SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · March 04, 2020

DigitalOcean’s Currents report analyzes the most relevant trends of the software development world. As one of today’s most discussed topics in IT, last year’s survey focused on working with remote software developers.

 

Their key findings on working with remote software developers

The 4300-person survey showed that:

  • Remote work has become the new normal – Remote work is increasingly practiced and even demanded by both developers and employers. 86% percent of respondents currently work remotely in some capacity. 1/3 of them work remotely full-time.
  • Remote developers are connected – The traditional narrative states that working with remote software developers results in the remote team being disengaged from the company. This is rapidly proving wrong, with teams and employers reporting that they feel connected even while working from different locations.

 

The United States and Canada are the leading countries in terms of working with remote software developers with 44% and 43% of those surveyed working primarily remotely. The following countries are the United Kingdom with 37% and India with 25%.

 

working with remote software developers by country

Source: digitalocean.com

 

Communication tools preferred by remote software developers

The survey showed that remote teams make use of all types of communication channels and collaboration software. Business collaboration software like Slack and Skype are most preferred, followed by instant messaging, email, phone (either texting or calling) and Video conference tools (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Hangouts, etc.)

 

Source: digitalocean.com

 

We can testify to this ourselves, as we also use Slack and Skype most often while working remotely with our clients.

 

How to mitigate the challenges of working with remote software developers

While it is quickly becoming common practice, remote development work still provides unique challenges and obstacles teams must overcome to reach success. You’ll find that communication, project management as well as technical aspects of software development all require a bit different mindset in a remote setting.

We have plenty of experience with this topic, as our team works 100% remotely with every client. After completing 40+ international custom software projects, we’ve gained some very valuable insights and experience about the dos and don’ts of remote development work.

 

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THE MOST COMMON CHALLENGES APPEAR IN THE AREA OF:

Onboarding

Introducing new team members to a large codebase requires quite a lot of time and effort. Under codebase we mean a whole collection of source code that is used to build a particular software system or component. If the code is messy and poorly documented, newly joined remote developers will find it difficult to understand how all pieces of the code are working together.

This is why it is extremely important to follow industry best practices and standards and to writing code. Clean code is written using suitable design patterns and is easy to read and understand for fellow developers.

Adding clear and detailed documentation is also crucial at every stage of the project. Before writing a single line of code, the first thing for new team members should be reading any available information about the project.

 

Communication

Communication-related challenges are frequently mentioned as the biggest obstacles while working with remote software developers. Collecting daily updates, discussing urgent issues, or explaining new tasks and objectives becomes somewhat more difficult if you are working in different locations, or even time zones. As remote team members often work with flexible hours as well, gathering everyone involved together in a virtual meeting room at the same time becomes a challenge of its own.

To make sure everyone is always on the same page, we schedule frequent (sometimes even daily) online meetings with our clients and other development teams. To discuss more urgent issues, our team primarily uses channels like Slack, Skype or Email.

Apart from this, we also have longer weekly meetings and a product demonstration meeting at the end of each development sprint (every 2 weeks). This may sound like a lot, but the people we work with really appreciate having such a deep insight into the project at all times.

 

Tracking progress

Without version control and issue tracking systems, working with remote software developers would be an absolute nightmare. They make web projects much easier to implement and manage in particular. Version tracking allow each team member to work on any file at anytime without having to worry about overwriting current versions, or wasting time locating where the latest iteration of a file is being stored.

Issue tracking tools have proven particularly useful for project managers and product owners to oversee complex development projects. Everyone can see scheduled work tasks and what each developer is working on at all times. We like to invite our clients into our issue trackers to help them see exactly what we’re working on at any given stage of the project.

During our remote development projects we mainly use Asana, Jira or Trello for issue tracking, and GitLab, GitHub or BitBucket for version tracking.

 

Feeling disconnected

If someone works as part of a remote team for a longer period of time, they often feel like they’re not as valuable to the team as the people working on site. This can lead to them overworking themselves to contribute as much as possible, or to them feeling depressed and demoralized.

Meeting the remote team in person and organizing team building events can have a great effect on morale. It can also help everyone involved form a more personal connection. Even if your team is located overseas, we would encourage you to meet with them at least once a year, if your’re planning an ongoing cooperation.

