If you are having custom software made for your business, there are a few things you need to ask your chosen software developer. These questions will help you determine if your developer is heading in the right direction that you want. These will also help you find out how they will tackle the creation of your custom software.
Finding the right software developer for your custom software needs is crucial to your company since you will be using what they create for your business. What they produce for you will directly affect your bottom line, so knowing how they will tackle your project help you see if they understand what you want and what you need from them.
Ask about project timelines
This should be asked at the beginning of the project. Knowing when to expect certain updates in the development of your custom software is important. This will give you an idea as to when your software will eventually be delivered.
Ask about how they are planning on tackling the project
A good software company will let you know how they address a project. Let you know what their first step will be when they begin work. The best companies usually assess the needs of your business before starting anything. This usually involves a discussion with you regarding requirements.
Ask if they will develop your software in-house or if they outsource
While this usually does not create any problems regarding development and quality, it can cause issues if rework needs to be done and the contractor cannot be reached. It can also be a source of maintenance worries if the contractor that worked on your project can no longer be reached since maintenance is an ongoing task for custom software.
Ask who your point person will be
You will also need to know who you will need to contact for issues regarding the development of your software. This same person will also be the one you can ask about updates, ask questions from, and discuss any changes with. Having a single point person rather than a few different individuals to contact will help reduce the chances of anything getting lost in translation.
Ask about the future development of the software and possible updates
As your business grows, there will be a need for your software to grow with you. Changes that occur with your processes should be easily translated into your custom software and asking your developer about this will help make things easier for you. This way, you won’t need to worry about the need to find someone else to help create new software for your changing needs.
Ask about intellectual rights
This can be a touchy subject. Particularly if you have processes that you don’t want your competitors to get a hold of. If your processes are not exactly top secret, this should not be a cause for worry. It is common practice for software developers to retain intellectual rights to the software that they create. This is to help them utilize any element in the development of other software in the future. This is also what helps them develop your software faster. They get to use elements that were used in previous projects similar to yours.
Ask about changes in your software needs mid-development
Sometimes, this is unavoidable. Changes in what you need your custom software to do can arise when breakthroughs and developments on your side occur. Asking about this beforehand will help prepare you for possible additional costs when changes need to be made. There are some developers however who give their clients a more flexible arrangement, as long as it is within scope and happens early-on in the project and not a few days before delivery.
These are just a few of the things you should ask your custom software developer. Companies like Custom Software by CS Preston understand the need for transparency and being upfront when it comes to discussions with clients. This will help prevent misunderstandings and wasted time as well as effort in putting together what you need. Getting things squared away before work starts. Opening a line of communication that remains open during this working relationship, is also crucial to the success.