21st century brought new ways of solving problems for companies in the technology space. For those that had an offering that involved software or online applications, one of these advancements was the ability to outsource the application development.Doing this allowed companies to increase their technological efficiencies, leverage cost savings and overall optimize the project.
In the beginning, companies that outsourced their software development were primarily those in the IT industry, however with increased ability to communicate faster and connect more with each other, companies in all industries, startups included are now leveraging the powers of outsourced application development.
Another change we have noticed is that bigger projects were favored early on. Now you can say that MVP (Minimum Viable Product) software is the new superstar. Things are moving faster, which means a company’s needs must be met with faster iterations and delivery cycles.
In today’s landscape, we see many companies that feel like they do not know where to start with outsourced development – what questions to ask or what the right approach is for their project.
They are helpless and that they miss the right approach, either it’s about a small or medium MVP software project or simply about custom software development needs, long-term.
In our experience at IT Teams having worked with various types of clients, we feel there are always a few questions that shed light on potential projects and help both the client and the software application development company to successfully deliver a project.
Establishing the right project specifications and creating clarity from the beginning, for both the client and software development team are some of the key pillars to having a successful relationship. Whether you’re looking for MVP software, custom software development, or a long-term team, below are a few basic questions you should keep in mind.
1. What technology would you recommend for this project that would fit all of my needs?
It’s always good to consult your application development specialists regarding the technology. Their response is also a great indicator of how they would approach the project. Before asking this question, do a bit of research, to make sure that whatever the development company recommends is indeed the best option that meets your needs while, at the same time, be open to their feedback. Most importantly, keep asking “why” . Sometimes we think we have the best solution but they might come with a new approach and with a time & money saving solution as well, and sometimes with far more efficient technology proposals.
2. Once the project gets started, what kind of communication can I expect and how frequently will I be updated on the project? How much will I interact with the team and what is the team structure, their seniority and experience?
Creating clear expectations on communication is very important to do at the onset of any project. The frequency of interactions has significant impact to the project (and your sanity). You want and need to know details about the style of communicating based on the application development team’s structure and experience
3. What are our main channels of communication and who is the main contact I’ll be working with? Can I speak to this person before committing?
You want to meet and speak with the lead that will be assigned to your project. This will allow you to get a feel for the rapport you’re going to have with this person and better understand, once the project starts, how and when you can expect to be updated.
4. What is the price model and rates and with who I can discuss financial and administrative aspects?
An essential aspect, impacting the project not just as a whole, but in the case of specifications changes and/or future versions of your application.
5.What deliverables can I expect throughout this project? AKA – what are my Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that I can communicate to my team?
Transparency is essential in any project. Your application development team should be able to clearly point you to a deliverables calendar, deadlines and the nature of the deliverables. We suggest this to be part of your contract.
6. Do I get a rebate if I am satisfied and I am continuing outsourcing other project to you?
Essential for long-term collaboration in case you decide to go further with the team and develop side projects or simply new versions of your application.
7. How can I terminate my contract if I am not satisfied or for any reason I decide to stop our collaboration?
Not every project turns out the way you want. Asking the questions above can help avoid a messy situation however, you could still decide at a certain phase of the project that things aren’t going the way you want. It’s important to ask worst-case scenario questions just in case. Find out, if you absolutely had to, how can you terminate the contract and what that would mean financially.
We hope this list offers some clarity on how you can select the best outsourced development team and ensure they are the best fit for your product, startup, MVP or as a long-term part of your engineering team.
If you’re curious to learn more about the work we do here at IT Teams or how we walk clients through the beginning phase and/or discovery process – where we review all of these questions together – please reach out and let us know. Our team would be happy to connect and discuss your project. Even if we don’t end up working together, you’ll absolutely take with you valuable insight into how you can find the best outsourced development team for your project.
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