If a business wants to be successful, they are going to need some sort of software product. Thus, it’s only evident that most of them go for off-the-shelf alternatives that are readily available. However, using canned software doesn’t provide all the benefits of a custom solution – nor does it fit businesses as tightly. That’s why the best option is to have a tailor-made application.
However, most businesses do not have the time, money, and bandwidth required to hire the in-house team required to develop said software. Thankfully, companies of today are finally understanding just how beneficial it can be to hire a third-party company for their website, application, and software development needs.
Software development outsourcing companies, such as BairesDev, can save businesses and organizations quite a bit of stress and money in the long-run but only after completing a rigorous interviewing process before beginning a project.
However, choosing the wrong development partner can cause a company to waste budget, extend timelines, and will cause quite a few headaches to say the very least.
Top Questions to Ask a Software Development Company
Before signing any kind of contract and discussing full project details, businesses must take the time to fully bet potential software development companies to see if they are the best choice for the project at hand. It can be incredibly tempting to sign on the dotted line when a company is promising to take care of a business’s every need and more, but it is not realistic.
Asking the following questions as part of the vetting process can help organizations identify software and application development companies that will be a productive, workable fit to help get projects done while delivering quality results.
1. “What is your technological expertise?” – The first question a company will ask a potential outsourcing company is in regard to their technical training and specialties to see if it matches their project’s requirements. It can be helpful to ensure that they’re truly skilled in the necessary programs and technologies by asking for examples of their work with said tech. While some devs may be familiar enough with a technology to have a conversation about it, actually producing a product is a different story.
2. “What does your typical process and timeline look like?” – Most companies are working within a restricted timeline and budget to get projects accomplished. Software development outsourcing companies should provide their potential clients with a rundown of what their typical project process looks like, how they will communicate throughout the said process and the average timeline for completion along with any relevant milestones. This will help set clear expectations and provide the client with a general idea of what a partnership with the development company would look like.
3. “How do you handle project management?” – Communication is one of the top factors when it comes to successful software development. Hiring an outsourcing team probably means that a business will not get the opportunity to have in-person meetings with team members, so it is vitally important to establish project management processes ahead of time to help make communication as seamless as possible.
Some companies will provide a project manager to handle communication for the duration of the project while acting as the intermediary between the development team and the client. Others may prefer to have the developers communicating directly with the business’s team. Programs such as Basecamp, Teamwork or Asana are frequently used to keep track of tasks and help keep all parties informed about the project’s status.
4. “May we speak with your previous clients or do you have any examples of your work?” – It is very common in the world of software development for companies and clients to require fairly strict nondisclosure agreements, but references matter. They are the most credible information source that a potential client can get about a development company. Potential clients should ask businesses if they can get in touch with some of their current and past clients when possible.
When speaking to these clients, questions about the overall experience, quality of work, communication, project management, and cost justification require asking. It is also worth asking if the previous clients would hire the software development company again should the need arise. These conversations will help build confidence in a potential technology partner or explain why they are not the best fit for the job.
5. “Will my company own the code after the completion of the project and will you offer maintenance?” – After the completion of the software and launch, the work is still not done. All software requires continual maintenance, updates, bug fixes, and security patches. The maintenance phase of software development is as important as the development itself and most companies offer a support program. Companies also need to know if they are the owners of the code of the project after completion. This is typically outlined in a Service Level Agreement (SLA), contract, or Statement of Work (SOW), but it should be clearly stated between the parties involved.
The Importance of Asking Questions
Taking the time to thoroughly vet and interview potential third-party software development outsourcing companies may take some time and effort, but it will always be worth it in the long run. Asking questions shows the importance of a project and helps prevent as many negative surprises as possible during the project timeline.
Choosing the right development company can help businesses accomplish their goals at a faster, more cost-effective rate. If a business wants their project to be a success, asking questions is the only way to do it.