Picking a software house is not a task that should be taken lightly as the wrong choice might mean a loss of a sizable amount of money, time, peace of mind and more importantly, opportunity.
This is why at Mood Up encourage our partners (client is a word we steer clear off of) to look beyond the boastfulness and accolades that one sees at first glance and dig deep into a software house’s people, skills, previous work and processes. It might be a tedious task, but one that will pay off in dividends once the project is completed.
1. Presence and market reputation
Software development is no walk in the park and can be a costly affair if done incorrectly.
That’s why we encourage any client looking to develop a product to do their research on the business operation length of the software houses they intend on working with. This will dispel any doubts on the financial stability of the software house in question and create a lasting partnership.
2. Communication strategy
Communication is vital in any partnership and all the more so in software development as a project’s velocity is dependent on the speed in which issues are discovered, communicated and fixed.
Inquire on the communication tools used by the software houses you intend on working with and find one that matches your preferences whether it be Slack, Jira, Asana or Trello.
Remember, communication with your software house, who are essentially your extended team should be seamless, and not a chore.
3. Partnership dynamics
The strength of a partnership is only as good as its dynamics and this is pivotal when picking a software development partner.
This is why we recommend expending some time to research your potential partners for a good fit. Meet them if it’s possible and/or encourage them to pay your company a visit.
Remember, you need to like the people you are working with.
4. Technology Stack
You need a partner with proven experience and skill sets that match the requirements of your particular app, and not one that dabbles in many programming languages.
Pose your potential software houses with your requirements and evaluate their approach to it. Ask for the credentials of the development team that will be allocated to you. Ask for examples of previous work using the same technologies.
Remember, a good software house should have no qualms about answering any questions a client might have.
5. The work process
Does your potential software development house use agile or the waterfall methodology in developing their products?
If it’s the latter, you might be in trouble as agile work processes such as scrum is now an industry standard due to its ability to increase the velocity of product development at lower costs.
6. Cost model
The cost of development is at the forefront of any customers mind and rightfully so.
Our recommendation is to opt for agile pricing models that charge for the work done as the development progresses versus the fixed pricing model, which can have you paying more for limited functionalities as software house usually add a sizable markup to counter any unexpected issues.
Remember, if the price of a project is too good to be true, it probably is.
7. Scope of service
Some software house provides end to end services that encompass design, development, QA and even listing the final product on iOS and Android app stores.
Make sure you opt for one that has the services you require as close cooperation between designers, developer and QA creates better products, faster.
Transparency is vital in any partnership, which is why you should ask your potential software development house to provide you with an example of the contract that will be signed.
You are also well within your rights to ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before submitting your idea for an estimate.
9. Location and cultural fit
Close collaboration is key to a successful partnership.
Working as such, however, is rather difficult if the software development partner you outsource to is on a vastly different timezone and culture.
This is why we at Mood Up prefer to work with clients who nearshore their software to us.
Outward appearances can be deceiving which is why we recommend agreeing on a trial period to test the dynamics of the relationship and all that we mentioned above.