The Danger of Outsourcing Job Boards


The Danger of Outsourcing Job Boards

While many outsourcing / job boards offer a central location for vendors and customers to engage in project development, the reality is that many pitfalls and danger await both sides of the relationship, especially for the uninitiated.

While there are many potential pitfalls, the most common observed is the lack of product definition, for example:

  • Client requests proposals with very little project detail and often no project scope.

  • Vendors present quotes on very little project detail and often no project scope.

I often see jobs posted with as many as 80 and 100+ proposal responses from vendors with specific dollar amounts, and without project definition other than perhaps a one or two paragraph general overview description. What are they basing their quote on? Unless they possess a crystal ball, there is no possible way to accurately quote a software development project based on a simple description! In these cases, often both parties will lose, as the project lacked the necessary definition required for a successful outcome.

One of two scenarios will play out in this example:

  • Job will be requoted mid-process or subject to additional costs that were not expected.

  • The vendor may not charge more, but may not give your project the priority and quality focus needed and will rush to finish, resulting in a poor product which is not well thought out.

Any job which has been quoted without a proper project scope document should be thrown out immediately. Would you build a house or building without an architect’s blue print?

When choosing a software development partner, you will first want to determine which partner possesses the qualifications of an established vendor. Details such as years in business, size of company and resources, local representation, portfolio examples, client recommendations and industry certifications are all important in making sure you are dealing with a qualified organization.

Secondly, a project should be well defined and include at minimum some of the items listed below:

A detailed date driven project scope document which includes:

  1. Executive Summary i.e. Summary of the business objectives and how the product addresses goals of the client.

  2. Complete Project Scope and Requirements Understanding Document.

  3. Date Driven Project Plan with Specific Development Milestones

  4. Technology Frameworks to implement project and why chosen.

  5. Technology Platforms to be developed i.e., Web, Mobile, Smart TV etc.

  6. Ability to Scale given growth

  7. QA Testing Plan

  8. Software Deployment Plan

  9. Warranty and On-going support options

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