How to Avoid the Risk of Unclear Requirements in Offshore Web Development Projects

It is common in IT industry to hear complaints from clients about the poor quality of the solutions or about receiving unwanted solutions that do not match with their requirements. However, the reality is that most of the outsourced projects fall short of their purpose not because of the inferior capabilities, but because the project requirements were not properly understood by the development company.

Unclear requirements have been one of most prominent reasons for inferior solutions in offshore web development model. Poorly defined requirements on the part of the clients are usually the case in failed projects. How can you expect to obtain proper solutions when you can’t even define your requirements? This usually happens when the client is running out of time and wants very quick solutions. They usually skip the proper requirement gathering and analysis part or just skim through the documentation of project requirements in order to get quick solutions. However, this is a perfect recipe for complete disaster.

This does not means that you have to define the specifications in overly detailed manner for even mediocre projects, but it means that you can’t expect an effective solution from a one page project concept. The clearer the project specifications are defined since the beginning, the easier it would be for project managers and developers to understand your requirements and work accordingly.
Now the question here is how you can avoid the risk of unclear requirements in offshore web development projects. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you in doing so:

Giving Some Extra Time To The Requirements Gathering Phase: When you outsource web development projects, make sure that the project manager from the development firm interviews some potential users and finds out the desired features and functionalities for the new software. The software would be most probably used by your employees therefore the project manager should try to understand your business requirements, the user interfaces that are required and the high level requirements of the completed system. It is very important that the manager makes a proper documentation of all the requirements along with any milestones that may be helpful in determining the performance. Further, also make sure that he documents the number of users that are expected to be using the software and exactly how they will be using it.

Requirement Analysis: Once the requirements are gathered it is time to analyze these requirements to determine the feasibility of the software. It is very important to make sure whether the project is even feasible or not before you start working on it. The web development company also needs to determine the acceptability of the proposed solution and the ability to implement it.

Requirement Inspection: In this section, the web development company needs to review the requirements that are proposed by the clients and try to identify any ambiguities or discrepancies in the requirements. Further, they should also determine plan for handling any errors or issues that may arise during the development of the project.

Clients should make sure that their requirements are clear to them and to the web development company when they outsource web development requirements to offshore vendors. As you are not physically available to the vendor therefore it is required that you make most effective use of latest communication and data sharing technologies to provide clear requirements to the development team.

Why a Client-Focused Web Development Vendor Is Beneficial to Your Business

When it comes to web development, you have three options:

1. Find a Freelancer that can complete your project.
2. Hire a vendor to complete your web work on a contract-basis.
3. Stick with a company that grows with your business.

There are pros and cons to many of the options above but the key thing to look for is Are They Client-Focused?

The speed of which technology, web trends, and mobile trends innovate accelerates faster each year. The best way to keep up is by collaborating and partnering rather than finding resources on an ad-hoc basis. Let’s take a look at each of these options:

1. Find a Freelancer that can complete your project

For any start-up or small business, this may seem like the most viable and cost-effective option. A Freelancer will usually complete your work at the fraction of the cost but with the added expense of time. Finding the right Freelancer to complete your web development project may be difficult especially when it comes down to experience and the style of web design they specialize in. If you and the Freelancer don’t agree on the design style, it may be time to find another Freelancer but this also costs valuable time.

Another issue arises when your company grows. A Freelancer may not be able to keep up with the speed and growth that your start-up or small business faces. So at some point, there will be a time when you might need to search for other options.

2. Hire a company to complete your web work on a contract basis.

This option definitely gives you the resources you need and the added experience to get a job done quickly and efficiently but may rack up that bill at the end of the project. Having a Web Development company gives you options to explore different web designs, styles, templates, and give you the front-end and back-end resources you may be looking for in a web development project. Due to the added resources and options available, you may be looking at a bill that’s almost two to three times the cost of a Freelancer.

The other cost will be in the long-run if you hire an organization to complete your website on a contract-basis. The con to this is that as your start-up or small business grows, your web development company will need to understand your organization, the changes it has gone through, re-visit your website as if they have never touched it, and re-tailor your website to suit your needs, all from scratch. You are basically starting from the ground-up again. This is costly as technology, web, and mobile trends grow faster each year, it’s not a matter of whether your web development company can keep up, but a matter of whether your company can keep up.

So how do you balance these issues?

3. Stick with a company that grows with your business

Finding a client-focused web development company may be your key to success. Whether it is a smaller web development company that can meet your budget of a start-up or small business, or if it is a larger web development company for larger businesses with a higher capacity.

The benefits of a web development company that sticks by you are endless, to name a few, a client-focused web development company can:

Keep up with the growing trends of technology, web design, web trends, mobile design, and mobile trends alongside your organization

Both companies grow together as each company looks to each other for resources.

Save you both time and money as they will already understand your company and how to tailor web designs and content to match your industry and buyer personas.

Help your company grow faster than ever, as they will understand the trends of the web and mobile technology space and provide those services quickly and easily to their own clients.

Be your one-stop shop for all your web needs.

Choosing the right option in the beginning can save you a lot of pain and hassle. Not to mention valuable dollars your company could use towards other initiatives to help your start-up or small business soar. Reap the benefits of sticking with one web development company to help maximize the rewards returned from a web development vendor that grows with your company.

Tips on Picking the Right Guys When Outsourcing Your Web Development Services

Stories from forums and blog posts abound about people who have had negative experiences working with third-party web developers. Outsourcing website development projects do bring a lot of benefits to clients, but some communication problems and ill will of a few unscrupulous “web developers” have stained the reputation of this noble industry. In order to avoid falling victim to any of these misdeeds, purposefully done or not, it is important to be informed and prepared. When hiring your next web developer be vigilant, keep communication lines open and be clear and firm about your expectations and goals. It is up to your discretion too whether to allow a little bit of flexibility in agreements about deadlines and payments or to be strict.

Here are some valuable tips on picking the right guys when outsourcing your website development services:

Ask for recommendations. Getting references from trusted sources such as family, friends and colleagues will save you time and decrease the risk of running into problematic developers. If you can find more than two voices from among your loved ones that support a particular development company, then you can conclude that they (that particular company) are safe. It is still worth checking out the other recommendations, of course, but you will need to do more probing when you contact them.

View their portfolios. Portfolios will give you a clue about the kind of work a development company can provide you. Browse on your computer the websites showcased in the portfolio. See if you like the designs, the loading times and if you think they have achieved the goal set by the owners. Ask for the numbers or e-mail addresses of those clients whose websites appear in the portfolio and ask them about their experience and their satisfaction levels. Contact more than two clients if you can. If the web development company refuses to give their clients’ contact details, you can move on to the next.

Competencies. When you contact a web programing company, ask about their staff. It is better to go for one that has specialists in one or two areas of a website development project. This way you will know that each segment of your website will get appropriate attention, and that you will have subject matter experts dealing with these segments. Depending on the size of the project, a web Programing team may consist of a designer, an analyst, a programmer/s, web marketing specialists and other important positions.

If you know a bit about the programming languages and tools used in web development, the better. Some of the most widely used technologies are Php, the Microsoft.Net Framework, AJAX, XAML and jQuery. Ask if they are up-to-date as well in these technologies.

Other services. Due to intense competition, websites these days have to be search engine-optimized. This means that a website has to be able to figure near the top of search engine pages when its associated keyword is searched. Your chosen web development company should be offering this service as well.

Additionally, there are companies who provide their own web hosting services. They are normally able to bundle it with their web programing services and offer it to you at a lower price than what you would get if you have your website hosted by someone else.