 

To Summarize

 

Remote work in software development has become the new norm instead of the exception. You are truly missing out if you aren’t utilizing the benefits of working with remote software developers. A few of these benefits are a larger available talent pool, higher employee satisfaction and higher cost-efficiency.

The development of sophisticated online communication, version tracking and issue tracking tools makes this form of cooperation more seamless and efficient than ever. New innovations in this space will continue to remove the remaining barriers of working remotely.

More niche products designed for specific roles will enter the market. Some experts also predict that AI technology will help keep an increasingly remote workforce aligned to an organization’s timelines, goals, and priorities.

With all the necessary technology at our fingertips, and the growing demand for software development experts, it’s safe to say that remote work will only become more widespread over the next decade.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · November 27, 2018

There are a ton of reasons why a project can suffer, including poor planning and execution, or a lack of coordination. You can avoid project failure by deciding to hire a dedicated project manager. He or she will enable you to reap the promised benefits of the project.

Companies invest a considerable amount in projects to upgrade systems, develop new applications, or to roll out strategic initiatives. However, sometimes the development teams dedicated to these projects fail to deliver the desired results. This tends to happen more often in case you are working with an offshore development team.

 

What is the role of a dedicated project manager?

If you have hired an offshore development team, successful collaboration between it and your on-site team is crucial for achieving success in projects. For that, you need proper planning, clearly defined goals, and effective communication. If you also hire a dedicated project manager, they will make sure that all the requirements are met. They have the skill set to plan, organize, execute, and bring the project to a close.

 

dedicated project team

 

Dedicated project managers also play a vital role in improving the performance of the team. They make sure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, and the goals of the project. Not only that, but they also regularly monitor and assess the team’s performance.

There is no one right project management methodology for all cases. There are plenty of options to pick from, and the dedicated project manager selects the approach based on the specific requirements and scope, so that it doesn’t fail to deliver the expected results.

Additionally, as the onus of the project’s success is on the project manager, you are free to focus on other aspects of your business.

 

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Let’s take a look at how a project manager ensures that the projects are completed on time and on budget. They:

  • Create a clear vision.
  • Provide a framework for the project-related tasks.
  • Identify resources needed to achieve project goals.
  • Set milestones, gauges progress, and ensures they are achieved.
  • Coordinate activities between different team members — offshore team and onshore team; and mediate if there is a conflict.
  • Motivate team members.
  • Identify potential risks that are present throughout the project’s lifetime, assess them, and proactively respond.
  • Keep work on the track.

 

What to Look for When You Hire a Dedicated Project Manager

Dedicated project managers must possess the ability to oversee complex processes and break them up into smaller, more easily manageable chunks. For this they have to understand the role and objectives of each work group (designers, developers, quality assurance testers, etc.).

Of course, each task must also be communicated in a clear and precise manner. Expert communication skills are essential for every dedicated project manager. The ability to write concise and easy-to-understand project descriptions is a must-have as well. It is also very beneficial if your project manager speaks multiple languages. because internationally distributed teams are quickly becoming the new norm.

Communication skills are especially crucial if your team is working as a supplier for a group of clients. In this case, the project manager is usually also tasked with communicating with clients directly, presenting the results and handling issues or complaints.

Knowing how to use all of the most popular project management tools shouldn’t be an absolute requirement. These tools (we mention a few of them below) can be picked up relatively quickly for anyone with a basic affinity for using software. However, having some experience with a few of them can help speed up the onboarding process.

 

dedicated project manager cta

 

A Few Project Management Tips

As the business environment is changing fast and there is high uncertainty, companies can no longer take their time to complete a project. Every business has to work with limited resources, and employees often handle more than one responsibility. So, how do you defy the odds and become a successful organization? A competent and resourceful project manager can make a big difference and help manage projects effectively.

Here are some suggestions for selecting tools and methodologies:

 

Project Management Methodology

An adaptive project framework can be the best approach today, as it continuously adapts to the changing circumstances of each project. It allows you to change the project’s scope. Moreover, as the projects progress in iterative stages, the team can evaluate the previous performance at the end of every stage. Based on the evaluation, they can improve their performance.

We recommend using Scrum or Kanban project management methodologies most of the time.

Scrum is a project management framework that breaks up longer development processes into two-week periods (or sprints). After completing each sprint, the progress is demonstrated to the product owner, who can then give feedback and make adjustments to the project if necessary. Close communication and constant inclusion of the Client makes the project much more likely to stay on course and deliver positive results.

