Is it a bad idea to outsource software development? Let’s look at some examples of terrible IT outsourcing projects and think if there was a way to avoid failure.
Reliable Way to Start Your App Development Project Remotely
Follow this smooth project transition plan to make sure the new vendor has all the required information, and the outgoing team gave you all the knowledge, documents and rights.
Many business owners ask us if there’s a way to start cooperation with an IT outsourcing provider without any face-to-face meeting. We understand that the situation is difficult and for some of you investing money without any chance to meet a vendor is a tough decision. That is why, in these times we put even greater effort to transparency, flawless communication, and clarifying doubts. Below we describe the reliable way to start the project entirely remotely. There are no quality losses nor disruptions. Changing the communication channel didn’t disturb the process. See for yourself.
In this article, we explain every step of starting and carrying on the app development project remotely:
- Discovery meeting
- Project estimate
- Working on documentation and specifications
- Polishing up a deal
- Signing up a deal
- Understanding your vision
- Efficient app development process
- Organizational details
Some of our clients prefer to have a first, discovery meeting face to face. Understandably, it feels safer when you can actually see the team in action, check out their office and equipment. Therefore, in a current tough situation we switched face to face meetings to video calls. That way, we not only hear but also see each other, and we can even give you a tour around the office.
We’ve already done discovery meetings a lot of times remotely before the coronavirus crisis. A meeting can be organized using your preferable tool – Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, WhatsApp or a video phone call. During the remote discovery meeting, we tell you more about our company, discuss your options and answer all your questions. The next meeting can be organized as a video conference with some members of your future app development team.
To learn more about your vision, we ask you to send your future app’s specifications to us. If you don’t have any documentation yet, don’t worry. During a video call, we explain what exactly we need to know. Based on your documents and our calls, an initial estimation is prepared.
Working on Documentation and Specifications
Before signing a final deal and starting up our project, we refine your project’s documentation and specifications. To work on specifications remotely, we use, for example, Google Docs, Sheets and communicate via Google Hangouts, where every person responsible can add a comment and edit a document. It’s also time to choose the technology stack and necessary third-party tools. You decide if we start with an MVP and gather feedback from your initial users, or if you want to build a full-featured product straight away. Then, we gather all the necessary files in Confluence – a safe space, easily available and convenient. Access is given to you and only those team members who work on the project.
Polishing Up a Deal
During further online meetings, we work on the details of your deal. Our goal is to protect your business, idea and rights. That is why, we sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) that protects your idea, and IP rights are transferred to you. That way, the code and all the assets connected to your product belong to you, and after the end of the project, you will be able to modify it according to your needs. We also always put contractual penalties in our agreement, which are triggered when we cross a deadline.
What about the details of your deal? First, you need to choose how you would like to be charged, and on that basis, pick the most beneficial agreement model: Time and Material or Fixed Price. Then, we clarify every detail, like the size of your team.
Signing Up a Deal
When our deal is polished, it’s time to sign it. To provide a legally binding signature you also don’t have to visit our office. To close a deal online, we most often use HelloSign. This easy-to-use tool allows you to electronically add a valid signature to our deal.
Understanding Your Vision
Every business owner wants to be sure that an IT outsourcing provider understands their vision perfectly. There’s no place for misunderstandings here. That is why we offer you workshops to learn more about your app idea. Generally, we start each project from thorough research and workshops. The goal is to learn more about your market, explore your audience and business needs, and create application maps to establish features and functionalities your app will need to fulfill its task.
Workshops can be organized remotely via Slack, Zoom or Google Hangouts – where everybody sees one another and can speak up. To save time, we divide them into thematic blocks. To work on whiteboards, which is typical for workshops, we can use tools like Miro, Limnu, Stormboard or Conceptboard. They allow us to organize brainstorming sessions with you remotely – every participant gets access to a board where we put our ideas. All along we discuss using a communicator. After workshops, we’re sure that everybody understands your idea and the long-term goal.
We know that understanding developers and maintaining effective communication in terms of, for example, feedback, is a common concern among business owners. That is why, for everyday communication in your project, we create a Slack workspace and within that workspace, channels tailored to particular project areas. For example, there’s a channel where you can connect with every member of your team, give feedback, get a fast response, and also answer developers’ questions and doubts. A Project Manager coordinates everything, and in case of problems acts as a filter between you and developers. We attach great importance to being transparent and clarifying every doubt as fast as possible.
App Development Process
We organize work according to Agile/Scrum methodology. It means that your app is developed in two-week periods named “sprints”, and at the end of each sprint, we gather in a video conference to present you the results of our work. You test your product every two weeks. The process is organized most transparently and effectively possible by a Project Manager. Each development team is supervised by a Tech Lead who is always up to date with every aspect and eagerly shares his knowledge with you via Slack. Read more about the way we organize projects here: “How to Organize Remote Cooperation in an IT Outsourcing Project?”.
Your project will be managed in Jira. The tool allows for effective workflow, tracking the progress of each task, and generating timesheets. Transparency is crucial: in terms of communication, current progress, any issues or delays, as well as time spent on the project. With a Time and Material deal, at the beginning of each month, you receive timesheets with tasks and deadlines. We’re always available for you at Slack, open to answer any questions you may have, and ready to quickly react to needed changes.
How to Start Cooperation?
Let’s start with a simple voice call to talk about your options or a video call using your preferable tools like Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangouts. Choose the most convenient option for you. You can call us right away or, send a message to Rado, our COO, to schedule a voice or video meeting:
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