12 Things You Need to Know about Mobile Application Outsourcing as an Entrepreneur
- Posted by Kateryna Bozhenko
- On July 10, 2017
- 0 Comments
- app, company, development, mobile, outsource, platform, project
Availability of your product or service to the customer is important – and this is where mobile applications truly shine as an integral part of the marketing strategy. But how do you build an app as an entrepreneur? Let’s take a look at the most viable solution the industry offers today – mobile app outsourcing.
Advantages of outsourcing over in-house development
The first question that comes to mind is ‘Why not hire people to be full-time developers?’. While having people as staff members is something that a classic business model suggests, it is no longer the most profitable option. Here are a few things you need to take into consideration.
For starters, assembling a team is a pain. You have to determine what kind of specialists you are looking for and it requires some in-depth understanding of the workflow. You have to find people and choose the fitting candidates out of dozens (if not hundreds) of application. How are you going to accomplish this over any reasonable period of time?
There may also be certain periods when you need to a pause to conduct a survey, to discuss an important point with your partners etc. If the developers are working for your enterprise, you will actually end up paying for them being idle because can’t provide a consistent workflow within multiple projects.
The bottom line is that it may simply be not profitable to hire a full-time team of developers when you need to develop a solution. You may consider hiring staff to maintain it further but it is way cheaper and requires another set of skills. You aim for the best result while saving as much money as possible without sacrificing quality.
So here are the main points why outsourcing is a viable solution:
- Hiring people as full time staff members is expensive – outsourcing comes at a reasonable price.
- Assembling the team on your own requires expertise in development – as an entrepreneur you would generally prefer to focus on business management rather than diving into tech details.
- Streamlining development is crucial – consistent workflow comes with years of experience.
How do I define the goal of the project?
Now, to get people to work on your project, you need to tell precisely what you expect from them. It means that you have to describe specifically what you want to accomplish with this project.
The general rule of thumb is that if your product is only entering the market strive for the minimum viable product (also referred to as the MVP). This means that the first version of product should contain only the necessary minimum of features. All the rest can added further on.
There are certainly a lot of cool features that you might want to add, but every single one of them contributes to the extension of terms incrementally. You want to add a chat system to share their opinions in real time? Throw in two more weeks. Do you think that a gallery may be nice? Add another two weeks. Now you need a month on top of what you planned originally, while you could have already launched you application and started working with real world data.
Let’s sum up this part:
- Defining the exact result you’re looking for is vital;
- Stick to a minimum of features that are absolutely necessary;
- Aim to launch as soon as possible to collect feedback.
How do I find the right pick?
Now that you’ve defined what you’re looking to accomplish, you need to find the right contractor. So how do you choose people to work with?
The first thing to keep in mind is that a single developer is usually not even remotely enough to make things happen. Even if the contractor is extremely talented, there are too many field he should cover. ‘Jack of all trades’ is not a real thing in professional development for mobile platform.
Assembling a team and controlling it further may be hard. And what if one of the participants washes out? You’ll have to find a replacement real quick, or the whole process will come to a halt or even a complete stop. This is something you would want to avoid at all costs because any delay reduces your chances for success.
Hiring an established team of mobile developers is a preferable solution. Here are the reasons why:
- They have the specialists with the proven expertise who have been ‘battle tested’ already;
- Every member of the team has his own field of responsibility which allows for better expertise and more efficient solutions;
- The reputation of the company is its most important asset, and every team will do its best to keep the record clean.
How do I manage the process?
The tricky part about outsourcing is maintaining balance between controlling the progress (which is what you normally would want to do as the entrepreneur) and telling the developers exactly what they should be doing at this moment (which may not yield positive results in the end).
Don’t be a micromanager – this is simply counterproductive. You hire developers to do the job, they have the expertise and you don’t need to be controlling their every step. As an entrepreneur you should set certain milestones and indexes that would indicate the efficiency of the process based on the expertise in the field of business.
If you hire a team, they’ll have a project manager assigned to keep you updated on the process on a constant basis. This person is not immediately involved in working with code or any other purely technical activities. He is responsible for the process to run in adherence with the set requirements and timely delivery of new features. You can contact any time you need an update on the current state of the project, and if you want to contact the tech specialists, a virtual meeting can be arranged.
In the end basically boils down to ‘How much do I get involved in the development process’? To get a better hold of this idea, let’s look at the management paradigms that are used by teams – ‘agile’ and ‘waterfall’.
The ‘waterfall’ is the classic model of management that suggests meticulous planning and strict adherence to the plan. Any deviations are considered to be inappropriate. It brings some sort of stability to the process, but limits flexibility severely.
‘Agile’ is a way of management that allows for constant changes at the cost of additional management mechanisms. It is considered to be progressive and is generally applied in cases that require rapid development and deployment in a dynamic field. Agile has a lot of cool features that actually allow you to control the workflow while not inhibiting the process.
So, agile or waterfall? Is flexibility an option?
This is a question that has been discussed a lot lately, especially after the popularity of ‘Agile manifesto’ skyrocketed. If you have a stable business model or need to stay within strictly set budget, you may want to go with the classic waterfall model – but keep in mind that you will hardly be able to make any big changes once you get going.
The thing to keep in mind is that the world of mobile applications is extremely dynamic, so if you are planning to push an innovative product to the market, flexibility is a major advantage.
So what are the main points on management for mobile app development?
- Set the goals and milestones and let the experts do their part. Micromanagement doesn’t pay off;
- The project manager is the link between you and technical specialists. Make sure you are on the same page with him (or her);
- Make sure that the outsource team allows you to be an integral part of the process. In the end, it is your vision that defines the success of the project.
Mobile app outsourcing is a reliable and cost-efficient way to develop a solution for your business. Understanding the fundamental principles of how this field works along with a clear idea of what you want to achieve makes groundbreaking projects happen – with the right pick of outsourcing team. Make sure you work with people who are up for your task!
For questions and queries into the tech side of things, general start up questions, or anything else that may come to mind, don’t hesitate to contact us for consultations. Get in touch with us today regarding any project you have in mind and we’ll do our best to give you an estimate.