Here is how dedicated teams usually visualize development tasks with Scrum:

dedicated project manager scrum board

 

Unlike Scrum, the Kanban approach is not iterative, so it allows the software to be developed in one large development cycle. This cycle has no predefined end point. The software requirements get broken up into smaller work items, which then enter the development process in a prioritized order. A work item is not allowed to move on to the next phase until some capacity opens up ahead. This approach is more useful if fixed time frames aren’t sustainable for the project.

This is how teams visualize development tasks with the Kanban Method:

dedicated project manager kanban board

 

As you can see, in Kanban, tasks are carried out in a specific order.  New tasks have to be added at the end of the Backlog queue, and they will be executed in order.

This is not possible in Scrum, because once a set of tasks in a sprint gets defined and approved, tasks cannot be added or modified. New tasks must be added to the upcoming sprints instead.

 

Voice Communication Tools

For excellent teamwork, effective communication is essential. With voice communication platforms such as Skype and Google Hangouts, which offer audio and video group calls, remote team members can easily plan, communicate and work as a cohesive group.

 

Chat & Messaging Apps

Slack, Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace, the group chat tools, enable distributed dedicated teams to collaborate successfully. WhatsApp, the cross-platform messaging and VoIP service, also lets the team members to plan, organize, and share work updates.

 

Task management

Leveraging task management software such as Asana, JIRA, and Confluence, the startup’s team members can manage, organize, and track the progress of project-related tasks.

 

If you need help deciding which tools to use to track and carry out your project management tasks, have a look at this list of the best software development tools for project management.

hire a project manager cta

If you would like to learn more, read about our approach to dedicated project management here.

 

More useful Agile project management advice and resources:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

Overcoming Challenges from a Lack of Experience

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Dedicated TeamBY RabIT software engineering · October 10, 2018

With the rapid development of communication and project management technologies, the popularity of remote business cooperation is also on the rise throughout the globe. Today, you can outsource business processes easier than ever before. Be it offshoring or nearshoring you are after, there is a plethora of new tools and platforms that you use to set up a working partnership within just days. This can work really well for more simple business processes like copywriting or graphic design projects. However, when it comes to complex work processes, there is a need for deeper involvement from both parties. This is where outsharing comes in.

Outsharing stresses on working partnerships and encourages collaboration. An outsharing partner thoroughly examines your business case, reads beyond the specification lines and suggests optimization solutions. They focus on value whether it’s designing and creating new functionality, optimizing the processes, or improving the user experience.

Over the past few years, outsharing has been gaining in popularity. Many companies consider outsharing to be the next level of outsourcing software development. It is believed that in the coming years outsharing will replace outsourcing.

 

Reasons for outsourcing

Outsourcing can provide solutions to software companies and businesses anywhere in the world. Depending on where you live, you can save about 70% on hourly rates by outsourcing software development to development shops or freelancers. When you outsource your work, you don’t need to go through long and costly hiring processes.

You only need to look out for the quality of the companies’ previous work. You get access to talented and skilled labor at a low cost during outsourcing. That’s why businesses and companies consider outsourcing development in the first place.

Outsourcing partners hire talented people in their team who know how to manage different business situations. They understand how a company’s goal can be attained. External service providers are fully aware of the latest technology of the industry and are capable of providing their clients with the best services at a much faster rate.

Most importantly, outsourcing allows you to focus on the core of your business processes or invest in research or marketing.

 

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Risks associated with outsourcing

No doubt, there are numerous benefits of outsourcing internal business processes to professional outsourcing companies. However, it has its own set of flaws. There are many risks associated with outsourcing, such as potential cybersecurity attacks, poor communication, lack of cross-cultural awareness, misuse of sensitive corporate information, insufficient product quality, and management difficulties due to a lack of centralization.

Most businesses fear a lack of direction and authority when an outsourcing company is doing their work. Company personnel loses control over their own process and technologies when certain services are outsourced. The consequences can be fatal or serious. Contractual disputes can occur or the quality may suffer.

Many outsourcing companies do not bother to understand their client’s product vision and strategies. Their involvement in the product development is limited to delivering the code that matches the list of specifications. Many of these clients don’t get the product they envisioned and the quality they deserve.

