How to Form a Successful Software Development Partnership – Practical Tips for Success

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 12/05/2023

A Guide to Building a Successful Software Development Partnership

It is no secret that outsourcing software development can open for you – business owners – a shortcut toward the project’s success. By enabling tech companies and projects that are short on resources of software developers or expertise to outsource the full stack of software development, businesses can have access to an entire dedicated software development team that is capable of delivering their projects on time without stretching their budget or internal workforce. According to a 2022 survey by Deloitte, 78% of companies place a premium on a good relationship with the software partner. If two companies are not compatible, the project can suffer from delays, budget overspending, and other problems. And it has a high chance of causing negative impacts on the work being done and also the outcomes. On the contrary, a strong outsourcing partnership can accelerate development and uplift your entire project to new heights.

The journey to fruitful software development partnerships is extensive, starting with searching, interviewing, and choosing a good development partner first. Unfortunately, it is not an easy task at all, as there are so many options for software development companies out there.

To filter gems from stone, you need a master plan, no less. But to build and maintain a “healthy” collaboration relationship, you will need more than that – a strategy, best practices, useful tips, or more.

Again, it is unfortunate that there will be no one-size-fits-all formula for business success in outsourcing. Every successful software development partnership is unique, and to make it more sustainable, there needs to be a good fit between the service provider and its customer. In this post, we will talk about the best tips for forming and maintaining a successful one of your own.

The Key Elements Consolidating a Strong Partnership with a Software Development Company

Partnering with a software development company can be a game-changer for businesses looking to innovate, improve efficiency, and stay ahead of the competition. But, as with any business cooperation, it takes more than just signing an outsourcing contract to make it work. Let’s first understand what matters the most to a successful partnership in order to pull it off.

You can select different outsourcing models or have one or several software development partners at a time, but these critical factors will stay the same if you want to form a compatible partnership.


Clear and consistent communication is the backbone of any efficient business relationship, and transparency is the top essential component. On the other hand, poor communication between parties may jeopardize the project’s progress, create inefficiencies, and, at worst, lead to a software project failure. Therefore, it is better to overcommunicate than to have any ambiguity while working on a software development project.

Therefore, the project managers and stakeholders of both sides should make clear that they can communicate clearly, openly, and honestly, as well as seek clarification on any misunderstandings, establish a feedback loop, and be open to suggestions from both sides of the table. This will help avoid any potential miscommunications, delays, or other roadblocks that can arise from working together remotely.

The communication between the two parties should also focus on proactively addressing issues that arise during the software development process – especially in a virtual setup since there’s no room for misunderstandings and miscommunication. Regular status reports and touch bases should be implemented to keep everyone posted and on the same page. Moreover, communication and collaboration tools should be adopted to ease the flow of information.

Trust & Credibility

In the business realm, trust always comes first. Efficient collaboration and partnership are impossible without the factor of trust and credibility. A trusted software development company is not saying ‘trust us’ only. It should be earned, and it involves much hard work over a period of time — from both the customer and the provider. A successful partnership starts with having faith in each other’s capabilities, timelines, and integrity. Transparency is key to establishing trust between all parties concerned.

To assist trust building later on, business owners should put extra effort into the vendor selection process to ensure they commit to a reliable software development partner. The more carefully you pick and choose your outsourcing company, the easier for you to work together later on.

Visions, Goals & Expectations

A trustworthy software development partner is one who can understand your business goals, share the vision, and can align them with the project timeline and resources to focus on the final results consistently. The two parties should work closely to come up with the best project management methodology to ensure that they gain a common voice in all aspects of the project and impart the information accurately to all stakeholders involved.

As a service user, you should clarify their working objectives from the outset and allow for flexibility to adapt to any changes that might occur in the course of a project. Moreover, they need to make certain that the expectations made for both sides are realistic and that the outcomes are in line with the agreed-upon timeline.

As software development vendors, they have the responsibility to interpret the customer’s goals into attainable deliverables and create a flexible framework that can adapt to any changes while keeping the product quality in check. They also need to set realistic expectations on both sides, communicate their plans clearly, provide regular feedback and updates on progress, and aspire to exceed the customer’s expectations.

