7 Key Questions You Should Ask a Potential Software Development Partner | Bridge Blog
Congrats on your decision to outsource software development! You might probably have reached this decision due to the following reasons:
* Inadequate resources (financial/infrastructural) to support an in-house development team
* Difficulty to attract and retain an in-house team, even if you have the resources
* Desire to experiment with a new innovative talent pool that is spread across the globe
* To gain the ability to scale up and scale down swiftly
* To save cost and time as your in-house team does not have the domain expertise and knowledge to do the specific
Ah well. Here are some of the critical questions that you should ask your potential software development outsourcing company. Irrespective of the outsourcing model you follow (Project-based or Resource-based), ensure to get clarity on these queries.
1. What process/method do you follow while developing a software project?
This question is crucial to get an idea of how evolved is the development process of the potential partner. If a strong entity, they will have an established method. What you are looking for is not an iron-rigid process, but a flexible process that is adaptable to your specific project needs.
Their proposal should contain a clearly streamlined project course with clear indication of how holidays will be managed, which work models will be followed, what project management tools will be used, how fast they can hire more and scale up their team depending on the changing project requirements, the mode of recruitment process, what qualities they look for while hiring, etc. Besides, there should be clear statements regarding the infrastructure that the teams use and how each team member can add value to the project.
2. What is your expertise or previous experience in handling a similar project like ours?
By expertise, you should mean their competence in terms of technology, domain, features, etc. They need not have previous experience in all these. If they have strong expertise in the domain that you are looking for, it’s a big advantage. Even if they miss this, but have experience in building specific features that are essential for the project (for example payment integrations, maps, AI, IoT, etc.), it’s well and good.
Understand their previous experience on similar projects and get convinced about their ability to execute your project successfully. Check their client cases and get references and ask for some details regarding the stated project. Also, look for Clutch Reviews and other third party sites where these outsourcing companies are listed in.
3. What technologies are you specialized in and what are your learning capabilities?
If you’ve finalized on the technology or if you’ve already started development using a specific technology, it’s imperative that your development partner should also be well-versed in it. If you haven’t decided on the technology, it’s good to know the potential company’s knowledge on trending technologies and how updated they are.
If the provider is an authority in the software solutions field, they will suggest you the best technology. Thanks to their experience, they will be able to give apt justifications on why that specific technology is the most suitable. Also, see to it that if they have full-stack development competencies and prowess in niche technologies.
Moreover, the learning capabilities of the team members are of vital importance. At Bridge Global, we have cross-functional agile teams comprising cross-skilled professionals. We don’t set technology as a limit for any of the projects. Our self-organized IT talents proactively learn new technologies to accomplish the goals.
4. How do you handle communication and how will you manage the cultural, language, and time zone barriers?
A software project cannot be executed depending on mistaken assumptions and uncertain goals. Impeccable exchange of communication is inevitable to ensure a final product that matches your vision.
The outsourcing company needs to have a clear understanding of the client’s business and their objectives. This will help them figure out the exact needs and thereby formulate the best solution.
If your outsourced software development team is going to be located on the other side of the planet, shoot questions regarding how they are going to manage cultural and geographic barriers. The best partner will know how to blur boundaries with the help of technology and the right attitude. Modern collaborative tools should be used for uninterrupted communication. Daily video call meetings should happen between both the in-house and remote team to interact, discuss/resolve issues on the go.
At Bridge Global, we address the time-zone issues by organizing effective virtual meetings during the overlapping time. Weekly evaluations of the project and team members ensure that the project is going glitch-free. Our software engineers have smart command over English and are flexible to cultural adaptations as well. Periodic on-site visits to client’s place further improve bonding between both team members. We also ensure quick turnaround time for our clients as our teammates respond to questions or meeting requests promptly.
If you have a particular way of doing things, you should communicate it at the outset. It will help the hired company to create strategies to accommodate this.
5. How will you ensure the confidentiality of my project?
You are approaching a company with a wonderful concept of an app or website development. You will be apprehensive about how to protect your valuable ideas from theft and misuse. Once you’ve zeroed-in on a company you want to work with, ask them about the legal documents to be signed to protect your intellectual property and confidential information.
At Bridge Global we execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with each client. We give value to respect the private information of our clients. We stand by a well-written contract covering the way in which the software development outsourcing will take place.
6. How do you price your offerings? Is there a trial period which can be availed?
You need to be clear about the cost factors involved before starting the collaboration. The contract should have clarity on how, when and where billing occurs. There should be strict deadlines for issuing an invoice and invoice payment. Penalties for missing payments, if any, need to be communicated to the client in advance.
If a client wants to give a test project to gauge the capability of developers before assigning the project outright, there should be precision on what’s their take on it, how much will they charge, etc. Offering a provision of the trial period is a plus as you can have a taste of their calibre before handing over the whole project.
7. How will you manage timeline demands?
You need to ensure that your development partner sticks to the project timeline. They should have a strategy to abide by the designated project activities on a calendar time scale.
At Bridge, we allow our engineers to extend their hours or days when situation demands. Our Agile self-driven culture helps us meet the changing demands and provide fast responses. We can also deploy more engineers as we maintain an availability pool on major technologies.
As there are many software development businesses vying for attention, selecting the right partner requires precise judgement. Getting clear-cut answers to the above-discussed questions will help you adopt a quality-driven approach while selecting the right offshoring company. Moreover, involving in a period of due diligence is utmost importance before conferring a contract.
Are you looking for a competent software development partner who is positive, creative, proactive, and who goes beyond brief? Contact us.
Originally published at https://www.bridge-global.com on September 25, 2019.