Keep in mind that it is very important to choose the right outsourcing partner. Engaging with the wrong outside service provider could cost your business in terms of performance, productivity, employee morale, and financial outlay.

Read more about the most common reasons why outsourced software projects fail.

 

What exactly is outsharing and is it better than outsourcing?

Outsharing means having an equal remote partner, who is completely involved in realizing the client’s product vision and helping them reach their strategic goals. Outsharing partners not only deliver code but also function as a remote Chief Technology Officer.

They offer well-reasoned and valid opinions about your product roadmap and enlighten you on how to reach your goals and objectives in the most effective manner. Outsharing partners will also tell you about new technologies that are worth adopting for your company. They also have the soft skills to build strong relationships with their clients.

Outsharing partners need to share the same product vision, and truly understand each other’s organization. Both parties need to invest time and effort and communicate openly. Keep in mind that open communication is essential to remote business success. You should encourage your outsourcing partners to share their concerns and ideas, both negative and positive. This will give them the sense that they are valued. Ineffective communication, on the other hand, can easily lead to project failure.

Outsharing is necessary to develop and create complex technology solutions and products that make life better and easier. It is for companies that want constructive expert input and deeper involvement from their outsourcing partner.

 

To sum it up

If you have concerns about the risks that are associated with traditional outsourcing, outsharing could be your solution. Think about your outside IT service provider more like a strategic business partner. By gaining full access to their unique perspective and technological expertise, you can gain even more value than you would from an in-house IT department. The principles of outsharing help you gain more and more value over the long term instead of focusing on the completion of single projects.

If any of this sounds appealing to you, we would love to talk more about the topic. Visit our website and feel free to drop us an email with your questions. Thank you for reading!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Dedicated TeamBY RabIT software engineering · August 14, 2018

For many software companies and organizations throughout the world, outsourcing or contracting out development has proven to be a huge success. Cost-efficiency has been among the main reasons to outsource software development, but company leadership around the world is beginning to focus more on other benefits as well. Outsourcing some of the functions also helps companies to minimize their internal costs and concentrate on their core competencies.

If you’ve already decided that you want to work with a software development outsourcing provider, here is some advice that can help you find the best development partner for your business, or read this step-by-step guide on how to successfully outsource software projects.

 

According to a survey carried out by Statistic Brain, about 43% of companies in the United States contract out programming jobs. Chief executive officers and chief technical officers from organizations based in the US participated in the survey. The survey found the following reasons that inspire organizations to outsource software development:

  • Reduction of cost – 44% of respondents
  • Gaining access to the IT talent unavailable internally – 34% of respondents
  • Freeing up employees – 31% of respondents
  • Improvement of the business and customer focus – 28% of respondents
  • Acceleration of the digital transformation – 22% of respondents
  • Fast software development – 15% of respondents
  • Access to the management expertise unavailable internally – 15% of respondents
  • Reduced time to market – 9% of respondents

According to the top management, reduction of cost is still on the top of the “reasons to outsource software development” list. However, other reasons are also important to achieve long-term company goals.

 

Other reasons to outsource software development

 

Addition of new skills

It is best to choose external providers who have a proven track record of success for software development projects that need complex skill sets. Complex skills require more concentration and are not so easy to perform. Many organizations and companies do not have these skills readily available in-house. External partners help software development companies to build highly advanced solutions with the newest technologies.

 

Access to exceptional engineers

Exceptional talent is always in demand. Companies may find difficulty in recruiting skilled engineers. They have to put in a huge amount of hiring effort or take the help of external partners to form an outstanding team. A leading outsourcing provider can help such organizations and software development companies to get access to talented engineers.

 

More efficient development processes

External developers can help a company make their software development processes more efficient and better. They have in-depth knowledge of agile methodologies, design patterns, and best practices and can offer tools and valuable advice for meeting your organizational goals.

 

Thinking outside the box

External members adopt new approaches and use out-of-the-box thinking to create great software products. They will give new perspectives that can bring about positive changes to your business. Their thoughtful feedback and innovative ideas will help you improve your software development project.

 

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Reduced time to market

Skilled domestic developers are not only expensive but also hard to find. That’s why you should consider outsourcing the task to an external partner. Software outsourcing can help reduce your time to market and ensure your product reaches the market efficiently and fast.

