If you are to choose a technology partner, no consulting group will help you better than you can help yourself. For selecting the right partner, you need to learn the best practices and rules of finding reliable custom software development vendors. Below are helpful tips on cooperating with a technology partner.
1. Write a clear request for proposal
This should be the basic starting point for your consideration of software development vendors. A request for proposal is a paper in which you ask for a proposal of custom software engineering services. All applicants undergo a bidding procedure. The company which writes a request of proposal lets the vendors know that funding is available for a new project. Once you RFP paper is done, send it to several vendors you find to be reliable partners. Here is a sample structure of a request for proposal:
Brief overview of your company
Your vendor must know the most essential things about your company to offer you the services and technologies that will fit the industry you are engaged in.
Specifications of the project
In this part of your request of proposal, you should outline the most important features you would like to see in your future software product.
Project objectives and goals
Write down here what you want to get from your project. Ask a vendor what implementation tactics they can recommend you.
Portfolio and references request
Ask a vendor for the latest case studies of the projects accompliched by them. This will help you select the best works and vendors, correspondingly.
A detailed request for proposal allows your potential vendors to allocate the time and the scope of the project as well as estimate the software development costs. The main thing about selecting the right technology partner for your company is to take into account the fact if they care about your project. Pay attention to the responses you receive for your request and see if the vendors are paying interest to your projects.
2. Conduct your own research on vendors, technologies, and innovation
It’s up to you what innovative technologies to implement in your software products. Conduct your own research early. Make notes of the innovative features you would like to see in your project. Break down your specifications so that your potential vendors clearly understand what is your dream product. Clear requirements will help you avoid full of useless information and responses from different software development companies.
For your mailing list, select the companies you know exactly use the technologies, stacks, frameworks you need. Don’t choose whom to send your request for proposal at random.
3. Consider rates, costs, and estimations
The cost of software development is truly the worst measure of quality. Some people think the highest price they pay for the services, the better services they will get. Therefore, there should stand a logic behind any price, be it high or low. You must know how the estimation was done, on what basis, what factors affected the total cost of the project. Note, that custom software companies can offer you different engagement models which include a specific way of pricing.
4. Read references, reviews, and feedback
What customers say about your petential vendors matters. Take a look not only on the testimonials on the vendors’ websites but also look for the feedback or reviews on other sources. Check if the company somehow ranked on Good Firms or Clutch, for instance. If you have any doubts dig deeper. Find the contacts of the companies which were the customers of your potential vendor, ask them if they were satisfied with the work your vendor has done and the project delivered. Such information can be very helful when you are selecting the best candidates. It can help you avoid wrong choices.
5. Value your time, consider deadlines
Learn how quick the company was to deliver the latest projects. Ask the vendors how quick they solve the arising problems or implement the changes to the project’s workflow. You must make sure if the vendor is eager to respond to change requests. Another critical thing is to know whether the company has 24/7 support and is able to provide further maintenance once the project is launced.
6. Be honest with your software vendor
Transparancy in any type of business cooperation is a must. If you want to rely on your technology partner at any time you must be able to be honest about your objectives and goals. Together with a dedicated development team, craft a roadmap/strategy for your project. This will help you both build a step-by-step implementation plan and the guideline to adhere to.
7. Don’t forget about the guarantees
If you can’r make up your mind on a certain technology partner, choose the one who guarantees the quality of code delivered, the quality of the final product. It’s a normal thing when you are guaranteed to get the high quality of something you’ve paid for. The following key things can be included into the guarantee: time, budget, quality assurance.
No matter what technology partner you choose, negotiate the scope of the project, the timeline, deadlines and everything you have any doubts about in advance. You are responsible for your choice. It must be concious and well-grounded. You can use the strategy provided in this article as basic tips on choosing the best software vendor. Hope, you will make the right choice.