The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Project Development

Let Northsail Show You the Reason You Shouldn't Handle Every Project Internally

Managing the growing needs of any business can be a handful; especially for those working with mobile apps or customer-facing software.

Taking the time to manage all your project development with your internal team can put an enormous strain on a wide range of departments, from your IT team to your project managers.

Northsail absolutely understands the importance of completing projects efficiently and maximize cost savings along the way. That's why we guarantee that we'll deliver every project on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.

If you're thinking about outsourcing services for project development, we'd love for you to consider us as an option. But what is project development? What's the difference between project management and project development?

Before we dive into some benefits you can leverage by software development outsourcing, let's go over the basics.

What is Project Development?

Anytime there's a project that has a clear deliverable outcome, the process at which that task is being completed can be considered project development.

However, in today's digital world, more often than not this applies to software, website, or mobile application development.

This means, if you're looking to create any of the above customer-facing items (i.e., mobile apps, ecommerce stores, etc.) to be made available online for your customers, you're looking to start a new project development cycle.

Project Development vs Project Management

The differences between project development vs project management are actually quite substantial, but they function as two halves of the same coin.

While project development is in charge of ensuring that the project deliverables are completed by the time it's needed, it meets all the necessary specifications, and it's completed using only the allotted project budget.

On the other hand, the project management team is in charge of overseeing the project development as it's done, as well as making sure that production milestones are being met throughout the task's completion.

These project managers will be in charge of ensuring that things like the project goals, timeline for completion, materials needed for development, and the allotted budget are all made clear for the project development team before they begin.

This way, the development team has very clear, actionable goals and milestones that they can work towards throughout the development process. Project managers are also in charge of ensuring the quality standards of the final product.

Common Development Phases of a Project

Typically, there are 5 stages of product development that any project must go through, let's examine them.

Phase #1: Setting the Stage

This is the first phase of your project development, which involves clearly laying out the goals of your project, why they're important, and who benefits from the final product?

This needs to include a variety of elements, which will help in the following phases, including:

  • Project budget
  • Risks or liabilities involved in the project
  • Project deliverables
  • Project constraints
  • Your business' needs

Stage #2: Project Planning

For this stage, we'd suggest using the SMART acronym to guide your project planning:

S - Specific: Set clearly defined goals, outlining the who, what, where, etc. of the project.

M - Measurable: Determine how you intend to measure the success of project development by setting measurable milestones.

A - Attainable: Pick the most important goals and figure out a path to completion for them.

R - Realistic: Don't shoot for the moon. Set realistic goals for the project development team.

T - Timely: Create a timeline that you believe you can achieve and stick to.

Stage #3: Execution

Now it's time to actually develop your project. Usually, this involves business owners, or project team reps, meeting with project developers to discuss the project before starting.

It also involves regular, ongoing check-ins, to ensure the project remains on schedule throughout development.

This could involve a number of different factors, such as:

  • Building or hiring a development team
  • Allotting resources to be used for the project
  • Holding regular status meetings
  • Executing project plans on time
  • Creating a tracking system to monitor task completion
  • Completing task assignments that can be done by in-house employees
  • Updating or modifying your delivery schedule (as necessary)

Stage #4: Controlling Phase

This is the phase where your project management team looks at your project's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that your project is remaining on track.

This involves a number of steps, including:

  • Checking on deliverables to ensure they're on-track and on-schedule
  • Ensuring the task is still within its allotted budget
  • Cost vs effort tracking (part of ensuring the task remains on budget)
  • Performance evaluations (i.e., how issues have been addressed, how timely issues were corrected, etc.)

Stage #5: Completion & Closure

The final stage of the project involves closing out the project, and ensuring that all the task's deliverables have been met, as well as checking to make sure that the final product meets or exceeds the standards that were set throughout.

Assuming that everything is good, and the final product functions as it was designed, the project can be closed out.

Of course, this is apart from ongoing project monitoring, which is typically a never-ending step when a business institutes a new software or customer-facing solution.

7 Benefits of Outsourcing Work to a Project Development Company:

1.) Less Strain on Your In-House Team

This may seem obvious, but it's arguably one of the biggest benefits that your internal team will feel from choosing to outsource work.

