Even if you have zero experience with software development outsourcing, being able to distinguish between teams of professionals and ephemeral firms is a matter of common sense. Still, with so many outsourcing companies on the market, choosing a good one is a lot like playing the lottery — or Russian roulette if we’re talking about startups.
In this post, we want to share some observations to help you nail the job of selecting the right technical contractor.
It would be great if you do some “homework” before starting the casting of software development teams. Analyze your project to figure out a corresponding technology domain (e.g. Big Data, mobile apps or gaming) and make up a list of necessary and desired skills (e.g. Java or Ruby on Rails). This will enable you to select a pool of companies with the relevant expertise and project experience.
Here are the four main things to evaluate on the first stage:
- Case studies – does the current project portfolio of your potential contractor correspond to your needs? It does not mean that case studies should fully coincide with the project you plan unless you want to get a “one-size-fits-all” solution, of course. You should rather pay attention to technology domain and skills required for their implementation.
- Thinking and creativity – did you like the way the company communicates about its experience? Did you like the projects you saw in portfolio – both in terms of design and functionality?
- Client portfolio – are there any famous and influential companies in the client’s list of your potential contractor? What exactly had been done for them?
- The cost of services – be sure to get acquainted with the price range of similar services in the region of your potential contractor. Is the price tag of a software development team you want to hire higher or lower than average? If yes then why? Don’t hesitate to ask.
After selecting a few companies you believe to have a potential to create a software product of your dream you should perform a detailed interview. Try to figure out the following:
- Does the potential contractor offer services of in-house software developers? This is a crucial moment that should be checked thoroughly. The agency offering services of a bunch of freelancers is just not an option – the risks are too high.
- What communication plan does this company offer? A qualified contractor will provide an immediate answer regarding its communication procedures: daily communication, weekly status meetings, monthly reporting, escalation processes, etc.Does the potential contractor offer you an integrated support plan? The technical environment changes fast, and so has your software product. If the software developer does not propose you support services, it is the bad sign.
- Risk management plan. Ask your potential contractor how they are going to deal with different types of force majeure. The answer will give you a lot of food for thought.
- Live testimonials. Can the company representative give you the contact details of current or previous customers? You don’t have to bother unknown people, but it is important to ask about the fact itself.
- What kind of guarantees and compensations the potential contractor can offer you if something will get wrong? Don’t forget to figure this out.
All the above could be used as a basic checklist for choosing a team of dedicated software developers that will be able to create an efficient long-term project.
We hope that this article had been of service to you! Don’t hesitate to send us your questions in case you need more information on software development services!