It is common in IT industry to hear complaints from clients about the poor quality of the solutions or about receiving unwanted solutions that do not match with their requirements. However, the reality is that most of the outsourced projects fall short of their purpose not because of the inferior capabilities, but because the project requirements were not properly understood by the development company.
Unclear requirements have been one of most prominent reasons for inferior solutions in offshore web development model. Poorly defined requirements on the part of the clients are usually the case in failed projects. How can you expect to obtain proper solutions when you can not even define your requirements? This usually happens when the client is running out of time and wants very quick solutions. They usually skip the proper requirement gathering and analysis part or just skim through the documentation of project requirements in order to get quick solutions. However, this is a perfect recipe for complete disaster.
This does not means that you have to define the specifications in overly detailed manner for even mediocre projects, but it means that you can not expect an effective solution from a one page project concept. The clearer the project specifications are defined since the beginning, the easier it would be for project managers and developers to understand your requirements and work accordingly.
Now the question here is how you can avoid the risk of unclear requirements in offshore web development projects. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you in doing so:
Giving Some Extra Time To The Requirements Gathering Phase: When you outsource web development projects, make sure that the project manager from the development firm interviews some potential users and finds out the desired features and functionalities for the new software. The software would be most probably used by your employees therefore the project manager should try to understand your business requirements, the user interfaces that are required and the high level requirements of the completed system. It is very important that the manager makes a proper documentation of all the requirements along with any milestones that may be helpful in determining the performance. Further, also make sure that he documents the number of users that are expected to be using the software and exactly how they will be using it.
Requirement Analysis: Once the requirements are gathered it is time to analyze these requirements to determine the feasibility of the software. It is very important to make sure whether the project is even feasible or not before you start working on it. The web development company also needs to determine the acceptability of the proposed solution and the ability to implement it.
Requirement Inspection: In this section, the web development company needs to review the requirements that are proposed by the clients and try to identify any ambiguities or discrepancies in the requirements. Further, they should also determine plan for handling any errors or issues that may arise during the development of the project.
Clients should make sure that their requirements are clear to them and to the web development company when they outsource web development requirements to offshore vendors. As you are not physically available to the vendor therefore it is required that you make most effective use of latest communication and data sharing technologies to provide clear requirements to the development team.