10 essential tips to overview, if you are not a tech savvy
01. Project approach & development methodology
The key to any project success is thoughtful resource and time planning. The majority of large-scale and reliable software developers stick with just a few popular software development methodologies, such as SCRUM or Kanban. However, if your project requires documentation and source code to be prepared for a particular industry or a state standard, make sure that your partner is able to meet this requirement. Additionally, in order to move fast with an MVP and get guaranteed results, it’s important that software development is incremental. This will minimize risks of too many dependencies.
02. Business model and sample project reports
There are generally a few options to work with a software development partner, as illustrated below:
Needless to say, different products require different approaches. For example, if you have elaborated a crystal-clear spec, you might want to opt for the fixed cost approach, but if you are at the very beginning and need assistance even developing the spec and your budget has not been fixed yet, you may want to select the hourly billing. In any case, make sure that prior to the project start, you become familiar with standard project reports and overall project management practices of your potential partner.
03. The main contact point for clients
As a rule software outsources allocate dedicated account managers for each client. Make sure that your manager listens to you, fully understands your needs and you generally like his/her attitude and performance. This manager may be the only advocate of your interests in the complicated organisational structure of your future development partner, after you sign the agreement.
04. Are they responding to your initial request quickly enough?
A vivid demonstration of the partner future performance is their response time. Take a closer look at how fast your potential partner responds to your inquiries and make sure that this is acceptable for you. It can get even longer, after you get contracted.
05. Legal protection and SLA
Even before your start the project, make sure you check legal and financial credentials of your partner, provided on its web-site. One of the main risks of working with independent outsourcers is that they can simply disappear, as soon as you send the first payment, with no liabilities and no one to sue at the end of the day. To avoid such situation, you may officially request a certificate of company registration and a list of references, who can verify the portfolio and technical competences of your potential partner.
06. Presence and reviews on open developer listings
As a rule large software development companies publish their profiles with case studies and reviews on the most popular listings such as clutch.co or extract.co. These platforms have analysts in place to check the profile and references of each company in order to make sure that provided reviews are not fake. If a company has a number of positive reviews, it most likely has a pool of loyal clients, who are ready to share their positive experience.
If public listings do not provide enough trustworthy reviews or the reviewers specialize in different industries in they are different from your domain, you can request 2–3 private references from the potential partner. If they have a project portfolio, they will definitely be able to find a few loyal clients to assert their competences and services.
08. How fast they can allocate resources to start the project
Large software development houses may have troubles with allocating qualified employees for projects with smaller budgets, as their most talented staff usually work on long-term paid projects. But in case you are a start-up company with a limited development budget, you should not take the risk of working with lower-level developers, as the final product quality may suffer from poor-written code by junior developers. Make sure you check the team composition regularly as well as bug reports from the QA team. Too many reported bugs can be a sign of low-level developers, involved into your project.
09. Request for change procedure
As soon as you sign a software development agreement, you become bound to certain conditions, specified in the project spec and software development agreement. But the world is changing rapidly and in case you develop a “heavy” development, you may end-up in a situation, where your initial spec and requirements are no longer viable for the market. This is a big risk, but you have to take it. In order to stay on a safe side, make sure your partner have a reasonable Request for change procedure, which will allow you to update your spec with minimal hassle and budget.
10. Free test task
If a company is interested in building a long-term partnership, they will be ready to go through a small entry coding test to nail down their intentions and competence. If they really have a lot of highly-qualified developers on board, a small test won’t take much time and efforts. At the same time you will be reassured that these people do exist and can code. Some prefer to review sample GitHub projects, however, these projects may be not exclusive or borrowed. Make sure you elaborate a test, which will dismiss your doubts, rather than create new ones.
Need a reliable software development partner?
We at Fayrix provide world-class custom & offshore software development services and have all mentioned concerns covered. Relying on 14 years of experience and talented team of 1500+ developers we are ready to execute software development project of any scale.
We provide flexible terms, competitive rates & different models of partnership — time & materials, dedicated teams or project-based full outsourcing. We are always open to explore our client’s requests and provide the best solution fitting your business needs.