Along with the exponential growth of technology, software development projects have grown immensely. Since technology now drives central operations of most businesses, long gone are the days when IT projects were constrained to the walls of IT departments.
Instead, many forward thinking organizations are considering outsourcing development to experts. This is because, with their wide reach, such projects have the potential to seriously damage or even bankrupt a company. Whether you decide to stay in-house or to outsource, it is absolutely crucial to ensure that your IT project is in the hands of a capable team of experts. Hopefully this best practice has given you a valuable insight into the factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to use an in-house team or an external outsourcing partner like Nearshore Software Development Leader, Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com).
5 things to consider for a Successful Software Project Team
We’ve compiled a list of 5 factors to consider about a project team which will help to make your project a success:
1 UNDERSTANDING OF BUSINESS ISSUES
First of all, you need your team to understand business issues. This not only applies to Business Analysts or Project Managers, but also to the core development team, testers and quality assurance experts. When working, rather than concentrating on the technicalities alone, the entire team must constantly keep in mind the end goal of the project which is to meet the needs of your business. This will ensure that your project progress is aligned with the desired result.
2 KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDUSTRY
Secondly, it is important for the team to have domain knowledge. Your internal team will most likely meet the criteria. If you are considering an outsourced team it is important to seek whether they either possess domain knowledge or are willing and able to do so. Outsourcing companies will usually have case studies of clients that let you see which sectors they know and work in. Later on you may also want an outsourcing team to visit you to gain a more in-depth understanding of your business which is why it’s good practice to look for those that are willing to travel and are relatively close by, e.g. within 2 flights from your location.
3 TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
Technical skills shouldn’t be forgotten. A shortage of IT-literate staff can be limiting to any organization, but this is even more important when a piece of software is the center of the entire operation. A question to ask here is – does my team have adequate skills and enough technical expertise to extract the highest value from technology?
It is good to consider this question holistically, taking into consideration not only programming languages and platforms, but also areas of technical expertise as well as specific methodologies. Other things to look out for in outsourcing partners will be certifications in various technologies, and partnerships, e.g. with leaders such as Microsoft.
As an example, before embarking on a project in-house, you may want to assess whether your team includes experts in Java, PHP or Microsoft, in desktop, mobile or embedded platforms, in the area of security, cloud or automation, and possess knowledge of Agile and Scrum.
4 ATTITUDE TO TECHNOLOGY & LEVEL OF EXPERTISE
Another thing to consider is the level of expertise and attitude – are the team members proficient in a given methodology or language? Are they excited and passionate about technology? Finally, you may also like to consider your team’s willingness to work in the specific programming language or within a given framework. After all, an unhappy team means a demotivated team, which can be detrimental to the success of your project.
Following their research, McKinsey & Company listed mastering technology and project content by securing critical internal and external talent as one of their four key dimensions for delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget and on value. They estimate that appropriate experts can raise performance by as much as 50% through their judgment and ability to interpret data patterns.
5 PROJECT ENGAGEMENT
The team’s engagement in a project is crucial if you are interested in best results possible. Unless you are already working on a project or have worked with a given team before, project engagement can be difficult to assess. It can, however, be predicted. Look out for a team that is displaying an attitude of commitment through dedication to quality and taking pride in what they do. Engagement can also be checked during the request for information/proposal stage if you decide to outsource your development – questions asked earlier on and quick reaction time are generally a good sign!