5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Software Provider
When working with an outside company to develop a new product, there are many things to consider. You need to find a service provider that can make your vision a reality on time and on budget. Since there are so many software development companies all claiming that they are the best, you need some method of differentiating which is right for you.
Here are five questions you should ask prospective service providers to make sure they will be a good fit for what you need.
1. What are your development processes?
A lot of software development companies have experience working as a subcontractor, meaning that they were tasked with creating only a part of the product. By asking this question, you will get an idea of what aspects they do themselves and what they don’t have as much experience with. In their explanation, pay attention to how they approach your business problems and the technological solutions they propose. A good service provider will put business needs and logic before any technological considerations.
2. Have you created a product from scratch?
It is important that the service provider has this experience because it means that they have dealt with the challenges that come with app development and know how to deal with them. Even if they have not created products for your specific industry, this does not necessarily disqualify them. The most important thing is that they understand how to organize all of the processes and workflows to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
3. Which technologies do you specialize in?
While most software development companies will have experts in any programming language, they usually have a particular technology that they specialize in. In addition to asking this question, be sure to ask them for case studies where they demonstrate expertise with the technologies you are looking for. Pay particular attention to the business value they were able to provide—don’t get too caught up with the tech stack.
4. Do you have the personnel for the job?
This question implies two things: Do you have the necessary number of developers on staff, and do they have the expertise to get the job done? These are important considerations if you need to get the project accomplished within a short time period and the development company needs to assemble a team for you. However, you have to be realistic. Even if you have a large team with a lot of experience, it still takes time to create a quality product. The best practice is to let the service provider worry about recruiting and hiring the personnel and you take care of more important issues, such as formulating the requirements and nailing down timetable and benchmarks.
5. How do you see the role of the customer in the project?
The role that you will play in the development of the project should be agreed upon with the development company from the beginning. Usually software development companies will go to great lengths to satisfy customer requirements. For example, at the contract stage, you can ask for daily stand-up meetings, two-week sprints, or anything else you would like to see. Just be sure you’re all on the same page.