Previously, we described some criteria to meet while choosing an IT company to outsource your project. In that post, we mainly focused on what such a company should offer. Today, we are going to try another track and concentrate on ‘red flags’. That is to say, this piece is all about reasons for concern and things to avoid.
IT outsourcing is a common and popular practice. Correspondingly, there is no shortage of potential vendors to contact. To make your situation clearer, we have compiled this list of mistakes you can make when outsourcing your projects (both web and mobile) so that you can avoid them.
1. Suspiciously Cheap Prices and Unexpected Discounts
As we say time and again, one of the key advantages of IT outsourcing is cost-effectiveness. At the same time, you need to remember that the cheapest is dearest. And if the price you are going to pay is way below the average (10-20%), you need to stay sharp.
We in the industry know what the average price tag is. We also know what adequate expenses are. It means that a reliable partner will never agree to operate at a deficit. It means that if you are offered an extremely lucrative discount, your company of choice:
- either underpays its developers and project managers
- or hires inexperienced and poorly qualified specialists
- or has a short planning horizon
Whatever the real reason behind this is, you won’t like the outcome.
2. No verified sample works provided
Another alert warning is the absence of a proven portfolio. Even if your IT outsourcing partner manages to prove its expertise with presentations, certificates, and rankings, but fails to name a couple of projects and customers by name, it is not a good sign.
For sure, you should not expect to be informed about all the details and specifications. Such ‘transparency’ would be both unethical and illegal. Concurrently, any trustworthy company with a record is normally able to show you a couple of developed solutions and name some clients.
3. Instantly given estimates with no in-depth questions
If your potential clients do not ask you a lot of questions while negotiating a project, it is also a red flag. Once a preliminary NDA has been signed, your potential contractor is supposed to ask numerous in-depth questions. It is in their interest to do so: otherwise, they will not understand the entire scope of your project and provide you with a clear estimate.
In other words, if an IT outsourcing company intends to start working on the project immediately, without profound questions, it is not an expression of intellect and expertise. Quite the contrary, it is an indicator of their professional negligence.
4. High Turnover Rates with Alternating PMs
Normally, you are supposed to collaborate with a stable team. You might never see all its members. However, if you suddenly realize that you are dealing with your third project manager and detect code inconsistencies, you are in trouble.
Unsteady teams are incompatible with successful projects. All they can produce is chaos, downtime, and conflicts. Situations differ, people come and go, so a single replacement may happen.
5. Lack of Transparency: Vague and Irregular Reports
Each reputable IT vendor with a good Agile approach is supposed to submit more or less frequent and detailed iteration reports. If your counterpart does not want to assume such an obligation at the very beginning of your partnership, you should avoid dealing with them.
Once again, sprints may vary in length and scope. That is why it may be difficult to mutually stipulate every deadline and all the deliverables. And yet, a model report must be agreed upon, together with an approximate project schedule.
6. Constantly Repeating Misunderstandings and Communication Issues
This problem is easier to experience than to define or measure. But still, if you notice that every communication causes arguments and conflicts, you’d better cancel such a partnership immediately. The most common symptoms include such examples as:
- You understand widely used terms and concepts differently (‘Agile’, ‘Lean’, ‘sprint’, etc.)
- Your potential vendor makes frequent references to silent understatements and sudden omissions
- Your accidental misunderstandings have caused more than two problems. Our attitude in this respect is as follows: ‘Once is an Accident, Twice is a Coincidence, Three Times is a Pattern’)
We at Evercode Lab are proud of our reputation, so we do our best to avoid any problems from the outset. Just as one of our satisfied customers has put it recently, ‘are also very good at Agile and iterations’. We would be happy to prove this point to you.
However, if you decide to opt for another vendor, we urge you to keep these red flags in mind and not to tolerate them.