Finding a reliable partner is what any business strives to accomplish. For some companies, informational technology is an unknown field. For others, it’s not but they’ve never dealt with choosing a partner before.
I’ve made this short article to guide you through the process of finding a reliable tech partner.
Do your homework first
Some expect that a tech partner will guess their project requirements and details after holding one meeting. It’s not that at all. There are too many aspects requiring a detailed explanation.
You can either spend a lot of time discussing them with every candidate on the role of a tech partner or document them yourself to save time and money.
So I recommend doing your homework first. Gather all the requirements for the software to be built before making up a list of companies you can partner with.
1. Define your goals
Already know who’ll be using the software? Great, write it down! Knowledge of your target audience lets you define the goals you want to achieve with this software. Don’t forget to write them down too.
This information will help a team understand how to approach product development.
2. Describe the project
You may write a set of features, create a simple wireframe, write a user story or whatever else. These will help tech partners better understand what your product is about.
It’s not a detailed specification. Yet it's something Business Analysts and Software Engineers can use to ask fewer questions and hold fewer meetings.
3. Tech details
Probably you already know what tech stack you need or what platform you need software for. It’s also a good idea to specify the type of services you’re looking for. For example UI/UX design, Web development, iOS or Android development, and so on.
If you have a ready-made application and just want to modify it, then gather all the documents you have about it. They can be specifications, user stories, and others.
Choosing a tech partner
Now that you have a clear image of what you need, you can start making up a list of tech partners you can work with.
There are six simple steps that may help you with this.
The first step is to form a list of companies that seem reliable. You can use rating and review platforms to find the best service providers in the category you need.
Here are some of them:
These platforms let you filter companies by hourly rate, countries, number of reviews, and other parameters.
2. Check expertise
Find out industries each company works with and if it matches your request. Then check their portfolios to see what products they built for customers.
Pay attention to clients listed on their websites. Is there any company you’ve heard about? Try to find a company’s representative specified in the review on social media.
Contact those companies you liked the most and ask to tell more about their domain expertise and projects they built in the field. You should also ask about the tech stack they work with if you have an idea of what technologies you need in the project.
3. Find out their development process
The software development process differs from company to company. You should know all the ins and outs before signing a partnership agreement. So ask the company’s representatives about their project delivery process and what it’d consist of for your project.
4. Learn more about methodology
There are several development methodologies:
- Rapid Application Development
Most companies follow Agile methodology as it’s considered the most flexible one. But if you want the developers you hire to follow one of the methodologies above, you should agree it with the company beforehand.
5. Talk money
Decide what pricing model is the most reasonable for you and ask if the company works with it.
There are three main models in software development:
- Fixed Price. When you pay a fixed amount of money for a fixed scope of work. For example, you pay $10,000 to develop a corporate website with 10 pages the filling of which has been discussed beforehand. This model fits well if the project has clear requirements and is predictable in terms of staff hours.
- Time and Material. When you hire an outsourced team of developers and pay them for every hour they spend working on your project. This model is a good fit in case you don’t know how much time the product development can take or you want to change requirements throughout the development (e.g. add new features).
- Dedicated Team. It’s similar to Time and Material model as you pay for every hour spent as well. The difference is that you hire outsourced developers to extend your own in-house team. For example, you need a Software Engineer for one project and it’s time-consuming and expensive to look for them elsewhere just to hire for a month.
6. Learn more about the country
If you outsource software development to another country, you should understand what laws and culture are there.
Look through researches reporting about the average English level in the country. I bet you’d like to understand managers and most importantly be understood.
All in all, there are many factors you should consider before making a decision. The best way to finalize your decision is a one-to-one conversation with company’s representatives in their office or else.
About the author:
Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a software development company located in Eastern Europe. His mission is to provide people with interesting material about innovations in the world of IT.