Yes, we all know it is very difficult to select and engage an offshore development company for a project. Usually you know a guy, who knows a guy, who has got something done from guys offshore and it has worked for him, you may choose to talk to these offshore guys. If your company is a bigger corporation, you send out an RFP asking some of your known vendors to send a proposal, followed by quote etc. Or some sales guy has been following up with you for some work and you like him and invite him to talk about the project. Take any of the above routes, there will be challenges and things do not work out as planned in most occasions. Sounds familiar? Read on…
It is extremely critical to clearly capture the project goals and define the success criteria upfront. As a sponsor of the project it is extremely critical that you have a clear mission statement in your head. Once you have these clarity, identifying a partnering offshore company will be something well thought-out, project-focused and eventually aligned will be well aligned with your plan.
It is now time to reach out the offshore development companies which offer the kind of service that you are looking for. Doing your research on these companies to identify an ideal partner for you. Following are some of the key criteria you can apply during the selection process:
- technology expertise
- communication skills of the key personnel
- experience in similar industry
- cost-structure of development services
- do they have similar size clients?
- how long the company is in operation?
- time zone of the partner company
You should feel comfortable asking a potential offshore development partner specific questions about its manpower, technology capabilities and expertise. Which cutting edge technologies are being utilized by a particular offshore development company? What are their strengths and weakness in technology? Which development tools and cloud platforms they use in their work? Find out every single detail that is of interest to you. If an offshore development company has expertise in various technologies then you’re lucky! A team of such professional offshore developers may consult you in terms of the optimal technology, programming language, framework for your project.
Communication skills of the key personnel
It is of the utmost importance for an offshore development team (atleast the key team members) to communicate effectively with its clients, so with you. Can you hear, speak and understand your offshore development team clearly? In no way language should be a barrier between you and your offshore team. Excellent communication both with clients and within the offshore team is one of the major prerequisites to a first-rate project implementation of any project. You’d better also ask if the company provides its team with necessary tools for effective communication e.g. Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, TeamViewer, Email, etc. This knowledge will give you an understanding of how easy it will be to communicate with an offshore development partner on everyday basis before jumping into cooperation with them.
Check if an offshore development company has a knowledge of your industry or an experience in development projects for similar niche. It is also a benefit if the company has a solid experience in implementing offshore development projects for multiple industries.
Compare rates for offshore development services of all the companies on your list. Will the cheapest suggested cost of making your project offshore be still cheaper than fulfilling it with your own company efforts?
Similar size clients
If an offshore development company has clients of similar size that your company is that means they are more likely to realize the project of the complexity you require. This factor is also indispensable when you need to make a decision whether to rely on an offshore web development company or not.
How long the company is in operation?
How long is an offshore development company in business? What are its milestones and background? Does it have a consistent track record of successful projects or not? If an offshore web development company participates in global or local IT associations, business unions that can speak of its credibility and maturity as a partnering company. You may also ask about the number of long-term clients that a potential offshore development company currently has. This is important to know if you wish to assign development tasks to an offshore development partner not once, but many times in the future as well.
It is great to know that when you are sleeping the work is still being done, right? Thus the difference in time between you and your offshore development company can be a cool benefit. If you wish to be in constant communication with your offshore development team you may partner with several companies in different time zones. That way the project will be produced 24 hours a day.
After you have gathered all the information about contenders the next step is checking references of all offshore development companies on your list. How professional is offshore development service delivered by each of them? Are their clients happy with work done or there is a room for negative feedback about any of those offshore companies?
Final step is making a short list with 3-5 top contenders and check your project mission statement once again. Which offshore development company seems like the best fit to fulfill your development project? That’s it! You’re done and ready to proceed with actual offshore work with your ideal offshore development company.