Fearing Unknown : Measuring Custom Software Outsourcing Success

Srivatsan Aravamudan Nemili / Jul 18, 2016


Custom Software development is difficult to measure in terms of productivity and improvement. Yet, vast sums of money are spent on Custom Software Development every year. There are many firms out there who either don’t outsource or don’t even change IT consultant for the fear of the unknown: The unknown aspect as to how to measure the success of the outsourcing?

"There's a lot of pain around outsourcing deals," admits Dr. Paul Roehrig, a senior analyst with Forrester. The situation in the $120 billion-a-year IT services market isn't quite as dire as some would have you believe, says Roehrig. About 57 percent of IT buyers are somewhat satisfied with their primary outsourcer and 22 percent are very satisfied, according to Forrester's research. But that leaves more than 20 percent indicating it could be better. 

If you have your own experience with software development then you could measure your outsourcing against your own expertise. You can judge the quality of programming yourself by how well it works, how many bugs there are, and how fast it’s being delivered. You’ll probably always have a gut feeling, and if you’re a software engineer yourself, you’d be wise to trust it. If not fear not, use the following Metrics to maximize the opportunities for Outsourcing Custom Software Development success.

1.    Features

To measure new software development you track how many new features are added over time. Some metrics split the programming required into work units and then track how many units are completed over time. 

2.    Time Estimate

IT Consulting firms are notoriously optimistic about their ability to create working software. So another metric measures how accurate their estimates are for the time required to finish the software development.  Perhaps ask them questions about their delivery estimates in the past.

3.    Maintenance

For maintenance programming you need to track the work units or bugs fixed over time. In addition, you should measure the amount of rework required for bugs that fail the QA step after bug fix attempts.

4.    Customer Satisfaction

There is a qualitative aspect to software deliverables beyond defects that is partially summed up by the term “customer satisfaction.” The customers in this case are your end users of the software application that’s being developed. Have a comprehensive session with them and understand how the new application has made a difference in their everyday work. After all the importance of customer satisfaction over some of the other more traditional metrics has driven the growth of the agile software development

5.    SLA ( Service Level Agreement)

The quality of your SLA will, to a large extent, determine the success of your project. SLA are the best place to put in all the metrics that you want to measure and reach an agreement with your IT consultant. But remember: the purpose of an SLA is to help guide your software development to success and to detect and correct problems as they arise and not to play the blame game which would spoil the relationship with your IT Consultant.

Last but not Least!


Today most people use simple software tools like spreadsheets and Microsoft Project to track the metrics of their outsourcing.  Above all choosing the right consultant who can partner with you in creating the best custom software development experience for you is a must.  There you go folks, perhaps you might be interested to know more about the cost of custom software or the importance of Analytics & Reporting

Customized Software Development is a cake walk with the right consultant. Contact us at the below numbers / email to get a free no obligation quote for your custom requirement. Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!



Srivatsan Aravamudan
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