6 Questions To Ask Before Getting Custom Software For Your Business
Software development is an intricate process that requires skill, planning and collaborative team effort between the client, stakeholders and developers. Based on over 8 years of experience and questions we receive from our clients, we wrote down this small list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding Software development. We trust that they will give you a better understanding to other issues related to software development and help choose the right software development team for your project. The same approach can also be used in mobile app development. To ensure you get the best experience throughout and meet the deliverables, we outline the 6 questions to ask before getting custom software for your business.
What are these questions?
- What is your software development process?
- Who are your clients and can you provide referrals?
- What is the communication process?
- How much time is required to scale up a project?
- How is Quality assured throughout the software development process?
- What happens after my product is delivered?
What is your software development process?
This question gives a lot of insight into whether or not the vendor incorporates the best practices into the development process. The response should also showcase just how much the software provider takes into account the business aspect of the project. It is good to have an idea but both parties need to fully understand the business implications of development (including bug fixes), deployment to maintenance. Good software companies should be able to consult/ assist customers in terms of budgeting, scheduling, risk management, and business model creation.
A good custom software team should be able to define business goals, key business values, target users, main features etc of the project. It should be a thoughtful process based on practical experience, lessons learned, and industry-leading practices. Depending on the scale of the software the company can potentially prepare server-side architecture, front end, back end, graphic and UX design, and create back-office consoles as a standard offering. They should also outline project specifications, API documentation and address integrations with external services at each stage of the development process.
What to Listen for: They should talk about things like Agile processes, iterations, UX/UI research, QA/testing, logging, and an MVP. These practices help ensure project success while expediting progress and reducing risk. Again, bonus points if they talk about your project specifically. It shows they’ve put genuine thought into how they’ll work with you.
Who are your clients and can you provide references?
Would you buy a mobile phone before reading any reviews? Most like not, therefore why not ask the service provider if they can provide references for companies to confirm their level of services? Request some references and ask for some details regarding the referred projects e.g. the total development time, challenges faced etc.
A diverse array of client industries and client size is often a good indicator of experience. Conversely, a development company with a niche market that it services has its merits as well should your project fall within that niche.
You can also look through third-party resources such as Clutch, which has detailed reviews and factor in things such as productivity, engagement levels, the overall quality of work and many other categories. Clutch verifies reviews directly so you are assured of non-bias.
Most social sites, Linkedin, Facebook & Google have a review tab that outlines some client reviews as well that quick to see and use.
What is the communication process?
Communication is crucial to any successful project! Ask how often you will have calls with the team, what collaboration tools that will be used (Taiga or JIRA, instant messengers such as Slack or Rocket). A key component here is knowing who your direct line of contact is for which specific queries. Well organised software companies will typically have a Project Manager to handle queries and be the point of call for the duration of the project. The Project manager must have the business and communication skills to build a rapport with the customer.
How much time is required to scale up the project?
Should there be an unexpected need to speed up production and development, find out how long it would typically take the service provider to fill up vacancies on the team? One of the features of a good software development company is being able to find the right candidates quickly but not make you wait a month or more. Relative to this would be asking about continuity to understand the impact scaling the project will have. For example, a few months down the line you want an Enterprise level iteration for your software, ask to understand if you will work with the same team and managers as well.
How is quality assured throughout the development process?
Too often, there’s a gap between what you have in mind and what the design and development team builds. Understanding the requirements from the onsite is imperative. Requirements often change as the product gets built out, both teams need to keep aligned to ensure these requirements are met consistently. It’s imperative that they validate that understanding with you, and that you understand why they’re proposing their solution to your specific business problems and goals. This exchange helps ensure that requirements are accurate and complete from the perspective of both the business and its users.
A good partner will give you a thoughtful answer that echoes key tenets of their development process. For example, they may mention user research, iterations, starting with an MVP, communication protocols, cost and quality control, scope management, or other items.Millie Domingo
Another less often asked question is around the continued development should there be unforseen challenges. A sub question here would be;
How responsive are you to unforeseen circumstances and how can i be assured of quality in that instance?
Co-vid for instance disrupted the “normal” way of doing business globally. Understanding what measures can be put in place at a moments notice while your project is still under development is crucial now more than ever.
What happens after my product is delivered?
All products require some sort of post-launch support. It is therefore imperative to understand this and plan from the onset. Established software companies offer a Maintenance service to ensure your project runs smoothly. This is done to ensure that even with new devices and technologies entering the market the product is continuously iterated so it performs at its optimum.
Ensure they’re capable of providing ongoing support, helping you with problems, improvements needed, or new features when required.
SovTech offers custom Maintenance and Continuous Product Improvement packages. Rest assured knowing a team with all the technical know-how is on the job, seeding out and amending site issues and bugs.
We trust this list will help you to choose the right software development company for your project. Regardless of how complex your project may be, you can contact SovTech Custom Software to get your project done with the tools, on time and on budget.
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