There are various development methods and procedures for system development, such as nearshore development and offshore development.
Of the many development methods, many of you may have heard the term “lab-type development.”
This time, we will explain the features and merits of lab development and the differences from “contract-type development”.
table of contents
- 1. What is lab-type development (lab contract) in the first place?
- 2. Advantages of lab-type development
- 3. Disadvantages of lab-type development
- 4. Development projects suitable for lab-type development
- 5. What is the difference between lab-based development and contract-based development?
- 6. How to request lab-type development and precautions
What is lab-type development (lab contract) in the first place?
Lab-type development is a type of offshore development (consignment development method that utilizes overseas resources and companies), and is also called “Lab Contract / Offshore Development Center (ODC)”. When a contract is signed for lab-type development, the development company will form a response team dedicated to the project and will handle the development work for a certain period (generally half a year to one year) while receiving instructions from the client-side. The client-side is characterized by having the role of directly interacting with the project manager on the development company side and the bridge SE (the engineer who acts as a bridge). Through exchanges, we will give instructions for development.
To put it simply, lab-type development can be recognized as “a development method that can secure an engineering team for a certain period.” Within the contract period, various changes can be made according to the content and progress of the project. If you want to know “what is offshore development in the first place?” And “what is the recommended development company?”, Please refer to the following page. Introducing in detail from basic information on offshore development to the best companies for development.
■ Points to avoid failure in offshore development and 10 recommended system development companies [latest version]
Benefits of lab-based development
|Advantages and disadvantages of lab-type development|
|merit||Can secure engineers for a certain period|
|It is easier to reduce labor costs than domestic engineers|
|No need to adjust specifications or modify estimates|
|Easy to accumulate system development know-how|
|Demerit||Need time for team building|
|Cost-effectiveness tends to below|
Lab-based development has many benefits. Below, let’s explain the specific advantages and disadvantages of lab-type development.
● Can secure engineers for a certain period
During the term of the lab contract, you can secure a talented team of talented people dedicated to the project. Since you can order projects continuously within the period, there is no need to reorganize the project for each project or share information from scratch.
● It is easier to reduce labor costs than domestic engineers
Since lab-type development is a type of offshore development, you will have a team dedicated to the project overseas. In particular, the labor costs for engineers in Asian countries are cheaper than those for domestic engineers. You can reduce the cost of hiring more than hiring a domestic engineer.
● No need to adjust specifications or modify estimates
During the contract period, there is no need to readjust the quotation even if the system specifications are changed, functions are added, or corrections are made. Therefore, it is attractive to be able to change the specifications more flexibly. As an example, let’s say you ask four engineers to develop a system under a lab contract. For the first 3 months of the period, ask everyone to develop new, then 2 people to implement additional functions, and the remaining 2 people to deal with minor bugs and improvements, depending on the development phase and situation. It is attractive to be able to move the team flexibly.
● Easy to accumulate system development know-how
Lab-type development has the characteristic that it is easy to accumulate system development know-how because it is possible to secure an engineering team for a certain period. Accumulating know-how will likely have a positive impact on system development, such as speeding up development and smooth communication between teams.
Disadvantages of lab-type development
● It is necessary to place an order for a certain amount during the contract period.
Lab-type development is a contract format that secures a dedicated team for a certain period. Therefore, you should order a certain amount of work during the contract period so as not to waste human resources. If you do not have a clear ordering plan or direction of request, you need to be careful because team operation may get lost.
● Need time for team building
The requester of the lab contract is in a position to direct development as a member of the team. It will also take time to give detailed instructions and give lectures to members so that the specifications of the finished product (deliverable product) do not deviate. It also has the role of establishing a system for smooth communication over the medium to long term. Because of the need to build a team through these preparations and lectures, we often feel that we’re not getting off to a good start when we’re just forming a team.
● Cost-effectiveness tends to below
Lab-based development requires you to order a certain amount of work during the contract period. Therefore, if the amount of projects requested is small, the cost-effectiveness may be rather low. It is necessary to consider in advance such points as “Are there several projects that can be continuously requested?” And “Is there a plan for measures when the number of projects to be ordered decreases?”
Development projects suitable for lab development
Lab-type development is suitable for projects that proceed with development over a medium- to long-term period. Below, we will introduce projects that can utilize the merits and strengths of lab-type development.
● Operation and refurbishment of existing Web services
Lab-based development is suitable for cases where you are running an existing web service or app. In addition to daily operations, these services require enormous work such as functional improvements, repairs, and specification changes. However, hiring and outsourcing new talent is costly. Therefore, by concluding a lab-type contract, it becomes easier to secure excellent human resources at a lower labor cost than in Japan. If you ask the team to bear the burden of repair work and operation work required for existing Web services and apps, you can reduce the burden that had been incurred until then.
● Agile type development
“Agile development” is a development method in which functions are tested in small units and development is carried out while making repairs each time. The feature of agile development is that it is premised on changes and repairs during work, so it is compatible with lab-type development, which does not require new estimates or changes in the team structure each time a change is made. The benefits of agile development and how to proceed are also explained in detail on the following pages.
■ What is agile development? Advantages and disadvantages of development methods that can not be heard now
What is the difference between lab-based development and contract-based development?
There is also a development method similar to lab-type development called “contract-type development.”
|The main differences between lab-based development and contract-based development|
|Lab-type development||A contract that can secure an engineering team only for a certain period.|
|Contract development||A contract to request the development of systems and services and have them delivered.|
Both have the same point of “requesting development from outside”, but the major difference is that there are subtle differences in “contract details”. As explained in the overview section, lab-based development is a “contract that can secure engineers only for a specified time.” On the other hand, contract-type development is a “contract to complete and deliver the ordered system or service.” Contract development is the process of signing a contract to complete a project.
Lab-type development is useful when you want to secure an engineering team continuously for a certain period, but contract-type development is useful when you want to request only the completion of systems and services. Contract development has the advantage that extra development costs are less likely to occur because the contract expires once the project is completed. On the other hand, contract development has the disadvantage that if the overall picture of the finished system or service is ambiguous, it will be difficult to estimate the number of engineers and man-hours required.
There are various methods for system development other than the methods mentioned here, but it is ideal to use the development method properly depending on the content of the project requested to the outside. Choosing the best development method can have a positive impact on development costs and quality.
How to request lab development and precautions
When requesting lab-type development, you need to keep the following points in mind.
● See the achievements of the development company
As a major premise, it is important to fully confirm whether the development company has sufficient achievements and experience. Also, make sure to match the genre of the development project you want to request with the genre of the development project that the development company is good at.
● Check the communication system
Close communication with the team is important for successful system development. In particular, since lab-type development will have a dedicated team overseas, make sure to confirm in advance the communication routes such as “what route will be used for communication” and “how often will meetings and feedback be given”. Must be kept.
This time, we introduced in detail the features and merits of lab-type development.
If it is a lab-type development that can secure engineers for a certain period, it will be easy to temporarily raise the development ability of the company. However, finding a company that undertakes lab-type development can be difficult if you do not have the know-how to request development from outside. If it is difficult to find a system company for lab-type development, we recommend using a web service that selects a supplier. Through detailed hearings by professional staff who are familiar with IT, we will find a system company that meets your needs.
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