Every day there are forward-thinking entrepreneurs getting ready to launch brand-new startups. Most of those startups are going to require computer software of some sort, whether it be a mobile app, a comprehensive cloud package, or a combination of both. Where will the software come from? More often than not, from an outsourcing partner.
Software outsourcing is commonplace for startups. An entrepreneur might have a great idea for a new product or service, yet still lack the technical know-how to create the necessary software. This is where outsourcing becomes a key ingredient to startup success. What many entrepreneurs do not know is that there are different models for developing software. The best bet is to seek a partner that employs the agile model.
A Word About Agility
Agile software development is a model that seeks to develop the various components of an application simultaneously rather than waiting for one component to be completed before moving on to the next. It is a model that was originally developed to be completely customer focused. Customers were brought into the process through continually seeking their input and involving them in testing.
For startups, agile software development is a better way to go because of the model’s focus on speed, quality, and customer involvement. With that in mind, Austin-based iTexico says there are five things entrepreneurs need to think about relating to software outsourcing:
1. Process Matters
Process matters in nearly every step of building a business. For example, an entrepreneur does not begin seeking investors without first developing a sound business plan. That same principle applies to software development. The process by which an agile developer creates software will impact the startup’s success.
A developer should be able to demonstrate its process and the effectiveness thereof. If a firm cannot do that, it’s best for the entrepreneur to look elsewhere.
2. Success Takes Time
Even though agile software development tends to be quicker and less costly than its waterfall counterpart, success is still not instant. It takes time to get a software product from the design stage to full release. It is time spent on meetings, testing, proposing changes, etc.
3. Agile Is Not Black and White
One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to wrap their brains around is the fact that agile software development is not a black-and-white process. It is, by design, highly flexible to accommodate evolving needs over time. Entrepreneurs need to be careful not to allow themselves to be frustrated over changes in direction. Flexibility goes a long way toward ending up with an excellent finished product.
4. Communication Is Key
Free and open communication is essential to successful software development. It is even more crucial in an outsourcing situation, given that there are multiple entities working on achieving the same goal. iTexico encourages entrepreneurs working on new startups to seriously consider nearshore outsourcing. The closer proximity of nearshore partners makes communication much more productive.
5. Goal Should Be Clear
Equally important to clear communication are clear goals. Nothing can sour the relationship between entrepreneur and agile software developer faster than an entrepreneur who doesn’t know what he or she wants. Software developers can only produce what the customer asks for, so when a client does not have a clear vision of what the finished product looks like, it’s nearly impossible for developers to do their jobs efficiently and cost-effectively.
For startups looking for their initial software, development has to be agile. The agile model is the only one flexible and responsive enough to get a startup going quickly and with great software behind.