At Red C, we are often approached by frustrated clients who are unhappy with their current development partners. In our experience, clients are frustrated with communication problems, the quality of work and the lack of progress. We have highlighted the top 5 issues with outsource development and how they can be overcome:
1. Lack of understanding requirements
One of the key reasons clients struggle with outsourcing is because developers do not fully understand their project requirements before they begin coding. This means that core features are often missed or implemented in the wrong way, leaving you frustrated with an app that is difficult to use and doesn’t work as you want it to.
This is where listening to your business goals comes into play. We believe that before any coding begins, it is essential to understand the problem your app is solving, by conducting comprehensive user research. This way, we can work with you to find the best solution and create an intuitive user journey.
Another way we avoid misunderstandings is by producing a clickable prototype that can be shared for feedback among stakeholders and potential users. This way, everyone understands the features and functionality of your app clearly before development begins.
2. Poor communication
Another reason you may be struggling with your development team is poor communication. Throughout the project, you may feel like you don’t know what is going on, that problems are being hidden and there is a general lack of transparency. For example, there may be a technical problem which is not being communicated clearly to you. Instead, you are being mislead with technical jargon or told that your feature is not possible to build.
At Red C, we believe it is important that there is a process of communication in place by which clients are kept well informed throughout all development stages, and can ask questions or make changes where necessary.
Having been in the app industry since 2007, we have explored many ways of exchanging information with clients. Now, we follow a simple procedure, using online tools, Trello and Slack, that allow clients, project managers and developers to communicate freely. The project manager acts as a means of communication between client and developers, keeping you up to date with any advancements or changes, and explaining issues in a clear way. This creates a transparent work flow, allowing clients to see development progress as it happens and provide feedback with every new build.
3. Bad coding practices
Another issue that you may not know about is that your developers could be using bad practices to write code. In some cases, developers have used outdated coding practices or written the application in a way which has now been superseded by better methods, technology or libraries. For example, they may still be using Objective C to build iOS apps when Apple is about to release Swift 4. It is important that your code is kept up to date because this ensures the least risk in terms of security exploits and compatibility with new operating systems.
Another problem is that developers may not have organised your code in a structured way, meaning that it will be hard to maintain and update in the future. They may also have not written enough comments in code for you to take the development in house if you wish.
At Red C, our developers always use the latest technologies to write code that is scalable and reusable. We use the best coding practices with lots of comments and clear markings that show which function is linked to which feature. This makes it easier for clients to understand the code and for us to pass it on if they wish to develop in house, in the future.
4. Too many bugs and too little testing
Another reason why you may be struggling with your outsourcing is that there are simply too many bugs, meaning that you have to spend valuable time reporting obvious issues. Often, fixing a bug has a knock on effect causing other issues. This means that you face development setbacks and struggle to meet targets, causing your project to fall behind schedule.
At Red C, our project managers and quality assurance team work closely to test the app before passing it onto you for feedback. Your app development company should be giving you builds throughout the development process to test as you go, as well as testing the product/service themselves.
5. Behind Schedule
If you experience any of the issues above, it is likely that your project has fallen well behind schedule. This is why we believe it is so important to lay out targets and deadlines to work towards right from the start and keep you informed should anything change.
At Red C, we use an online tool called Instagantt that acts as a timeline of tasks and app builds. This means that everyone involved in the project has targets to work towards and can see the app's progress.
If you are struggling with any of the above issues, we offer a Code Review Package whereby our developers assess the code you already have and create a detailed report that evaluates and highlights the quality of code. In the past, our developers have carried out Code Reviews and uncovered bugs the client never knew about. In fact, some of our biggest projects have come from Code Reviews. For example:
Trip Talk came to Red C with the following problems:
What we did:
Spark Energy came to Red C with the following problems:
What we did:
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our Code Review Package.