 

Acceleration of the digital transformation

Gaining access to a team of external developers can help you to skip the tiring and long recruitment and training process. You will also be able to digitize business processes and accelerate development to reach the target market as quickly as possible.

 

reasons to outsource software development

 

Free up workforce

Giving the simple but crucial tasks to outside developers will free up your employees and allow them to devote more time to critical tasks that are essential for the growth of your business. You will also be able to utilize the full knowledge of your talented engineers on new complex projects.

 

Improved business and customer focus

Recruiting an external project manager can free up your organization’s management and allow them to concentrate more on important activities instead of day-to-day activities.

Management will be able to concentrate on corporate strategy and develop a more customer-focused way of doing business. It is important to note that improving customer focus is essential to business success and growth. To ensure customer happiness, you should place their interests above everything else.

 

Summary

There are probably a lot more reasons to outsource software development. Together with cost-efficiency, all these benefits add true value to outsourcing relationships. Like any highly specialized service provider, industry-leading software companies can give you access to a whole new level of knowledge and expertise, that would be otherwise out of your reach.

If you would like to enhance the digital growth of your own organization and would like to find out if we are the right fit, you can schedule a free consultation here. Thanks for reading!

 

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · February 26, 2018

If you have already read some articles on the subject, you have probably come across the line by now, which says that about 1 out of 3 offshore software product development projects fail.

We have already gone through some of the more common reasons why most offshore software projects never see the light of day in one of our earlier articles.

In this article we will tell the story of how we helped revive some of these projects through our work at RabIT software engineering.

Here are some real life examples of an offshore software development project turning south. Of course, we won’t be mentioning any names here, as the only purpose of this section is to point out that most failing software projects can be salvaged, even if things are looking very very ugly.

Case 1 – The spaghetti code that made no sense

offshore software

 

About two years ago, a client approached us looking for an experienced software developer to join their existing offshore software development team. They were building a new online marketing tool that will make the client’s everyday work much easier. He is also planning to release it as a globally available SaaS solution later this year.

Our new client knew that something was very, very off about the code written so far, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it, having no background in software engineering himself. So he basically hired us to have a look at the project and try to get it back on track if possible.

Our own CEO joined the client’s team of three other developers from the Philippines. We started by looking at the source code and running some good old tests on it. To put it lightly, it was a complete mess. Imagine a special kind of spaghetti code that was full of anti patterns, inefficient and illogical solutions, and was generally in very bad shape.

So we had our work cut out for us. The initial goal was just to clean up the previously written code, which was no easy feat itself. To test the current state of the source code we used code analysis tools like Checkstyle, CPD, PMD and JSHint. Checkstyle identified about 60.000 errors during our initial testing phase. We collected the necessary metrics, then got to work right away. It was essential to start with code refactoring, because at this stage the code was so unreliable, that it was impossible to continue development work efficiently.

Several weeks and a lot of code cleanup later, 60.000 Checkstyle warnings turned into 1.500, which was low enough to allow for more efficient software development work. We also managed to solve some functionality issues that the previous team claimed to be unsolvable. As things started to fall into place, we could gradually focus more on developing new features, instead of code refactoring.

In the meantime, the initial development team was let go, and we took over the project entirely. This was never our intent, we work together with other outsourcing teams on a regular basis. The client made this decision after the other team continuously failed to meet our software development quality standards.

We are currently focusing on eliminating the remaining coding errors, while constantly implementing new features and design elements to the application. Despite the early setback, our client still expects us to deliver a top-quality finished product that is highly competitive on today’s market, and that is exactly what we aim to do.

Case 2 – When things go from bad to worse

offshore software

 

A couple of months ago we were approached by two sport-loving entrepreneurs. They had a unique idea for a mobile application which is completely new to the market and does not have any competition as of yet. A small offshore software product development team from Russia had already started development by the time we joined the project.

The clients started looking for a senior software engineer because they were not satisfied with the work of the current developers. The Russian team claimed that some of the requested functions were impossible to develop, progress was made very slowly and the resulting code was unstable and unreliable. They needed someone who could see through the development process and had experience in leading a team of developers.

We started by running the usual tests on the source code, and the metrics were terrible. It was difficult even to get the application to run at that point. Three of our developers ended up joining the other team, with the support of a quality assurance tester and a project coordinator. Not much later, four freelance developers from India also joined the team.