Mutual Benefits

As you can see, nothing comes from nothing. Basically, a business partnership is built on a win-win model, and a successful outsourcing one is not an exception. Therefore, it is vital to negotiate the duties and benefits of each side beforehand and balance the value each side can bring to the table.

Both parties to a software development agreement should think carefully about what they expect from the collaboration and how each party will benefit from it in terms of knowledge, resources, or any other factors that matter for their business.

Also, both sides should agree on the metrics for measuring success before starting a project. This means that the software development company and the customer should decide on what they plan to accomplish, when it will be done, and how each side can benefit from the partnership. Once you make it all clear at this point, it will be much easier for both your internal and outsourcing team to work with no concerns or hesitations.

A partnership built on fair benefits and duties is a “healthy and balanced” one that can last long. When everyone involved is satisfied with what they give and receive in return, they are willing to devote more time, resources, and effort to common missions and success.

Flexibility & Accessibility

In addition to solid technical expertise, flexibility is absolutely essential in order to adapt to changing needs and requirements. Your reliable software development partners should demonstrate a willingness to modify plans when necessary and act upon unexpected situations so as to accommodate new features or functionality requested by clients. Additionally, they should be able to provide support over time if additional modifications are needed after the initial product launch.

Tips on Forging a Win-win Software Development Outsourcing Partnership

To be honest, developing and extending a business partnership are uneasy, even for large corporations or with a well-defined agreement in hand. But it is not unachievable, especially when you are already well-equipped with the core values and qualities that make it happen. What you need now is a heap of tips. Not any tips, but practical ones.

Firstly, Have a Well-thought-out Plan Before Searching for an Outsourcing Partner

Firstly, Have a Well-thought-out Plan Before Searching for an Outsourcing Partner

Before deciding to conduct a specific project in-house or considering custom software development services, planning is a prerequisite step. This will lay out your project into a timeline with clear milestones (such as product features and development iterations) and outline what needs to be done and what it takes. A software development plan will reflect the needs of your project, including tasks and functions that need to be performed. And it also serves as the last consideration before outsourcing.

Thus, you can estimate the workload and resources to allocate them properly, as well as decide which parts of the development process should be on the in-house team and which ones should be outsourced. You can also determine precisely what capabilities will be required from a technology partner for your project to roll as planned.

Make sure that you come up with a to-do list and accomplish them one by one. Define project scope and requirements, set realistic goals, agree on a rational timeline and deliverables, discuss benefits and responsibilities, and establish proper communication channels. All these will make sure that you are on the same page with your outsourcing company in terms of objectives, expectations, and deliverables. Be prepared for the challenges (E.g., time-zone differences, language barriers) and risks when entrusting the IT needs to an external software development team. At the end of this, you will have all the nitty-gritty details laid out into a complete plan. It will be a solid foundation for the next steps of your software engineering project.

And try not to forget that no matter how much you plan, business partnerships are still living and breathing entities — they can be challenging at times and require supervision, nurturing, and continuous effort to stay successful.

Secondly, Find the Right Software Development Partner

Secondly, Find the Right Software Development Partner

Nothing is more valuable in a business relationship than a trustworthy software development partner whom you can rely on in terms of technical expertise as well as experience.

The good news is that businesses nowadays stand in front of numerous options as there are too many software development companies available worldwide. But it is also bad news as the diversity of choices causes more difficulties for decision-makers in choosing a software development firm that fits into their initially planned picture, especially when this is the first time you outsource or collaborate with a new software development partner.

To assort the best fit from a vast “ocean” of service vendors from onshore, nearshore, and offshore locations across the globe, business owners need to go through different processes of measurement and selection in terms of tech stack and software development experience. Starting with researching, evaluating, and filtering out the best software development companies from the list of potential vendors. Your next step is to conduct a detailed analysis of the company’s previous projects, portfolio, and references. Besides, ask other relevant questions that are related to your project. Then you should interview shortlisted candidates, get proposals from them, and go through all the offers before making a decision.

The vetting process should not be rushed, and it may take longer than anticipated to fully assess and choose a software development partner. So, be selective and compare your options over and over before finalizing the most reliable one up to your standards. If it turns out that none of the service providers pass the test, you should go back to researching potential software development partners again. Repeat this until you find the right one.

