Saturday, July 01, 2006

Best Practices in Offshore Software Development

A Software Model that emphasizes on global delivery of quality software build by talented pool of professionals at an economical cost from a development center that is located in a foreign land is Offshore Software Development.

The burgeoning competition to be branded as the Quality Offshore Software Development Company has signaled the requirement to implement the best of the resources and innovative strategies. After a jerk of the start-up phase, HyTech Professionals has implemented the approach that encompasses the minutest details, which had been or may have been easily overlooked by the nascent businesses to win the client interest. Clearly, the enticing feature of Outsourcing is cost savings without compromising on quality. To achieve this objective, the initiative should begin with the Best possible approach by the offshore client and the Software vendor.

Huge cost savings, time optimization and talented technocrats in a minimal risk environment are often accompanied by some challenges such as communication gaps, decreased visibility to project status, unexpected spikes in budget allocation and cultural hindrances.

The opening channel to venture in Software Offshore Development is the Smooth flow of communication between the offshore client and the vendor. A constructive dialogue between the two sides is not limited to verbal communication, but is aggressively pursued in writing, meetings and conferences.

Seamless communication can be reinforced by working on a global clock, which is accomplished by implementing work-schedules with a time overlap between the software offshore client and the vendor. Though, it may be expected that the offshore vendor works in accordance with the client suitability. Local presence of the offshore vendor can be of an added privilege to the client, as it guarantees direct and constant interfacing. The flexibility and ease to approach the offshore vendor strengthens the client confidence.

Another factor that should be taken care of is the Budget forecast for the project. The Technical and Business Analysts should take into consideration the following:

The vendor Rates: what is more suitable to the project requirement. Should the accepted rates be “Per Project”, “per Hour”, “per Month” etc?
The Risks involved in accomplishing the task
Is the quality being compromised for an attractive price?
See through any hidden costs. For example: Change or modification in the Client specification, Re-doing of any deliverable.
The Offshore Vendor Resource matrix that cover the attributes required by the Client
Once the offshore client is confident that the terms of engagement are clear, both the Teams coordinate the efforts and work on the project. The Engagement Model may be transparent to win the client interest and hence the one that adds value to the relationship.

To foster the nascent relation between the offshore client and the software vendor, it is imperative that the offshore vendor architects the design such that which ensures an uninterrupted work-flow. Implementing a development environment that is a replication of the offshore client environment serves as a conduit to smooth accomplishment of tasks.

Apart from setting up an extension of the Client backdrop, the teams engaged from either side should delegate their tasks through a single point of contact to eliminate any ambiguities that could arise due to multiple interfacing channels. All the tasks relayed between the Offshore and the Domestic teams should be anchored on close communication and active follow up.

How much ever one decides to implement an error-free design, some issues or unpredictable lags can reap up and slow down the work-process. Such issues if handled with a mutual consensus and cooperation from both the parties can ramp up the process to successfully achieve the target.

In conclusion, a summary of the steps for the best practice in Offshore Software Development are:

Implement a Transparent Model that is customer-centric
Conduct a proper survey to shortlist the best suitable vendor for the project
Finalize the contract that explicitly defines the Financial terms and states Service Level Agreement
Fragment the Software Lifecycle in phases- from Inception to Delivery
Develop and deploy the accomplished tasks in a close collaboration with the Offshore Client.
For details read here