Your company is truly unique … as are the tools and processes you use to achieve your success. Employing proprietary software specifically designed to support and enhance these unique processes is the next most logical step toward the sophistication that positions you ahead of the competition.
Critical to the successful implementation of this software is selecting the right web development company; a company that can truly understand the flow of your business and can design and implement the proper supporting software in a logical and cost effective way.
This article is a brief on the most important aspects criteria of this critical software vendor selection process:
Outsourcing Software Development Requirements
Before you can adequately evaluate a prospective software development company you need to throw some light on how well you and your organization have prepared to outsource a software development project.
- Are you able to detail the requirements of your web project? Have you put together a specific proposal request?
- Does your staff have the time / expertise to properly coordinate the project?
- Do you know what things must be incorporated … and what things to avoid?
- Can you define what project requirements are flexible? Cost, Delivery Date, Your Staff’s Time, Specific functionality?
- When your project is finished, what is the intended ROI … and how will you measure that?
Initial Web Development Vendor Qualification checks …
There is quite a bit of preliminary information that can be gleaned by simply reviewing a potential software development vendor’s website. Remember, their website is their window to the world and speaks volumes about what that firm may be able to do for you.
- First and foremost; is their presentation attractive? Does it grab your attention?
- Is the presentation of written material logical, informative, thorough, clear, and compelling?
- Do they offer a synopsis of the types of projects in which they specialize?
- Has the company accumulated the right experiences to be able to deliver your project?
- Are all aspects of their website functioning properly?
- Do they offer confirmable success stories of applications that meet, or exceed, client needs?
- Does their contact information offer an address and phone number … or just an e-mail link?
- Do they develop long term relationships with their clients?
Select Three Application Development Candidates and Begin Eliminations …
It should be noted that during the initial interviews every vendor will seem quite congenial and willing to please. So, the only way to tell how well the various personalities will be able to work together is to probe … and probe deeply. If a vendor shies away from clear and concise answers at this point … it shouldn’t be too difficult to imagine how communicative they might be if an issue were to surface in the middle of the development phase.
- First, have a confidentiality agreement in place before you reveal any project details.
- Do they clearly understand the scope of your project as you explain it to them?
- Did they offer insights into alternative technologies and approaches to solve your needs?
- Did they offer constructive or informative recommendations within your project specifications?
- Are they able to define the deliverables and pinpoint completion dates?
- Is there an element of passion to their work and a dedication to producing results?
- Do they have a well defined web development process?
- Can they describe potential project risks and offer alternatives with costing figures?
- If you had to describe the vendor’s business ethics … what would you say about them?
- After project completion … how does this vendor support the software system?
- What guarantees are offered … since timely delivery of error free software is so critical?
When reviewing project proposals be cautious that all functionality you need is included in the quoted price and will not be considered a scope change therefore costing more money. If a quote is too low to believe … it probably is and there will be hidden charges ahead. Trust is a critical component in selecting the right company.
Consider the approach of testing out a software company with small projects to start. This will allow you to experience the quality of their work firsthand before taking on something too large with a company that you haven’t worked with before.
Custom Software Development Company Selected …
Now that you have selected a company … it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Yes, that’s right; we are talking about the contract phase of getting your project under way. These are “must have” elements … in order to ensure there are no miscommunications between your company and your vendor.
- Rule 1, everything must be in writing including project description, deliverables, and dates.
- Rule 2, everything must be in writing including project description, deliverables, and dates.
- Rule 3, everything must be in writing including project description, deliverables, and dates.
- Enough said?
When you select a custom software company, you are more than just picking a vendor, you are choosing a long term business partner. Your company’s success will be very closely tied to their abilities and dedication. Proper due diligence and caution are critical components to the process, but there are many terrific companies out there, so don’t worry.
Good luck in your search!!!