 

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Our resposibilities included project leadership, software architecture design, team coordination and software development. We were tasked with managing the work of the Indian team as well. Because we were ready to take over the entire development process, the services of the Russian team were no longer required.

During this period, we were still making a serious effort just to correct source code errors, but we finally started to make some progress. Problems soon started to resurface when the Indian team kept falling behind on their development tasks. They refused to follow the coding standards, and when we tried to enforce them, they were always one or two weeks late on delivery. Their code simply couldn’t pass code review, and this lead to serious delays in development.

Our expectations weren’t unrealistic. We followed Google coding standards (to which we also added a few rules that we found important), and all parties unanimously agreed on the coding guide during our initial meetings. However, several weeks later, the Indian team also resigned from the project. We became fully in charge of full stack mobile app and server-side development.

By today we have reduced static code errors from 30.000 to 800. Some serious deviations from coding standards and illogical solutions also ended up forming bottlenecks in the program, which we have since removed. We are currently aiming to focus more and more on developing new app features and less on code refactoring. If all goes according to plan, a live version will be ready to launch in September.

Case 3 – When code quality is not the problem
offshore software
Startup Stock Photos

 

Of course, code quality isn’t the sole reason why offshore software product development projects end up failing. We have just recently taken over one of our newer projects from another Hungarian development agency, simply because they were failing to meet their promised deadlines. This development team was almost one year late on delivery when the client finally decided to replace them with another agency.

The product is an E-commerce website with integrated stock management, invoicing and delivery management. The end result will be a highly customized software solution with multiple features that are completely new on the market. This time around the code was beautifully written, and the former lead developer was very helpful and cooperative. It turned out that they had some serious internal management issues that eventually also led to the agency going out of business.

After some minimal adjustments to the source code, we could immediately start focusing on function development here. We are currently testing the final product together with our client, and it is set to go live in the very near future.

Summary

We have encountered more than 20 cases like these since we started in 2011.

Developing a unique custom software solution can be a risky endeavor. After reading stories like these, it is easy to understand why many business owners decide to stay far away from offshore software product development. However, by taking the necessary precautions during the selection process, outsourcing can become a reliable source of growth for your business in a small amount of time.

Remember, cost-efficiency is only one of the many benefits of offshore software product development. Hiring a highly competent and self-sufficient development team lets you focus on other areas of your business, and save a lot of time on recruitment and training, which also leads to a shorter time-to-market for your product.

If, while reading this article, you realized that you are in the same shoes as one of our clients was, or if you are just searching for a reliable software development team, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and tell us about your project at info@rabit.hu right away.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · February 13, 2018

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact reasons why software projects fail. There are many factors involved in the outcome of each development project, so there is often no clear-cut answer. However, industry experience tells us that factors like low code quality, faulty communication practices and lack of project flexibility are often among the main culprits.

According to Codementor, on average, 1 out of every 3 software projects fail, and more than 80% of projects run over time or over budget.

 

Your odds become even worse if you don’t do the research before slecting a software development outsourcing provider. If you give your project to a development team that is unable or unwilling to understand your specific business requirements, the final product will most likely never reach the deployment stage.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why outsourced software development projects end up failing, as well as share some advice on how to avoid wasting precious resources on a software project that is actually doomed from the start.

 

1. LOW CODE QUALITY – The lowest price doesn’t mean the price is right.

If a software company’s main selling point lies in its low hourly rates, you might want to turn the other way. Most businesses that decide to outsource their software development learn this the hard way.

It is understandable why many startups and entrepreneurs choose the lowest bidder in these situations. By nature, they are generally financially limited, especially in their early stages. However, this decision eventually leads to a more costly development process, due to the lack of quality.

A code-base built with poor-quality code leads to the final product being inoperative, forcing you to transfer your project from one development team to another. The delays in development will severely cut into your budget, and result in a much longer time-to-market as well.

software development projects

 

I know that an early-stage business wants to grab any opportunity to save money, but price should be one of the least important factors in choosing a software development agency. In stead, look for companies that:

  • work by following a well-defined methodology and strategy,
  • mostly receive positive client reviews,
  • divide the whole project into shorter work periods, also known as sprints,
  • work by hourly rates (avoid fixed bidders if possible),
  • provide frequent live product demonstrations,
  • communicate on a daily basis and
  • possess high-level English language skills.

