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hire a dedicated software development team for your product: the ultimate guide for 2021

It can be difficult to hire a dedicated software development team for your product. There are many factors that go into hiring the right team and it is important to know what you need before looking for a company to develop your product. This ultimate guide will help you understand how to find, vet, and choose the perfect Dedicated Software Development Team for your Product.

What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Your Product Development?

You may be a startup or an established company with existing products. Developing a new product whether you are a startup or an existing company can be a daunting task. The process is long and can be expensive. However, outsourcing your product development to a Dedicated Software Development Team not only saves time but also saves money.

As part of your outsourcing initiative, you want to ensure that the team you hire has experience in your industry domain.

Here are some issues entrepreneurs struggle with when trying to bring a product idea to market:

  • You don't currently have a development team, or your existing team is too busy with other projects to take on your idea.
  • Hiring your own employees for new product development can be expensive and time-consuming and it may be hard to attract the right talent. This can considerably reduce TCO and quickly ramp up a team.
  • The difficult task of hiring good developers becomes even more daunting when they are in such high demand in the competitive tech hiring market and can get multiple offers from other companies.
  • Your time is better spent on marketing your upcoming product to investors or potential customers.
  • You do not have the infrastructure or experience to hire and manage a team.

Hiring a dedicated team to develop your software would solve all these issues, plus you reduce the risk of time and budget overrun.

What Are the Major Risks of Outsourcing Your Product Development and How to Mitigate Them?

Here are some major risks you should take into consideration before hiring a dedicated software engineering team.

Timely Delivery

One of the major risks of outsourcing your product development is if the company you are hiring doesn't complete the project on time. Some poorly run outsourcing companies may start the project strong, but fail to complete it on time, because they did not use the right project management techniques, or have a strong experienced team. Some companies may also take on more projects than they can handle and struggle to deliver all of them. Ask what project management tools and techniques they use. Most projects - particularly modern ones, need agile development teams.

Experience

There are hundreds of software development companies and many more are popping up all the time. It is hard to believe that many development companies are started by fresh graduates with no real industry experience. Questions to ask:

  • Before looking to hire a Software Development Company, it’s important to understand the background of the organization. The first step is locating information online to better assess if these are the people you want to hire for your business. From Facebook and Glassdoor reviews and profiles on LinkedIn to get a better understanding of the background and culture of the company.
  • Check out the company portfolio and previous projects to make sure they are a good fit for you.
  • What technologies does the team have experience with? Do they have experience in your industry and have the technical knowledge necessary to build your product?

Language and Communication

There can also be an issue with teams not being able to communicate properly due to a language and culture barrier. One of the best ways to find quality software engineering companies is to search for ones that have an international presence and existing clients in your geographic locations. It is essential that you speak with the project manager and/or technical staff before making any final decisions so you are comfortable with their communication skills.

Legal Concerns

When with an international company, here are some legal aspects you should consider.

  • NDA - Non-disclosure Agreement. You should be aware of the laws related to intellectual property in the country you're outsourcing to.
  • IP Ownership - You should ensure the intellectual property is owned by you. The contract should include a clause on who owns the services, data, and proprietary information.
  • Choice-of-Law Jurisdiction - There are a lot of differences between the laws of various countries and jurisdictions. Avoid any ambiguity by mentioning the Choice-of-Law provisions clearly in the contract.
  • Vendor contract - Don't be afraid to ask for a sample vendor contract and have a lawyer look it over.

What Are the Different Outsourcing Models for Custom Software Product Development?

Here are few major outsourcing models for custom software product development:

Offshore Development teams - With offshore outsourcing, the development team works remotely and communicates through modern communications tools like zoom and teams. The client is not required to visit the company office in order to complete on-site assessments, reviews, etc. It is an ideal solution for customers with lower budgets and smaller, less complex projects.

Nearshore Outsourcing - Nearshore outsourcing is done by hiring companies that are in countries that are closer to your timezone and geography. With nearshore outsourcing, you can visit the company office in order to complete on-site assessments and reviews. Nearshoring is an ideal solution for customers with medium-sized budgets that still require frequent visits from their project team overseas and larger more complex projects. For example, a client in the US may choose to work with a company based in Canada or South America for the same time zone access, and easy geographical access for frequent visits.

Onshore Outsourcing - With Onshore outsourcing, the customer can visit the company or the company team can come and work at your location.

For medium to large projects, you can expect to have a combination of all the modes above. E.g. Some key members can work from your company, the project manager can be located in a nearshore company location, and many of the developers can work from off-shore.

Fixed Price Projects vs Dedicated Development Teams

When deciding on the best outsourcing model for your project, there are several things to consider.

Fixed Price - If your product is well defined and has a fixed budget, then this is great if you want complete control over how much your company spends. This is great for prototypes, PoCs, or small MVP projects. It will be challenging to ask for major feature changes without having proper change management procedures in place.

Dedicated Teams - One of the advantages of this model is that it is great for startups where the product idea is evolving and may need to pivot and reprioritize features frequently based on customer feedback. You will have direct access to the engineering team who work exclusively on your project. This is great if you want full control over your project, but you would need to plan a long-term relationship with the development company and a long-term vision for the product. Dedicated development teams can help your projects be agile and evolve over time.

Hiring a Freelancer is a different model where you would have one or few freelancers working on your project. This is good if your projects are fairly small and simple like a website build or design projects. Ensure that you hire freelancers you can trust and can depend on long term for support. A few popular freelancing platforms are Upwork, Fiverr, or guru.com

The best outsourcing model for you will depend on what type of customer you are. For smaller budget projects with a lot of complexity, I recommend offshore development teams so that the company doesn't have too much control over how much they spend or get out of their product. For larger, more complex projects, I recommend a combination of nearshore and offshore development teams.