Less strain on them means more time to spend on other internal projects that you're trying to complete. It's also less stress mentally on your team, since the responsibility of creating a successful project doesn't fall entirely on them.

Using an outsourcing partner for your project doesn't mean having to give up total control; unless, of course, you're outsourcing project management as well.

However, even if you are using an external project manager, the cost reductions on labor you'll find internally may be enough to justify the costs of using an outside developer.

Plus, an outside developer may have tips on how you can improve your team's training using your final product.

2.) No internal overhead costs (for development)

Although outsourcing your project development may not seem like one of the most cost-effective solutions, you have to remember that these outside companies are taking on all the overhead costs associated with the development as well.

Any internal resources needed to support the development, full-time employees, and dedicated teams cost a lot in both time and resources.

Using a software development company takes all those stressors (financially and emotionally) off your team. In turn, you don't have to worry about it putting undue strain on your company culture.

Apart from designing the project scope and overseeing the project management (if you choose to do so), the remainder of the overhead costs fall on the development company.

3.) Better Technical Expertise

If you're looking at software development projects, your internal team may simply not have the skills needed to be able to pull off that type of project efficiently.

You obviously only want high-quality products at the end of the project, so you don't want to cut corners on core competencies necessary for your final product to be successful.

Especially if you're creating a mobile app, your team may not have the technical skill sets needs to execute a project like this alone.

Using an outsourcing company that has specialty technical knowledge or skills outside the range of your own team can result in a much stronger final product.

Software developers for customer-facing products (i.e., mobile apps, ecommerce stores, B2B software, etc.), in particular offer very specialized skill sets, which make their expertise in creating complex projects invaluable.

4.) RFaster Turnaround Time

When you've got a great idea for a new customer-facing service, and you're looking at potentially outsourcing teams to get the product to market as quickly as possible, outsourcing models are the way to go.

An external company will be able to give you a clear idea of when your final product will be completed, which means that you will likely have a clearer idea about when the final task will be available.

Cutting back on your time to market can give you a competitive advantage over other brands that are trying to create similar solutions for their consumers as well.

And when it comes to customer-facing solutions, a competitive advantage is something you never want to turn down.

5.) Reduced Internal Project Overload

Not only does outsourcing the development have cost advantages like reducing labor costs and finishing in a faster time, but it can help reduce your internal teams from becoming overloaded.

Most businesses have a number of different things going on simultaneously at any given time, trying to manage your development internally is a recipe for burnout.

Exhaustion and team stress are two development costs that often go overlooked, but forcing people to devote valuable time daily to a new project, in addition to their daily duties, can start to run your teams ragged.

Development is a complex process; especially with software products. When you use an external vendor, you're accessing their specialized expertise, while also taking a weight off the shoulders of your internal teams.

6.) More Likely to Complete Projects on Time

Like it or not, it's a lot easier to continually push back product development, when it's being handled by your internal teams.

Between ongoing issues that every business needs to face on the regular (i.e., staffing issues, marketing challenges, etc.), new developments can easily be shifted onto the backburner every time something else comes along to get in the way.

With software development projects, your in-house development team will likely be balancing their new workload, on top of whatever their regular day-to-day responsibilities are.

Even if you want to create dedicated teams internally, you're most likely going to have to either hire and train new staff members, or take people away from other ongoing duties.

Offloading all those extra responsibilities is an additional benefit to things like specialized skill sets or high-quality services, which can all help ensure that your project is completed on-time.

Plus, as a hired third-party contractor, it's much easier to hold them accountable for missed deadlines than internal team members, who have other responsibilities they need to manage.

7.) Improved Cost Management

Surprisingly, a lot of businesses don't realize how much it can cost if your internal teams don't have the skills to efficiently complete certain complex projects.

Developers often have a wide range of project management tools that they can use to expedite the development process for you. This means less time to market, and less labor required for development.

Also, development service providers also usually have extensive experience developing similar things, at least from a core activities perspective. Their operational efficiency for development will be much higher than yours (if your teams have minimal business practice executing this type of project).

Custom software development takes time and comes with inherent risks, but leaning on skilled workers to complete these products could dramatically improve cost management for your project.

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