5 reasons outsourcing your mobile app MVP might be right for you

11 min read
September 15, 2022

A minimum viable product (MVP) might be minimal, but creating it certainly takes maximum effort and skills.

But how can you do that if you don’t have a skilled in-house team—or if you do, but they’re busy with other projects?

The best approach is outsourcing.

Outsourcing allows you to tap into the skills of any developer in the world at a moment’s notice for a potentially low cost.

If that’s not a good enough reason, here are other benefits that could convince you to outsource your MVP development.

Gaining access to a skilled team

One of the benefits of outsourcing your MVP development is that it gives you access to a wider pool of developers with better skills and experience.

A critical mistake that many companies make is to underestimate MVP development. Since the MVP is a toned-down version of the final app, there’s the misconception that it also requires only minor skills to build.

But the reality is the exact opposite.

An MVP should be developed just like any other app. That means it requires the same skills and experience as full development—and arguably more. That’s because MVPs present the added challenge of creating a usable product in such a short time.

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Source: JetRuby Agency

Thus, it’s best to have the best developers you can find for your MVP.

But this task can be difficult, especially for complicated apps. Mission-critical niches like health and fintech also require subject matter experts or developers with regulatory experience.

In this case, outsourcing is a better approach.

Outsourcing gives you more flexibility in hiring a team that’s 100% fit with your app requirements.

For example, when you work with DECODE, we look at the exact skillsets your MVP requires. We then pull talent from a pool of 70+ professionals matching your criteria.

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Source: DECODE

We believe that the best teams are also cross-functional. That means they’re composed of members with different roles and expertise. This diversity gives the team a better chance at creating a quality output and tackling any issues that arise.

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Source: Uptech

Outsourcing also allows you to access professionals anywhere in the world. This is useful if you require skills that aren’t available locally.

For instance, say you want to consult with an experienced neurologist to develop a specialist health app, but the problem is there’s no one qualified in your home country. The solution is to hire someone in a more mature market, such as the United States or the EU.

Or say you want to hire the best developer in your country, but she’s already tied up in other projects. Outsourcing allows you to source other developers with similar or even better skills.

The bottom line is that outsourcing greatly opens up your options, allowing you to hire the best team to develop an exceptional MVP.

Enabling quicker MVP development

The most crucial aspect of an MVP is that you need to build it as quickly as possible. And outsourcing can help you achieve that.

Here’s how.

If you’re not yet aware of how short the typical MVP timeline is, here’s an infographic from Clockwise Software:

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Source: Clockwise

All in all, the development time should only last around 3 – 4 months.

That’s doable if you already have a development team in place. But what if you didn’t? Then you’d need to factor recruitment time into your schedule. And that could take a long time.

A study suggests that, on average, it takes up to 40 days to hire an in-house developer.

See, finding and recruiting suitable talent is just one half of the hiring process. The other part of the equation is onboarding the right person to the project, which arguably takes the longest time on average. Take a look:

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Source: Relevant

In contrast, outsourcing can take as little as 1-2 weeks, depending on how dedicated and engaged you are. You’ll also find it even quicker if you partner with reputable agencies.

That’s partly because you don’t need to worry about hiring every developer on your team. When you partner with an agency, they will be the ones who’ll do that on your behalf—or, in the case of DECODE, already have a ready pool of talent.

Outsourcing also helps you avoid recruitment issues that make getting in-house talent even more difficult.

For instance, according to the SHRM State of the Workplace Study, 84% of organizations interviewed found hiring talent difficult due to a labor shortage.

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Source: SHRM

Good agencies like DECODE have a wide network of developers who can readily work on your app project, so minimal recruitment and onboarding time is needed.

Finally, outsourcing development to a highly competent team can speed up the creation of your app.

That’s because skilled developers have the necessary expertise and experience to come up with simple solutions to complex problems. This can speed up development time dramatically.

In contrast, novice developers do the opposite, prolonging your timeline unnecessarily.

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Source: Free Code Camp

But a shorter development time is just one benefit. Outsourcing can also lower your costs dramatically.

Reducing development costs

Outsourcing is a great approach if you want to lower your MVP development costs or need to stick to a budget.

The primary reason is that developer salaries tend to vary widely around the world.

For instance, developers in the US typically charge an average of $100 per hour. In contrast, those in developing nations in Africa and South Asia charge only a fraction of that—at just $15-25 per hour.

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Source: Diceus

However, it’s crucial to remember that cost isn’t always an indication of quality.

There’s no guarantee that a UK developer charging $90 per hour will deliver the best output. In the same vein, even a $15/hour Indian developer can produce world-class work on a par with his or her Western counterparts.

When it comes to hiring in-house, there’s also the issue of the hidden costs.

When you hire a permanent developer, your total expense will be more than just the salary. You must also consider training, benefits, and new equipment.

And these can be substantial. For instance, an SHRM study found that onboarding a new employee costs around $4,100 per person.

There’s also the expense of replacing them if they leave the company, which can be significantly higher. Turnover costs are around $660,000 to $2.6 million yearly for a mid-sized company with 100 employees.

