Software development is a big investment and there are no free do-overs if you don’t get it right the first time.
So, it’s important that you pick the right software development partner and get off on the right foot. This can be tricky since software firms come in all different types: off-shore and local, specialist and generalist, small business-focused and enterprise-ready.
Which one is best for you? Here are some tips to consider before you make a decision:
Evaluate Company Culture
Likely, you’ll need to spend a substantial amount of time vetting candidates. This may entail doing web research, talking to referrals, and learning about their experience—but don’t stop there
Learn as much as you can about how the company works and why it engages in the work that it does. Enquire about ethics, goals, and expectations. Also, ask specifically about customer-centricity, and be sure that there’s a commitment to your success. If a software engagement is too transactional and non-consultative, you might end up with a bad final product, to no fault of the contractor.
Eventually, you’ll need to interview project managers. Preparation is key at this point, and be sure to have a list of strong questions, such as:
• What are your team’s favored technologies?
• What similar projects have you worked on?
• What exactly am I buying into with this project?
• Does your service include support and consultation, or just design and development?
• How do you guarantee that you’ll meet my expectations?
Seek a Partner That Understands Your Business
Software development projects differ not only in size and scope but also in nature. The partner you select should be compatible; you wouldn’t design an e-commerce solution the same way you would an industrial application, but the wrong partner might not know this.
Another important consideration is whether the software partner works with businesses your size. Mismatches can create headaches; for instance, if you partner with a firm that’s accustomed to working with companies much larger than yours, they might not value your account, understand your concerns, and they might also struggle to stay within budget.
Finally, choose a partner with industry familiarity as well as technical acumen. Your company will need software that integrates into your business and allows you to achieve very specific goals. If the software partner is familiar with your industry, it will remove a lot of friction. Not only will you have to do less handholding, but you’ll also have an easier time explaining critical concepts, such as regulatory concerns.
Ensure Communication Will Be Top Notch
When it comes to communication, the main objective should be to avoid having to talk to a bunch of low-communication techies who sit in a dark room all day and mumble in geek-speak.
Get in touch with a project manager early on. First, make sure they speak the native language of the business fluently. Vet candidates face-to-face via virtual meetings.
In your discussions, inquire about the communication practices of the company and how they intend to keep you appraised of progress, milestones, and other news. Learn the process for initiating discussions about software so that you can have a regular exchange of information.
Find Someone You Can Trust
Selecting the right partners is as intuitive as it is intellectual. When you find the right company and you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll get a good gut feeling and can move forward confidently.
For more than ten years, Techneaux Technology Services has been providing software development services including builds, buys, upgrades, and maintenance to small businesses, oil & gas companies, and utility companies.