Here are seven major points to evaluate your Software Development Partner:

  • Ensure the first few meetings instill a feeling of confidence and trust, and that you can easily communicate with the company.
  • Ask to interview senior team members like the PM, Architect, and Engineers that will work on your project.
  • Ask for an SoW or Proposal
  • Ask to Speak to a couple of recent client references and check online reviews of employers and other clients.
  • Once you have a good feel for the company, it may be a good idea to invest in an initial discovery process, a prototype, or PoC at a smaller budget before making the commitment on the whole product build.

What Is a Typical Product Development Team Structure?

The requirements of team members can depend on the complexity and size of the product. It is typical to have teams of 4-8 members depending on the scope of development. Here are various team members who could constitute an agile team

Small

  • Team Lead ( Manage Team, Architect, and Develop )
  • Full Stack Developers ( Front end, backend development )
  • UI/UX Experience Designers
  • DevOps

Medium

  • Product Manager / Product Owner
  • Architect
  • UI/UX Experience Designers
  • Front Engineers ( React, Angular, Vue, iOS, Android )
  • API Developers ( .NET, Java, Python, NodeJS, Go, etc.)
  • QA Engineers ( Manual Testing or Automated testing )
  • DevOps ( CI / CA, Build Automation, Deployment, Application Support )

Which Are the Top Countries to Hire a Dedicated Software Development Team?

The top countries or regions to hire a dedicated software engineering team are:

India is the top outsourcing destination in the world and is one of the most popular places to outsource development work. India has a large pool of software engineering talent, well-known universities teaching STEM curriculum. India has the 2nd largest population that speaks English. College and university courses are taught in English.

There is a large pool of highly skilled IT workforce as most large software Giants like Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM have set up development centers in cities like Bangalore and Chennai. Businesses based in North America, Europe, and Australia may find India as a good source of English-speaking IT staff.

There could be some challenges such as dealing with different time zones, and different cultures and work ethics. These risks are mitigated by hiring staff experienced working with customers from your geographic location.

An Average cost of a senior developer's salary in India is 13,000 USD per annum.

Eastern European Countries like Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and Hungary are also an option for outsourcing development. These countries are a great source of highly skilled Software Engineers. The advantage is closer geographic proximity and time zone and similar culture. Costs could be higher than in India, and another factor to take into consideration is political stability. The salary for a Senior Developer in Ukraine is 48,000 USD.

South American Countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are also options for outsourcing development. These countries have a large pool of skilled IT workforce that speaks English well. Costs could be higher than in India or East European countries. Depending on the country, the annual salary for a developer can be around 15,000 - 25,000 USD.

Canada: Outsourcing to Canada is a good option for US-based businesses. There are few cultural differences to worry about and time zones keep communication great. This ensures that companies achieve true collaboration and higher visibility on larger and complex projects. According to Payscale, the average developer salary in Canada is 53,000 USD per annum.

Premium Custom Software Development Companies like Cabot Technology Solutions have locations in multiple countries like India, Canada, and the US enabling you to take advantage of cost arbitrage plus get the benefits like proximity and a great experience.

How to Choose the Right Software Development Partner?

Evaluating your outsourcing partner is key to ensure that you’ve found the best fit for a long-term relationship. The most important factors are:

Communication and collaboration, Scalability of resources with project size, Cost-effectiveness, Location proximity, Time zone overlap. Typically these four parameters decide how smoothly an outsourced development project can go.

Define Your Goals and Requirements

As any project has to start with an overview of the problem. This includes what are your goals for the product and what requirements does it have to satisfy?

Questions to ponder:

  • Define the problem you are going to solve with the product.
  • Who will be the users of your software?
  • What are the alternative solutions already in the market?
  • How quickly should you bring this product to market?
  • What are the features required for an MVP release?
  • Market Research
  • What is your budget?

Document the Requirements

Jot down ideas for :

  • Most important Features
  • Types of User Personas
  • Industry Compliance requirements ( E.g. HIPAA, PCI)
  • Geography where the product will be used.
  • Wireframes, User Stories, Designs

It could be beneficial to hire a Product Manager to help with the discovery of the product.

Understand Your Budget

Developing a software product could cost anywhere from tens of thousands to millions.

It is critical to set a budget before starting the product development process and understand clearly how much you are willing to spend for your software needs.

You may want to create the product in Phases:

  • Product Requirement Discovery
  • Proof of Concept
  • Build and Launch MVP
  • Learn, Improve, Build, Release

Plan Your Team

Decide the type of team you need, and what type of skill sets are required to build the software. You may need a product manager or a CTO to help you through this process. What type of technology is the product going to be built in?

Research on Software Development Companies

Depending on your budget, scope, and complexity, you will need to decide where you would like to hire your development team. You can start researching about companies through google, visit websites, Linked In, and request for an initial consultation. Refine your criteria based on technology, geography, quality, and budget. Contact companies and set up one week to interview many of them and select the top 3 to evaluate further.

Discuss your requirements after signing the NDA and request for proposals. By this time, you will get a general idea of who your next partner should be.

Before Hiring

  • Speak to 2-3 recent customer references
  • If possible ask for an onsite personal visit or consider visiting the Company in their headquarters.
  • Get the agreement vetted by your Lawyers.

Conclusion

For all the technical expertise you need to build a winning product, let Cabot Solutions take care of your software development needs. We have over 50 years of combined industry experience and are ready to give you an estimate for any type of project - big or small. Get in touch with us today by filling out our contact form for more information on how we can help!

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