In contrast, you don’t need to worry about all these extra fees when outsourcing. You only pay a fixed rate, and that’s it. If the developer quits, the agency can quickly find a replacement.

As a result, outsourcing can cost 53% lower than hiring in-house, according to a study by Existek.

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Source: Existek

The final reason outsourcing costs are lower is that you have much better payment flexibility.

With an in-house staff, you pay them a fixed monthly rate, regardless of their workload. So even during lean months or if the person is not as productive, you still pay them.

But with outsourcing, you only pay for the work delivered.

For instance, in the time and materials model, the outsourced team bills you hourly, based on the work done in the project.

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Source: DECODE

The main advantage of this payment scheme is that it’s flexible and fair to everyone involved. Clients only pay for the work delivered. On the other hand, the development team is compensated according to the time and effort spent.

Even the less-than-ideal fixed price model (where both parties agree on a set cost for the project) can still cost less than maintaining full-time staff in-house.

The bottom line is that outsourcing can lower your development costs by giving you the flexibility to pick the right price and payment scheme for you.

But it’s more than just cost—you can also be flexible with your time commitments.

Allowing short-term commitment

One of the huge advantages of outsourcing is that you can tackle projects regardless of the timeframe.

This is especially vital if you’re trying to enter an app niche for the first time (and thus probably don’t have the in-house expertise for that).

For instance, let’s say you want to develop a fintech app.

Unlike other fields, fintech requires professionals in niche skills, such as compliance, financial regulations, and cybersecurity. And depending on the nature of your app, you might also need data science, AI, or blockchain experts.

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Source: SMU

The problem is that hiring these professionals in-house is expensive, especially if it’s just for a short project.

But an outsourced team can be formed quickly and economically. You can also hire team members for shorter time frames, then swap them as needs change.

For instance, you might need a team of developers while building your MVP. But when you launch it, you might want to add analysts and testers to review customer feedback. And when your final app version is complete, you’ll probably need only a handful of developers for maintenance.

But for outsourcing to make sense for short-term commitments, you must define the project’s scope completely. That way, you know the exact requirements and timetable needed for the development team.

Not having a clear scope can risk prolonging the project unnecessarily, erasing the advantages of outsourcing.

Ideally, you need to flesh out your requirements in three areas: business, user, and system. This ensures that all aspects of your projects are covered.

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Source: DECODE

Once you have a scope, document everything. Every project must have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), a statement of work (SOW), and a master service agreement. Having these on hand can help protect you and the team against breaches of contract or leaking sensitive information to competitors.

For more information on these documents and how to manage an outsourced team, check out our article here.

Ensuring a structural development process

Outsourcing instantly gives you everything you need to create your MVP, from the team to their skills. But one overlooked benefit is that you also get a proven structure.

Structure is important in building a quality MVP in the desired timeframe. A lack of it can lead to disorganization, poor morale, and low productivity, all of which can derail the project.

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Source: DECODE

A good outsourced team already has a structure in place. That means their communication system is on point, they have a management approach that works, and they use proven development strategies.

In other words, you don’t need to worry about those, or establish them from scratch.

For example, when you work with DECODE, we already have communication platforms that already do well with most clients. And we use the best methodologies, such as Agile.

Agile is our preferred approach because it keeps the client in the loop and incorporates their suggestions at every stage.

Briefly, Agile development is divided into sprints, each composed of reviewing, building, and testing rounds. After every sprint, the work-in-progress is sent to the client for review. Any feedback is incorporated into the next sprint, and the cycle repeats.

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Source: DECODE

Of course, you can only get proper structure if you outsource your MVP to the right team or agency. That’s why you need to do thorough research first.

In particular, you should use the following criteria when shortlisting potential agencies:

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Source: DECODE

You can gauge these by viewing the agency’s previous experience and portfolio. Case studies are also beneficial, as it gives you a glimpse of their professionalism and methodologies.

Also, don’t forget to check their reviews from past clients. Some agencies might post success stories on their website, but the best source would be third-party reviews sites like Clutch and GoodFirms.

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Source: Clutch

It might take more time and effort, but the benefits of finding the right team outweigh the hassle.

Are you looking to outsource your MVP development?

We hope we’ve made a good case with our reasons for outsourcing your MVP development.

It’s one of the best ways to achieve a quality result in record time – even if you don’t have the expertise to do it. And even if you had a competent development team, outsourcing can still be a good idea so your developers can focus on other things.

And if you’re planning to outsource your MVP or app, please consider DECODE.

We’ve had plenty of successful app projects, so we have the expertise and experience to do your project justice.

To find out how we can help you, schedule a consultation session today and let’s talk.

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Written by

Petar Simic

Co-founder and Shake CEO

Petar leads Shake (DECODE’s sister company) as CEO, delivering the product to a growing number of happy, innovative clients. Day-to-day, he ensures the engineering, design, product, marketing and sales teams all work in harmony. Before moving to Shake, Petar led DECODE. Although an engineer by schooling, his natural talent soon saw him making an impact on the marketing, sales and branding side of things. Petar’s passions include architecture, skiing, sailing, and a good glass of red wine.

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