When Choosing to Outsource Software Development, Consider People

Amidst the economic recession, more and more small software companies are choosing to outsource software development to speed development cycles and bring products to market faster. These companies can be either U.S.-based or overseas, but any small company considering development outsourcing in 2010 needs to consider the quality of the people they’re partnering with, rather than just the costs that can be saved.

Software development remains a predominantly collaborative, creative endeavor requiring just the right mix of hard skills, such as software programming, architecture, and engineering, and soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, and project management. When teams are separated by oceans, the value of both skill sets is magnified.

That’s why, if you intend to outsource a development project, it’s preferable to seek out a development partner that goes beyond typical mainstream certifications. Ideally, your partner should provide its own structured, effective system for training and developing its employees with the education, certifications, and experience they need to acquire the most advanced hard and soft skills.

A development partner should also possess the project management experience on projects of similar size and complexity to your own to handle any issues that may arise at any phase of the process. A skilled, experienced project manager will discover, correct, and prevent project flaws and weaknesses early in the development process and help to guarantee high-quality, consistent results on time and on budget. Good project managers can also identify process improvements that will get your project out the door more quickly, saving significant time and expense.

Any software project is a risky undertaking. Depending on the provider you choose, outsourcing a development project can either heighten or reduce your risks. Cost is an obvious factor to consider, but the key is to choose the company that can provide the right people with the right skills for the job.

Serhiy Kharytonov Executive Vice-President of Consulting Services SoftServe Ft. Myers, Fla.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.