Last but not least, prioritize quality over costs. We all agree that outsourcing is usually utilized for the purpose of reducing expenditures. However, it does not worth saving money but compromising on the quality outcomes. The long-term implications of such a decision might cost more than expected in the future. As a result, do not go for those software companies that offer cheap rates but fail to guarantee quality results. Instead, try to balance prices and quality.

Thirdly, Set Up the Open Line of Communication & Build Mutual Trust

Thirdly, Set Up the Open Line of Communication & Build Mutual Trust

As aforementioned, communication and trust are the keys to success when it comes to outsourcing software development. Those two elements should be established as a starting point and maintained throughout the process of collaboration.

Regarding this, one of the most effective ways is to set up an open line of communication by setting up regular meetings or calls between both parties. During these meetings, you can discuss the progress and any potential problems that might have arisen during development cycles. You should also consider using project management tools like Jira or Asana for better communication and collaboration between your team and the service provider’s team members.

Moreover, building mutual trust is essential as well. The best method to achieve this goal is by being transparent with each other. Try to keep them involved in decision-making processes if possible, and always communicate openly. Share your expectations and feedback in a timely manner when needed. Plus, the project manager can consider organizing some sort of non-business activities to stick every part of the entire team together.

After That, Set Up the Documentation Protocols

After That, Set Up the Documentation Protocols

Documentation is crucial when you collaborate with a software development vendor and want to build a good relationship in the long run. Set up documentation protocols that establish standard procedures to be followed, deliverables expected, and deadlines to be met. This helps keep track of the project’s progress, mitigate risks, ensure a successful outcome, and, more importantly, make sure that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding project details and requirements.

This is a precautionary method to avoid miscommunications, misunderstandings, and, ultimately, any contractual disputes. Plus, documenting the whole process allows you to have a better understanding of how software developers work, as well as evaluate their performance in an effective way.

The documentation should include specs such as project timeline, deliverables, payment terms, support and maintenance services, liability issues, intellectual property rights (IPR), and confidentiality agreements. Ensure that both your team and software development partner are well-educated about these documents in advance before signing them off.

Finally, Monitor & Track How Your Project Progresses Regularly

Finally, Monitor & Track How Your Project Progresses Regularly

Last but not least, checking on your partner regularly is essential in building a good and long-lasting partnership as well. By monitoring and tracking the progress of your project on a regular basis, you can ensure that everything complies with the criteria set in the initial agreement. Schedule regular meetings with your software development vendor to track progress, keep up with the latest updates, discuss changes if needed, review deliverables and quality tests, detect any potential technical issues early on, and adjust the strategy according to results.

Not only about technical aspects but frequent check-ins should also be in place to show your outsourced team that you appreciate their work. Showing your appreciation and providing a sense of recognition can motivate them to do their best and stay focused on the big goal. And if they have questions or concerns, this is also an opportunity to address those without any delay.

The story of building a software development partnership and extending it is such a multi-chapter one. You may be lucky enough to settle down with the right partner among many of the best software development companies. But it is still far away from a compatible partnership. By knowing inside out the fundamentals of a strong business relationship and applying valuable tips in finding and managing your partners, you can be sure of building a harmonious and successful collaboration.

Orient Software as Your Reliable Software Development Partner

Orient Software as Your Reliable Software Development Partner

Look no further! Orient Software is a top-tier outsourcing company specializing in software development and staff augmentation services.

As your reliable development partner, we are devoted to delivering exceptional services that meet the highest standards of quality and performance. We offer a mature software development process, from ideation and prototyping to design, development, deployment, and maintenance. For more than 18 years of experience, we have been delivering successful projects from different industries for a large number of clients worldwide. With a network of certified, highly skilled software developers, proven processes, and advanced technologies, we make sure to bring value to your business and help you achieve both short-term goals and long-term objectives.

More importantly, we have plenty of experience in building good partnerships with businesses of all sizes and shapes. We go beyond the standard development process and focus on creating a close relationship with our partners to ensure clear communication, hassle-free collaboration, and smooth project delivery.

Are you ready for excellent software development experience? Reach out to us now to get more information about our services.

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