Steps on how to choose the right Software Development Partner
Let’s face it – when it comes to outsourcing companies for custom software development services there is no shortage of opportunity. The world market is full of competition providing all sets of services at the lowest pricing points. You have a bucket full to be partners to choose who could help your business out, and choosing the right partner isn’t a piece of cake.
The right software development partner cannot be defined through an exact recipe, because it depends on the specified requirements of each situation, but going through the process of finding a good solution provider is a lot easier when you follow mandatory guidelines. It’s a lengthy process with high risks factor and a lot of research to be done.
Let’s take it step by step.
Step 1: Define your goals. Be specific.
Defining your goals on what you need in outsourced software development, maybe an end-to-end team with backend developers, front-end developers. Business analysts, project managers, UI/UX designers, DevOps, testers, etc. maybe you just need project managers with backend developers.
Specifying your goal makes your task of selecting a partner lot easier going forward.
Step 2: Do the research
Since the software outsourcing sector has busted over the last 10 years and there’s no way to find a perfect company, you’ll need to focus on major pointers to help you weed out the good from the bad. One of the effective ways is of searching for an outsourcing partner in platforms like quora is an old fashion way of just searching for companies online.
While researching, you can even research on platforms like Clutch. Every service company creates its own profile, but the client testimonials are done independently by the Clutch itself. The review process is 100% reliable so you can get a really good idea of how your target company works. It can also show the company’s experience in different industries or services.
Step 3: Make a shortlist of promising companies
Once the research is done, putting together a list of companies that fit your general requirements is the next step. Creating a funnel will allow you to narrow down the huge list of companies to a handful of companies that fit in your requirement list!
The shortlist should be crisp & short, with around 5-7 companies.
Step 4 – Assess the company’s experience
Have a look at what kind of experience your companies have in your particular industry, how many completed projects they have, how many clients, the team size, etc. Case studies are a good indicator here. You should also check out their expertise & experience related to the technologies you want to work with. Python, Java, Perl, .Net, etc. no matter what, make sure your outsourced partner is in love with your technology as you are.
Also, a major factor to keep in mind is that if there is a product mindset in the company, whether or not they have passionate business analysts and product managers to understand, define and shape your product.
Having relevant certifications in their respective technologies can also help you out and how many ongoing business relationships they currently have, and for how long.
Step 5 – Maintaining the balance: Cultural compatibility & Communication skills
The role of cultural compatibility within you and the desired partner is a must-have. Remember, you need a proactive partner who will cover all your IT needs since they have more subject expertise than you. They have to be knowledgeable and work with you to find the best solution, not agree with everything you say because you’re the client.
The work ethics will be defined by the outsourced company involved, their background and culture will impact your project as well. You must choose a partner who is culturally and background-wise compatible for you and your team.
Step 6 – Balance out the time zones
Finding an outsourcing partner in your own country is a tough task, as in most cases, you can find an outsourcing partner in your home country, but in most cases, the desired partner is in another country so you will have some time zone differences. It may affect communication and productivity, but a good partner is great at dealing and handling the project, no matter how big the time zone difference is, it can be a smooth ride.
Step 7 – The real talk – price tags!
One should not get involved in cheap prices, but a partner who can offer you reliability and perfect solutions for your business problems. Most people look for an outsourcing company for two reasons: cost or availability. Many times companies want to expand their horizons but are unable to find relevant talent or meet the costs, hence outsource the new project matching their limits. But this doesn’t mean one should opt for the cheapest option available. Cheap options can be an attractive offer in the starting but can lead to a lot of reworks due to incompetency.
A company should partner with a combo of the right talent & price. Good software development services can never be cheap! Anything under $25 for a mid-sized partner is a cheap deal in which one must not dwell!
Step 8 – Duration of relationship
Outsourcing IT Services help you in getting the desired services with the latest technologies and innovation. For a long-term relationship, choose a partner that matches your economical, financial, and technical stabilities.
If they offshore, how much experience do they have in handling operations in different time zones? How strong is their work ethics, to deliver the project on time?
One must consider all aspects while choosing an outsourcing partner as it may have negative consequences to choose a partner whose ethics don’t match yours.
Step 9 – Interviewing process
Outsourcing a partner means their team may be employed by them, but they will work with you, and to understand whether they are right for you or not, one must have an understanding of the team’s competencies and capabilities. Coding challenges & technical interviews can help you in understanding the subject expertise & leveling up in individual interviews can help you in understanding whether the culture and ethics match yours or not.
Step 10 – Take baby steps
While deciding on a partner, take baby steps on how to integrate them into your culture. Start with a small team, which is easier to manage and troubleshoot. Before starting the project, you can even kick-start with a pilot project, increasing engagement with the teams.
Once your management is at ease with the project, you can start increasing the team size and go all-in with the project!
Looking out for the right software development partner isn’t easy, be it for a single project or a long-term relationship. It is a lengthy process but once you engage with the right partner, it can lead to a long-lasting collaboration.