Ensuring Quality Output from Your Offshore Development Team

If you are non-technical professional looking for an offshore development team, do you know how to gauge the quality of their code?

1. Hire an independent agency to do the QA

It is quite common for non-Tech founders to try to do QA by themselves. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work because these founders don’t understand or don’t know that they need to check the back-end code. They only check the front end which often looks okay but is seemingly impossible to completely debug. Even for MVP, it is important to have a QA professional on the team.

Better still, have the QA function performed by an independent firm. This is superior to having developers and QAs from the same company because independent QA’s are not afraid to point to significant bugs, which leads to better accountability & improvements to offshore development team performance. If the QA is from the same company as the developers it is always tempting for them to remain quiet, so as to save face on behalf of the company or the developers themselves.

Or the software development firm might not be interested in disclosing the whole list of bugs because it may involve a lot of extra work for them to do.  

2. Leverage a talent pool of proven & trusted vendors

We have emphasized before the importance of meeting people to get an understanding of their personal attitude and to make sure their attitude is right for your collaboration. However, you can’t really be completely confident in their abilities to deliver until you’ve worked with them on a number of different projects.

One of the initiatives YouTeam has taken is to create a pre-vetted talent pool. This means that firms are taken through a sophisticated vetting process before they are admitted. We then observe the performance of these firms over the course of dozens of projects. The vetted firms know that they have to perform to stay on the platform because YouTeam can’t afford to be associated with less than ideal development outcomes.

Matt Warcholinski, COO at Brainhub believes that the most common mistake is the expectation of having a high-quality output without a great input. Under high-quality input he means:

  • Well prepared brief/specification. The clear vision/business goals of the project, timeline, budget range, features description, and tech stack required.

  • Mockups and wireframes attached to detailed user stories. The developers shouldn’t decide regarding those but have clear information on what they should code.

  • Backlog. Describe user stories properly to allow developers to have a clear Definition of the Done checklist (https://brainhub.eu/blog/definition-of-done-user-story-checklist/), and organize user stories in JIRA or other similar software,

  • MVP scope. It should be the most important documentation to provide your team with the general roadmap of the product. More details on product documentation in this article.

Wrapping it all up

Once you have all the milestones in place, have successfully made it through the trial period and have created all necessary product documentation then you will have a very good chance of establishing a win-win collaboration with your chosen software development firm.

The quality of the management, technical skills, and integrity of offshore development companies can vary dramatically. However, if you establish quality guarantees in advance, you’ll save your outsourced app development cost significantly.

Best of luck with developing your software product!

2.2 Perfect team, Eastern Europe

Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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