Choosing these qualities over low prices should help to ensure higher product quality and avoid miscommunication during development.

If you find a software agency that received overwhelmingly positive reviews from their former clients, it is still crucial to look at the full scope of their work, because, for example, the fact that they are outstanding in installing WordPress sites doesn’t mean that they can handle custom-built Java application development as well. If they have already proven that they can successfully complete projects for different industries using a wide range of technologies, they can probably be trusted to handle most challenges related to custom software development.

I think that the concept of a fixed bid is flawed, because it is rarely possible to give an accurate cost estimate based on an initial list of requirements. For making an offer, you would require very detailed specifications for the project. What usually happens is that agencies try to make a very attractive fixed offer based on a superficial project description, which is very far from realistic. These types of offers are really based on the misunderstanding of product requirements, and companies only end up underestimating the actual costs of development.

When they finally run out of budget, the development team will either quit the project, or will be forced to continue “working” on it for free. This results in a low-quality and often rushed or unfinished final product, that has no chance of surviving on the market.

Another possible outcome is that the product owner simply shuts down development after he/she realizes that it is impossible to develop all of the required product functions at the initially estimated costs. The product either never gets finished, or another development team has to pick it up and put it back on track, which requires additional time and resources.

It is understandable why company decision makers would prefer to know the full costs of development beforehand, but for reasons listed above these types of projects rarely have a happy ending. Some development agencies have also been known to rush fixed bid projects in order to finish them ahead of schedule, and take the money without doing the actual work. This also results in very poor quality, and a rushed and often inoperative finished product.

Hourly rates, paired with shorter work periods let you have a more complete overview of the work that you are paying for. If the agency that you hired can’t live up to your requirements, you can take your project elsewhere with much less time and money lost.

 

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2. POOR COMMUNICATION – A breakdown in communication can kill a project by itself.

Next on our list of reasons why software projects fail is having poor communication practices.

The need for frequent communication and transparency in software development outsourcing cannot be emphasized enough. Developers must work closely together with their clients to ensure that their ideas and requirements are clearly passed onto the development team.

If the software company you are working with isn’t putting an effort into clarifying your requirements throughout the planning, development and deployment phases, you are going to have a problem.

software development projects call

 

Agile development is becoming an industry standard, because it provides increased transparency an continuous feedback. Software companies that follow Agile Scrum or Kanban methodologies offer more efficient and face-to-face communication to their clients. This is the main reason why we chose the Agile approach ourselves.

You can also take some precautions here by requesting quality indicator metrics frequently, both for quality assurance and code quality. These metrics can prove useful even if you are unable to make sense of them at the start of the development project. You can either learn how to interpret them later, or show them to an outside expert.

 

3. LACK OF FLEXIBILITY – A plan that can’t change with the environment quickly becomes irrelevant.

Developing the final product can easily take months or even years. Predictive development methods (such as the Waterfall method for example) lock down the requirements from the very beginning, making it difficult to change them later. While it is not always the case, these projects often result in a product that is very different from what the client and the market really requires.

software development projects budgeting

 

Flexibility (or lack there of) is also one of the main reasons why software projects fail. We find that the Agile project management model works wonders here as well. This development approach allows the software to evolve in response to changes in business environment and market requirements.

However, throwing in the word “Agile” doesn’t guarantee that the software developers actually know what they are doing. It is not the perfect methodology for every business, so make sure that the people at the development agency truly understand your specific requirements. The right team will know what is best for your project.

 

Summary

Through our everyday work with startups and entrepreneurs around the world that choose to outsource their software development, we encounter too many rushed and unfinished products that require weeks and weeks of refactoring work just to make it to the deployment phase.

When you choose your software development service provider, pay close attention to how they communicate with their potential and former clients, and what their clients have to say about them. Try to make sure that they are willing to go out of their way to understand and meet your specific business requirements. Always aim to find a highly methodical team that focuses on what works for you instead of only concentrating on what works for them.

We chose to speak about these particular reasons why software projects fail because these were the ones we’ve encountered the most during our work so far.

If you encounter similar problems with your software development processes, don’t hesitate to contact us at RabIT software engineering, and tell us about your project.

 

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.