7 Tips When Outsourcing Mobile App Development
Do you have a great idea for a mobile app or can you make your company more competitive or give a better service with a mobile app? Then think about outsourcing the development to increase the efficiency of the development and reduce the costs.
Outsourcing is an efficient tool to reduce costs, decrease risk and produce great results.
But you might also have heard horror stories about how wrong it can go. We are therefore going to give you a few tips to greatly increase your chances of success. Let’s dive in
1. Know Your Requirements
Many will intuitively begin by looking for an app developer, but the wise choice is to begin by figuring out what you want from your app.
This will make it easier to chose the right developer but it will also be easier for you to communicate to the developer precisely what it is you are looking for.
Otherwise you are much more likely to end up with a product that neither meet your expectations and is a disappointment when it comes to it performance. And by reducing the number of necessary revisions, you will be able to save both time and money.
Here are some questions to consider when you’re figuring out your requirements:
- Who is your target group?
- What’s the purpose of it or what problem is it going to solve?
- What are the unique features of your app?
- What additional features do you need?
- Will the app be free or paid?
- What’s your monetization strategy for it?
- Should it be a native or a hybrid app?
2. Pick the Right Development Option
There’s no universal option that is right for all businesses or apps. Instead it depends on primary your requirements and your budget.
Therefore it is wise to begin by to look at the pros and cons of each option.
You can choose to outsource to an agency and specializ firm, that has an inhouse team of developers and experts who can create efficient results for you when things go smoothly.
Unfortunately is can be a relative expensive approach that is not an option small businesses or projects on a small budget.
Another issue is that this can be like a super tanker where it is important that you are in the right direction from the beginning as it can be hard to change course underway.
Opposite to the above solution, you can outsource the development to independent/freelance developers that often will be the cheapest option.
Another advantage is that there often will be a direct communication with the developer instead of going through a project manager. To be fair a good project manager will be able to translate your visions and ideas to a technical language that helps the developer.
Unfortunately freelancers can have several projects running at the same time and be busy searching for new projects to work on.
Lastly we would like to highlight our solutions, which best can be described as a hybrid between the two options. We help you to get a committed developer while keeping the costs down.
3. Look for Relevant Experience
When you look for a developer you will typical look at their experience and portfolio.
Often will looking at their general experience not be enough. You have to take a closer look at their experience and portfolio to see how it match with your app development project to ensure that you get a great product at a great price.
It is of course ideal if the developer has worked on apps similar to yours in the past. If that is not the case you might look at if the developer has worked with parts that are a part of your project.
E.g. if you have a map component of the app you be interested in developers who have worked with maps in previous projects.
Also consider how much experience is needed. The more experience the higher price will the developer ask for, so if it is a simple app you might be best of with a less experienced developer.
4. Remember: Communication is Key
To make sure that you get the app you are looking for it is essential that there is an ongoing communication during the entire project, so you ensure that the developer is working in your direction.
So when selecting the developer, look at how the communication is going and if you can expect ongoing and honest communication.
It is crucial that you create a working environment where your developers feel safe and are not afraid of asking questions. This will ensure that confusions are cleared up and misunderstandings are caught fast.
It is also important to respond to each other quickly. First of all it is a sign of mutual respect but the will with certainty be cases where you and your developer are not on the same page, which will leads to mistakes, revisions, additional costs and even conflicts if not dealt with in a timely maner.
It’s important to create clear channels of communication, so the developer and you don’t miss important information.
If you e.g. are using multiple channels as e-mail and a team collaboration tool, ensure that it is clear in which cases each channel should be used. Should the developer ask questions by sending you an email or on the collaboration tool. How should the developer send deliverables?
We encourage you to use our tools. First of all because we ensure as high security as possible and we makes sure that everything is recorded for future references in case of doubts or in case of conflicts when all else have failed.
Another important factor is to ensure the communication is proactive. It’s better to catch any potential doubt and address it before the developer asks.
A proactive approach will reduce the time wasted as you will not wait for a predictable question and for you to answer so the developer can do something about it.
Finally be also aware that that interactive communication will always create better results than one-way communication. Listen to what your development partner has to say. Don’t just order them around. Make your communication process a two-way conversation, and treat your developer like a teammate instead of your subordinate.
5. Ask Questions
Never hesitate to ask all kind questions. This is particular important when you work with an offshore app developer, as communication might be less fluent.
Always ask the developers every question that is necessary for you to feel comfortable to work with them. Ask them about their experience, and to see their portfolio and testimorials from previous clients, Also ask them about their work process.
Keep in mind that your goal is to hire a developer that is responsive and open when it comes to communication. It’s a red flag if the developer you are interviewing doesn’t answer your questions properly.
6. Set Clear Expectations
Particular when you are working with offshore app developer, it is important to be very clear about your expectations. Be very clear about what you both are supposed to do, why you are doing it, when it is expected to be done.
If the expectations are unclear you can almost be certain that ugly issues will arise during your project, as confusion over payment, requirements, revisions, and whatever you can imagine and not imagine. This can end up costing you a lot of time and money.
Ensure that you both are on the same page when it comes to payment terms, time frame of the project, deliverables, quality, testing etc. before project start. Please listen careful to what the developer says and avoid pressuring the developer into e.g. a time frame that is bound to fail as it will only demotivate the developer and anger you.
7. Request a Project Plan
Always ask the developer for a project plan unless you make it yourself. Even in the last case it might be a good idea to ask the developer to participate in the planning process. This will ensure that the developer feels ownership and responsible for keeping the plan.
The project plan helps to streamline the process and makes everybody more comfortable – particular if it is a large project, as it is broken down into smaller sub projects that is easy to manage.
Not only is the project broken down into smaller pieces, but it also describes in which order each task should be completed before the developer can continue to the next one. This helps to reduce the number of errors or “forgotten” steps.
Working on the project plan with the developer will also help to set clear expectations, as who is responsible for what during the entire project phase.
It is also here where you will need the work you have done under 1). You can hold the project plan up against e.g. your requirements. Are they all in included in the project plan?
Milestones are also important as they help to divide the project into manageable chunks and you will easier be able to follow up on whether you are on track or the schedule is sliding.
8. Collaborate with Your Partner
It’s crucial that you hire a mobile app developer with skills and expertise that you trust.
Be aware that outsourcing the development of a mobile app development will never be a one-sided project. If you believe that it is just about emailing a long list of requirements and shortly after receiving a perfect mobile app, you will surely be disappointed.
Instead let your mobile app developer come with thoughts, opinions, and suggestions for your mobile apps. By using their technical knowhow you will be sure to get a better, more stable and secure mobile app.
Their input can even help you to focus on the key features and help you get rid of “nice to have” features that is not important in the first or second version, which saves you time and money.
This also makes sure that your mobile app developer feels ownership of the project and will do everything to get it ready as soon as possible.
There’s no doubt that the more you trust the mobile app developer, the more the developer will feel involved. This will increases the chances that your mobile app will be treated as the developer’s own which will give you better long term results.
Maximize Your Mobile App Outsourcing
To sum up there’s two very important things that you should take with you from the above.
First of all be very clear about what it is you want. Who is going to use the mobile app, what features is important and what features are just nice to have and combine this with you budget.
The other thing is to chose a mobile app developer that you can trust and that trusts you, so you can open and clear communication throughout the whole development process.
Finally never hesitate to contact us if you are thinking about outsourcing your next app development project.