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How to start a offshore software development relationship
In most successful cases, according to our experience outsourcing company and offshore software development company builds a strong long-term relationship. Often outsourcing company sends 1-2 people to visit offshore company to start a personal relationship with programmers they are going to work with. This also helps to understand cultural problems and settings and can therefore help to build much more confidence than is possible to build via email communication.
Starting with a small pilot project might be best way to start and establish a long term relationship.. Some of our clients have given same task to different offshore software development companies and then after evaluation selected best one.
Project Management - Offshore software development
To safeguard development process there has to be established practices where offshore software development company keeps the outsourcing comapny informed about progress on a regular basis. Both parties need to follow a communication methodology wherein they acknowledge mails immediately and also ensure that emails are not lost or left unanswered. This email communication plays a vital role as most of dialog between engineers and client is done via this mode. We have found that communication between offshore software development partner and outsourcer through document sharing intranet sites like www.intranets.com or certain chat-group-ware like ICQ to be best means of ironing out technical problems. Please check out http://www.icq.com. This doesn't replace Email but is a very good compliment to Email.
It is also important that clear specifications are made. Based on specs, engineers from offshore software development company ask questions and get answers to get a full understanding of project. Good specifications result in good quality software and considerable savings in time taken to complete projects. In case of research or in cases when offshore software development company actually produces specification, this process of course has to be modified to suit actual requirements. We believe a project should start with a meeting or an email-dialog* between parties, to define business problem and software solution. This meeting will also include setting project goals, milestones and time frames
For small projects email dialog might be sufficient. Next, offshore software development company should submit a proposal. At Savitr Software Services Private Limited we work with both non-binding and binding estimates, fixed price or running hours. What is chosen depends on what client is comfortable with and type and nature of project.
Generally one contact person should be defined on each side, to facilitate clear coordination. Also, proper methods for testing should be defined in initial meeting or discussion.
Software Piracy and theft
The government of India looks at software exports as one of its key growth areas and has set up an environment, which very strongly discourages any and all forms of software piracy and theft of software in India. One such measure that has been incorporated and instituted in India is Indian Federation Against Software Theft. INFAST is responsible for policing and tracking down any software theft, and formulating policies, which act as a strong deterrent for personnel and companies. India is also a signatory to GATT trade agreement and has agreed to international laws against software piracy. Make sure your offshore software development partner signs an Intellectual Property Right Pledge and a confidentiality statement / non disclosure agreement as part of initial stages of your partnership
Conclusions - offshore software development India
If you are careful in your selection process, we believe that you can and will achieve great success with offshore software development projects. Here are some key guidelines, which will help you:
Find a good software development partner, who has a proven record in offshore software development activities over several years Choose suitable projects Possibly send a pilot project to offshore software development company and evaluate result Work towards establishing a long term relationship Visit your development partner (if possible) Establish good management practices Don't expect too much from start. Offshore Software Development in India is profitable in long run; not just for one-time projects.
Research Associate, www.savitr.com