How to Find a Reliable Software House — A 10-Point Checklist
Syeda Umama | 15/09/2020 20:26You’ve made a decision to outsource your digital product development, but you’re not sure how to choose the best service provider? Where to find one that will understand the product goals and vision, and make it easy to achieve business objectives? Here’s what to consider when choosing a partner that will help you create a reliable product without any risk.
0. A well-prepared brief
Before you choose a software house to work with, you should know what you actually want and include it in a project brief.
1. Market presence and portfolio
Companies such as GoodCore Software (https://www.goodcore.co.uk), that operate on the market for several years, are sure to have completed dozens of projects. This helps them keep ahead of the competition. They have experience with different types of customers and have been using various technologies. During all the years they operated on the market they were able to develop effective project management and product development methods.
2. Is there a similar software application in their portfolio?
After checking the software house’s experience and the amount of completed projects, analyse their portfolio. Look for the products similar to your idea.
3. References and testimonials
We bet that you read the references before making the decision, but you can go a step further and verify them. Make sure that people listed next to testimonials really work in the companies displayed in the portfolio.
4. Billing model and rates
Simply put, the Agile Development method is the most transparent and secure approach to project management. It’s associated with the Time and Materials billing model, so there is no fixed price and no detailed specification written in the contract. You will pay only for the hours spent on the project and for the tangible results. Of course, the agency keeps your budget in mind and helps you achieve the best results.
5. Scheduling and timeliness
Product specification makes it much easier to evaluate the time needed to develop your project. To simplify the evaluation process, it’s best to use mock-ups — visual presentations of product functionalities. Software house can go through the application and see what the primary purpose of each screen should be.
6. Approach to project management and communication
Agile projects usually use Kanban methodology, but in recent years an alternative Agile approach — called Scrum — is getting more and more popular (and it’s highly effective).
7. Consultancy and UX
Software houses qualified in the service design field do exist and are highly needed when it comes to building a product from an idea to a fully functional and operating software. They can simply verify your assumptions, carry out workshops to develop the product effectively, and help you prioritise the tasks within the project.
8. Technologies used in project
Try to avoid solutions that make you dependent on a particular provider.
9. The scope of service
It’s great to have the possibility to outsource development of all the project elements, such as UX, back end, mobile and web application building, to one company.
10. Ask for a sample of the formal agreement
Once you’ve selected a few software houses that meet your requirements, it’s time to send them a brief. If you already have the specification and want to protect yourself against using your know-how, ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) sample.
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