5 mistakes to avoid when outsourcing app or web development

By: Jack Fisher

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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Outsourcing app and web development can seem daunting at first, and there are several common mistakes that you'll want to avoid. Let's take a look at a few of them and what you can do to ensure you don't make them!


Not having a plan

It might sound obvious but to successfully outsource development work it needs to be carefully planned. It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that you can use an agile methodology to adapt on the fly meaning there is no need to plan the whole project. This is wrong, and the repercussions can be costly. Every project needs to be planned from start to finish, even if you don’t have a clear idea of what features the finished project will contain. Failure to plan will lead to overrun budgets and missed deadlines.


Putting too much value on the cost

It’s natural to feel inclined to go with the cheaper option when choosing any two similar services in life. In some instances, this is the correct decision and it can be a great money saver, especially when you are spending a significant amount of money. The reality, however, is that different agencies are priced differently for good reason. The overall cost of a project will often reflect the quality of service you can expect, as well as the quality of the final product. Great developers don’t come cheap and sometimes it's worth spending the extra money to get a product that you are going to be happy with.


Choosing the wrong technology

Perhaps one of the most common traps to fall into when outsourcing app or web development is paying to have your project built using a technology that isn’t suitable for your needs. Unfortunately, this often happens because the client has fallen for an agency's great sales pitch. You’ve been convinced that the technology they use is the best available and will be perfect for your needs. At the end of the day, most agencies won’t openly admit the flaws in their technologies, and it comes down to you as the customer to do your own research to ensure that you are buying the right technology for your needs.


Failing to recognise the value in location

Paying for developers overseas to build your project can often cost a fraction of the price to paying for those who live in the UK. On paper, this seems like an extremely tempting offer that could potentially save you thousands. The reality is that in almost all instances this will backfire, often resulting in having to pay for the entire project to be rebuilt again from scratch. The reason for this is that these overseas companies survive by praying on the lesser informed who don’t know any better, making them promises they know they can’t keep and ultimately failing to deliver on the project. A key part of any project is project management, and if you aren’t on location helping to manage the project from your end you’re going to run into serious problems. It’s always better to keep your outsourcing to as a close a proximity as possible so that you are able to keep an eye on things and monitor progress.


Unclear expectations

The failure to correctly communicate what you expect from the outcome of your project is more common than you might think. It’s also one of the easiest mistakes to avoid. When we are envisioning projects that we need to be built it’s easy to forget that the people we want to build it aren’t mind-readers and don’t know what we want unless we correctly communicate what we are expecting. As a general rule, the more detailed you can be the better. Any good agency you speak to will help to extract the relevant information from you but don’t rely on them. Before you approach anyone about your project be sure to note down exactly what you need in the form of a requirements document. This will help to prevent any headaches further down the line.