Monday 10 July 2017

Software Outsourcing Hacks (7/7) – Complete Checklist

I welcome you to the last article in this series. If you are tuning in for the first time, I suggest you to read the previous articles here, as this series builds on itself.

Software Outsourcing Hacks (1/7) – Going High or Low?

Software Outsourcing Hacks (2/7) – Baby in a month

Software Outsourcing Hacks (3/7) – Walking on Water

Software Outsourcing Hacks (4/7) – Scoping for Unknown

Software Outsourcing Hacks (5/7) – Technology Stack

Software Outsourcing Hacks (6/7) – Rock, Paper, Scissors

As this is the closing article I would like to provide you some practical hack while outsourcing a software project to a supplier. Technology suppliers or Tech consultants are hard to evaluate so to make it simpler for you, I am going to provide you a check list of questions to be asked during the supplier evaluation process. These are generic questions, you may take some of them during the first call with supplier, some using a questionnaire and some during face to face meeting. 

The reason we do this is to have several layers to our evaluation process and not to overwhelm the supplier and turn them off completely.

Sustainability questions:

Technology is changing by the minute and lot of tech companies are going through an unstable period. You want to ensure the companies are sustainable through the development process and long after the implementation for maintenance and further assistance.

1. How long the company has been in software development business?

2. Do they offer services to local and offshore clients?

3. What are the key services?

4. What is their key expertise?

5. What is the company’s business model?

6. What is the company’s financial situation?

Resources questions:

Resources questions can be both about the human resources i.e. the team as well as about the infrastructure which would enable them to provide you the software developing services.

1. Number of employees and their designations?

2. What is the experience of the employees in development or other core areas of expertise?

3. Do they own any certifications?

4. Is the company ISO certified?

5. What kind of trainings the company provides for its employees?

6. What is the company culture?

7. What is the technical strength of the company?

8. What are the software tools used in project development?

9. Does the company have any partnership with market leaders and software providers like Microsoft?

10. How do they keep up latest technical advancements?

11. Does the company have necessary infrastructure to scale up for the project?

12. Does the company outsource or sub contract?

13. If the company subcontracts, then how does company ensure the quality and completeness of the project?

Track record questions:

Its better to understand about the company by understanding the existing clients they have and projects the company has delivered.

1. Who are the current list of clients for the supplier?

2. What are the projects delivered?

3. Does the company provide any contacts for reference?

4. What is the customer feedback about the last 3 projects?

5. Do they have repeat clients or one time clients?

6. How long is their client relationship lasts on average?

Process Questions

These questions help you to understand how exactly the supplier go about developing the software.

1. What is the supplier’s development process?

2. How does quality is accounted for?

3. What are the different models they are aware / practise?

4. What is the current project management tool they use?

5. Could they use your current project management model?

6. What is the reporting and escalation process?

Costing Questions

1. What is the pricing model used for budgeting the project?

2. What are the exclusions and inclusions in the pricing?

3. What are the recurring costs?

4. What is the payment schedule?

5. Are there any additional charges like Tax?

These are the basic questions that can help you narrow your software development vendor. Choosing the right software supplier is important in successful outsourcing of the software development. If you have any questions regarding development of your next project, Please contact me here.

   Srivatsan Aravamudan

   Telephone:+65 62689551
   Fax:+65 62689858
   Business Analyst - Snr Software Consultant.


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