your development without taking the proper steps, the anxiety can grow instead of decrease. In order to help you avoid some common pitfalls, we have put together a list of common mistakes made by people who outsource app development without knowing everything they need to know. Our hope is that after reading this, you will not only consider choosing to outsource app development, but know how to do it well.

outsource app development

Common Mistakes

The mistakes that we are about to cover do not put the onus singularly on client. In fact, there are plenty of app development companies out there who are inexperienced and incapable of bringing your project to fruition. If you follow our advice you will be able to avoid these companies and save yourself both time and money.

The main thing to remember is to do intensive research before choosing to outsource app development.

1. Failing to do proper research

Finding the right app development company can be difficult. However, there are a few areas you can research first to make sure you don’t end up with a wrong fit. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions of these companies. They are going to be working for you. If they can’t answer questions about the following areas, they probably won’t be a good fit for you.

  •      Communication: What will your communication with your team look like? Will there be an on-site project manager you can get in touch with for emergencies? Will your developers be asking the right questions?
  •      Portfolio: Do they have experience in your area? Have the developers adopted new design trends? How recent are they? Look at their newest work to make sure their level of quality has remained constant. Often the developer you liked on one of their former projects has left the company or may not be available. Look around enough to get a good idea of all of their work.
  •      Expertise: Do the developers you are choosing to outsource app development to have the proper experience and expertise to get the job done? This is incredibly important for you to know up front, instead of 6 months down the line when your app is already built.
  •      Team: Who is going to be working on your project? What does the project manager’s background look like? Don’t be afraid to ask for individual resumes from the team. You want to make sure you have the right people working on your project.
  •      Focus: Will the programmers you are employing working only on your project or several? Most developers have several projects, but if you want someone dedicated specifically to yours, don’t be afraid to ask.
  •      Cultural fit: Will this partner be familiar with the industry and user base you are trying to engage with? In some cases, this is a vital part of the entire project. Make sure that your values align with your development team if you think it is important to your project.

A lot of this research can be done before the initial meeting, but the rest will come from a healthy dialogue with your development company. Use this time to ask the questions that are important to you.

people using phones

2. Forgetting who you are creating for

What can often happen when you outsource app development is you forget who you are creating an app for. The end user is the most important part of the project, but is often left forgotten until it’s too late. As you are looking for and speaking with app development companies, bring this up and ask them about how they will keep the end user in mind.

Ideally, you will want to be asking these sorts of questions before the first line of code is written.

  •      What do the users think the software should be able to do?
  •      What role and applications will the software have?
  •      In what ways will the users interact with the software?
  •      What information do your users plan to enter into the program?
  •      What type of information, and in what format, do they expect to get back?
  •      How will the users use the resulting information?

Only once you are able to answer each of the following questions with your development team should you consider them to outsource app development to.

3. Expecting the impossible

The next common mistake that companies make when decide to outsource app development is expecting too much from their development team. This can happen for a couple of reasons. Either the person looking to get their app developed has too high of standards. Or, they are simply new to the world of app development and exactly what it takes to create an app.

This second areas is easiest to solve if you have good communication with your team. For example, if you have never worked on an app before, you might think your project is a lot easier than it actually is. Walk through each step with your development team to make sure you have the proper expectations.

The Bad Buyer

When you underestimate the size of your project, you can be labelled what is known as a Bad Buyer. Often this is simply due to ignorance on the subject, but when it happens, a few things might occur.

  •      The developer puts their nose to the grindstone and finishes the project for you, but unless you pay them a bonus for the extra work they will have to do, they will likely hold a grudge.
  •      The programmer rushes to finish the project, cuts corners, and gives you a lesser finished product. Sometimes this is okay if you tell them which areas to focus on, but otherwise it may be that the main feature of your app doesn’t do what it needs to.
  •      Once the full scope of the project becomes apparent, they might want to renegotiate price and hours. This is why it is important to have the proper expectations from the start.
  •      The developer might not finish the product, leaving you to have to find someone else to pick up where they left off. A very undesirable result.

The best way to avoid this is by speaking with your team beforehand to make sure that everyone has the right expectations for the project. Remember that this is a partnership and each side should have equal say in the way things go.

man testing software

4. Failing to test the software appropriately

Whether or not you choose Android app development or iPhone app development, testing the software is vital to making sure your final project is clear, concise, and functions well. A large part of this will fall to the development team. Hopefully they will use an Agile or Lean framework so that they are testing throughout the project.

If they aren’t, this might be a red flag, but ultimately it will be up to you to make sure everything is up to snuff. For example, if they bring you the project and you notice things that need fixing but want to rush the launch, it will likely come back to bite you later.

This is the time to be diligent and over-do it. Because when it comes to testing, your app, you can’t ever over-do it. This is going to be a continuous process and hopefully once you find the right company, the whole process will become a lot easier.

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