All business owners know that the right technology can boost their organization. To embrace and maximise the benefits tech offers, at some stage your business could need a custom software solution. But it can be difficult to get hold of the right IT talent to build what you need while hiring a permanent team can be an expensive process.
It’s no surprise that companies across the world are outsourcing to find the skills and expertise they require by hiring a dedicated development team. If your business needs a software solution this could be for you – but where do you start? You’ll find hundreds of providers on the internet, and by asking the right questions you’ll find the perfect partner.
What Is A Dedicated Development Team?
Before we delve into the questions – for the uninitiated, hiring a dedicated development team means you get professionals who work full-time on your project, unlike a freelancer, who will only work on certain tasks. Once hired, they’re almost an extension of your company while working on your project. Here are 6 questions you should ask before hiring.
Have You Worked On Similar Projects Before?
Some providers specialize in certain sectors while others take a more generalized approach. Either type may well work perfectly for your needs. Whatever partner you choose, it is important that they have worked on a project like yours before. It doesn’t need to be a precise match – after all, the needs of individual businesses can be unique – but they should have some experience in your sector.
If they do, they’ll know what works and what to avoid with your project. Ask the provider about what they’ve done before, and how they can apply this to your business, and what they can make even better this time around!
Do You Have Any Testimonials?
If you’re like the majority of business owners, it’s safe to say you don’t have a techie background and your software knowledge will be limited. This means it will be very difficult to gauge whether the provider can really do what they say they can do.
Asking for client testimonials and reviews is a great way of seeing what they have done before and how successful they have been. All the suppliers you talk to should be keen to show you their portfolio of work, if they’re not, then you should probably avoid them.
What Are Your Processes?
This is a workflow question – software development projects will have a range of things that need consideration from design to deployment. How will they research your business and your clients to get an exact idea of what you need? How will they allocate developers to your project? Does the work happen in stages? An experienced team will be able to roughly estimate when the project will be completed. Everything should be mapped out – if they can’t do this, then you need to talk to someone who can.
How Will We Communicate?
There are many different ways to communicate, but no matter who your partner is (or where they are located), you will need to have clear and regular lines of communication. How can you collaborate if this isn’t up to scratch? Once the project commences, the communication will need to work for both your company and the development team. You should have a lead contact at the partner acting as project manager and agree how often there should be communication and by what method.
You should also look at how different parts of the project are treated. For example, basic questions could be sorted with informal emails or calls while others may need more complex project management systems. Whatever the situation – communication needs to be nailed down from the outset.
What Do You Need From Me?
This question will answer two very important aspects of your relationship with your chosen partner. Firstly, it will lay out how involved you need to be in the project. Much will depend on how involved you want to be. You may be fairly technically minded and want to be involved every step of the way.
Alternatively, you may only have eyes on the prize once the system is deployed, and just want to check in from time to time. You will need to establish that the dedicated development team will work with you at the level you want. Secondly, you’ll need to know what assets you’ll need to supply, from branding elements such as logos to more directly technical assets such as access into databases.
What Happens At The End?
You’ll also need to find out and agree on what happens when your project is deployed. Again, this should be decided at the outset. Will you need post-launch support to maintain the software solution and will they provide it if so? What happens if you need to scale up your software or scale it back? You should also consider how long you’re committed. Is it easy to use another provider down the line as your business evolves?
This list of questions isn’t exhaustive, but by asking them you’ll get to know your potential partner and what they can and can’t do. Business owners looking for software solutions to take their company forward should look at taking advantage of the excellent dedicated development team services out there. Picking the right partner will allow you to grow your business quickly and without the time, hassle and expense it takes to build an in-house team.