How to Develop Software Better and Faster:
A Guide to Strategic Outsourcing
Art & Logic
software engineering and design
"Hiring, retaining, and
developing great people is the
biggest challenge and single
greatest key to the success of
- Scott McNealy
SELECTING A SOFTWARE ENGINEERING FIRM
The selection of the software engineering firm is the primary determinant of satisfaction
with outsourcing. A poor choice results in a negative experience including loss of
control, loss of flexibility, or sky-rocketing costs. These pitfalls can be avoided if care
and consideration are exercised during the selection process. You can realize the
benefits of outsourcing by finding a firm with an excellent track-record, expert
capabilities, and good practices.
The length of time a company has been in business is a good indicator of stability. A
professional service firm cannot survive in today's business climate unless they
consistently serve their clientele well. This information should be easily found on the
outsourcing firm's web site. Additional business data such as credit history is available
by checking with Dun & Bradstreet at (www.dnb.com).
Top firms will have an extensive and recognizable client list. Descriptions of previous
projects should be on their web site or in a proposal written for you. Check to see if any
of the listed clients are in your industry or are similar to you in size or culture. Ask for
references and testimonials. When a well-known company speaks highly of an
outsourcing firm, it is easier to trust the firm with your project.
Trust is important. The quality of communication between you and the prospective firm
as well as the image on their web site should help you to judge whether or not there is
a good fit with your organization. When you speak with the firm's engineers, be
attentive to your comfort level. Do you understand each other easily? Good chemistry
leads to a smooth development path.
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