Skills gap can increase cost, project time, and risk, according to the Business Analysis Benchmark 2008 prepared by professional services firm IAG Consulting.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, in its Annual Global CEO Survey in 2012, said that poor estimation while in the planning phase, was the largest source (32%) of IT project failures.  Another study, the PMI’s Pulse of the Profession Survey of 2017, stated that actively-engaged project sponsors were critical to the 77% performance rate of an organization. Critical issues such as poor estimation, inactive sponsors, and mismanagement of outsourcing risks can affect the outcome of output.

Outsourcing software development may carry these risks.

Communication risks

Because outsourcing may rely on far offshore contractors, there might be a risk of communication shutdown. Such risks may be brought about by man-made errors, poor signal or internet disruption, and natural disasters.  Poor communication also arises when there is a lack of transparency among vendors, customers, and developers; poor leadership over the offshore team; and communication difficulties between offshore and onshore members.

To mitigate these issues, there must first be real-time and constant communication via project management tools and BPM software. Second, you need a backup to mitigate communication failure in case of power outages and natural disasters. Third, ensure adequate training in communication tools and leadership. Other issues include cultural understanding and language barriers. Your outsourcing team may come from different countries who speak various languages. Resolve this by ensuring that the right person is fluent enough in a common language and an expert in cultural understanding.

Constant oversight

You will need a good project manager to handle outsourcing effectively. Such a team leader must constantly monitor the progress of the project and ensure that standards are met. He or she must have a seamless way to monitor the project by keeping constant communication, making realistic deadlines, rectifying errors, and finding an outsourcing company that uses Agile methodology.

Lack of clear standards and rules

Standards and rules must clearly outline what to expect from the team or members. To ensure a seamless outsourced process, both the client and outsourcing company must understand the company policy, culture, and the agile process.

Synchronicity of working time

Your in-house and offshore teams might not work in the same time and day because of time zone difference. From time to time, you might encounter bugs in coding and you will need an immediate response to rectify such a problem. Ensure that your time zone is compatible with that of the outsourcing team by implementing clear deadlines, using project management tools such as Slack and Asana, and scheduling weekly meetings.

Synchronicity of deliverables

These arise when you receive a sub-standard product and your outsource partner turned out to be wrong for you.  It misappropriated responsibilities and repeatedly missed deadlines.  Rectify these issues by ensuring that your business model aligns with your partner, making a realistic deadline, reviewing and choosing the best outsource partner, and clarifying the goals and responsibilities.

Quality control

With lack of communication and synchronicity, quality control issues such as code bugs may arise. Fix these by giving clear rules and standards and maintaining constant communication with backup.

High attrition rate among members

If one or more of your team members vacate their positions soon after they were hired or within a week or a month, there must be a problem within your company. Like employees, freelancers make one of the legs of an organization. Remove one of these legs and your company will fall down.  Pay your freelancers on time and ensure that every member works within the prescribed hours and is refreshed with adequate sleep and time. Even for an outsourcing team, you can conduct weekly and monthly learning activities to ensure that your team keeps abreast with the latest trend.

Security and confidentiality

Because you may always rely on the internet or telephone to contact an outsourcing team, you may run into risks of hacking and confidentiality data breach. Reduce these risks by ensuring that you use the right and encrypted communication tools. Always ensure that your outsourcing company is trustworthy, with a good track record and customer reviews.

Non-realistic deadlines

An adequate time frame must cover the entire work process. The more complex the software, the more it needs development time. To set a realistic deadline, break the project into manageable chunks, take input from others, check while in progress, and assume last-minute issues. You can use time management tools such as the project manager or the Pareto principle (80/20 rule). On top of this deadline, set an extra time for a change or mistake control in case of an emergency.

How can we help to avoid Software Development Project Failures?

Scio can help you address these critical issues in software development.  As a nearshore company, we can provide you with the benefits of outsourcing your software development requirements without the challenges that come with offshore outsourcing. We have a team of IT professionals with the skills and expertise to help you complete any software development project. For more information, contact us.