Outsourcing your software development can be a great way to reduce operating costs, free up resources, and expand your operation’s capabilities. However, many companies trying this model only succeed in creating disaster for their firm, leaving total chaos in its wake. What’s their secret, you may ask? Well, follow these outsourcing tips directly and you, too, will be able to lose time, money, and customers through outsourcing!

1) Kick it off with Nepotism

One software development company is not as good as the next. While picking a company at random without checking their qualifications or track record might seem like a good way to screw up, it’s best not to press your luck. Adding phony customer reviews and paid for industry lists to the mix can help narrow down your options; still, this is not enough to guarantee catastrophe.

Whether it’s 2020 or 3020, when you want to ensure starting a project off on the wrong foot, there’s just no beating nepotism. We all have that one relative or son of a family friend who is supposedly a genius at coding. If he and his team have been in business for a while, but lack a website, registration, or even a company name, you almost certainly have a winner on your hands. 

However, if appearances turn out to be deceptive, and the relative in question displays a sliver of competence — no worries! You can still count on the rest of our outsourcing tips to kill the project dead.

2) Go for the Lowest Bidder

If you don’t want to sabotage your family relations, hiring the cheapest possible outsourcing vendor is another excellent way to ensure disaster. After all, you get what you pay for. 

But it’s not just about quality! Many outsourcing companies demand a higher price because they anticipate problems that are likely to emerge during their work. Always seek out a team that’s either too stupid to account for complications or too dishonest to admit it.

If you’re really lucky, your bargain-bin vendors will deliver such shoddy work that you’ll incur both a huge waste of time and massive budget overspend just to fix their mistakes. The best part? You get to hire another cheap company to clean up the first company’s mess by creating a brand new one, ensuring that the vicious cycle continues, carrying your company to abject failure.

3) Assign a Task, Then Forget All About It

Even completely unprofessional developers might snatch victory from the jaws of defeat if you provide sufficient guidance. On the other hand, completely depriving solid experts of any oversight is a sure way to guarantee failure. Let “out of sight, out of mind” be your outsourcing motto, and you are well on your way to disaster.

As a result, self-directed and unsupervised vendors will misunderstand their tasks and make a complete mess of your project by the time deadlines role around. 

And if your work is still not done, this would be the perfect moment to deploy seagull management: berate the developers harshly and unfairly for their unavoidable mistakes before leaving them to their own devices once again.


4) Create Task Management Chaos

Like it or not, some projects aiming for failure still demand oversight. In this case, you run the risk of independent-minded developers managing to self-organize and achieve some degree of success. Luckily, our outsourcing tips cover screwing up task management as well! 

Let’s say your vendor wants to use professional task management software, like Jira or Trello. Red flag! Do not give in to such reasonable requests. Instead, you should assign tasks the old-fashioned way: by phone, email, or messaging app. That’s just as inefficient and frustrating for your vendor as it is comfortable for you!

Remember that nothing beats sudden, late-night phone calls. Never call at the same hour twice, and insist that all vendors report to you by phone no matter how hard they plead with you to avoid doing so. Also, time tracking may make your outsourced reps more self-conscious and efficient, so definitely ditch that as well. Finally, don’t forget to maximize unhappiness by regularly chewing them out!

While consistently using either an agile or waterfall development model would not suit your goals, you can certainly mix and match ideas from both, successfully implementing the worst of both worlds. And you don’t even have to go that far — simply try using agile lingo out of context to confuse the remote team. If you do it right, what little organization you impose will leave them even more disoriented than no organization at all.

5) Make Your Technical Specifications as Vague as Possible

Accurate technical specifications might partially compensate for the absence of oversight. Remember: you don’t want anything resembling accuracy here, so do all you can to make your tech specs useless. Start by omitting any examples, images, or other materials that could give any vendors a clear idea of what you want. Don’t try to spell it out for them, either. And — it should go without saying — any performance or hardware requirements are right out.

Avoid setting milestones or schedules beyond the final deadline, which you should be moving around anyway, and without warning. Leave the resources and risks involved in any task as an exercise for your vendor. If all goes well, they’ll end up spending the bulk of their time and resources finalizing unwanted features while ignoring high-priority objectives!

6) Push Your Vendor Beyond Their Area of Competence

All developers have their areas of specialization, be it designing mobile apps or programming in Java. This is true whether they are qualified software engineers or complete incompetents discovered by following our first two outsourcing tips. Regardless of ability, push your external developers past their limits by tasking them with work they couldn’t do even if they tried. Let your imagination soar when handing out assignments!

And why stop at simply pushing past your vendor’s core competencies in software development? Entrust remote developers with graphic design, search engine optimization, marketing, etc. — there is literally no shortage of tasks for IT professionals to screw up!

7) Throw Your Intellectual Rights and Critical Data out the Window

If you’ve followed our outsourcing tips so far, there should now be a smoking crater where your outsourced project used to be. However, you might want to take the disaster to a whole new level, by ensuring that the damage continues far beyond this particular project. Just work in advance to make sure that any remote developers have the opportunity to steal or expose your proprietary secrets.

Give your vendors full access to all your databases without exception, especially if they contain sensitive information belonging to your clients. Don’t bother drafting an NDA, and do discuss your groundbreaking technology whenever possible. Antagonize developers at every turn. By the end, they should be sufficiently tempted to leak your data and intellectual property left and right, putting the final nails in your project’s coffin.

(And don’t forget the possibility of an additional bonus: You may just find yourself fighting off one or two devastating lawsuits!)


Congratulations, you’ve successfully screwed up outsourcing! Next time — provided you never want to repeat such a catastrophic mistake —  reach out to a fully competent Belarus’ software outsourcing company (you get the hint). At Rubyroid Labs, we are one such company, with an array of successful projects under our belt. We will happily add yours to the list!

Rubyroid Labs is the Ruby on Rails development company. Learn more about our services.


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