There are six elements to successful software development. The first three steps focus on identifying a potential vendor for software development and determining compatibility with your company and the vendor you are considering. The final three sections focus on testing, with the final section evaluating capability with the final vendor assessing the potential of your final vendor. Although there are some exceptions to the rule, typically, these six elements are present throughout the process.
Identify the vendor Early in the project, identify the prospective software development firm with whom you are comfortable working. It is a mistake to choose a firm without having a conversation about vendor relationships. For example, it would be a mistake to choose a vendor without talking to them and establishing a working relationship. One of the advantages of using an hourly rate is that you know your rates from the start. If you have a discussion with the prospective vendor during the project and find yourself at an impasse over cost, you can always go back to the original discussion and find a better option.
Choose two or three firms and schedule an interview. Each firm should be given an opportunity for at least one or two phone interviews. At the interview, you will want to hear from the prospective vendor how they plan to integrate your project with their framework and then plan their own schedule. Many software development firms schedule an initial meeting on a Thursday afternoon and again on the following day. These initial meetings are not set in stone and should take place at a time when you can accommodate the scheduling needs of both companies if necessary.
Assess the level of uncertainty inherent in the estimate Many firms assume that they can eliminate the level of uncertainty inherent in the price quote they receive from the software development firm. However, this is not necessarily true. In order to ensure that you are getting an accurate price quote, it is important to assess the level of uncertainty. Assessing the level of uncertainty will help you determine the range of price quotes you are considering and will help to prevent you from being overly sensitive or under-cautious about the price.
Consider using a web conference rather than email. While email is a convenient way to get quotes and communicate with potential software development firms, it is rarely a reliable method. You may not receive a prompt response, and you may not be able to evaluate the value of the quote since it may be based upon a rough estimation. Web conferences are an effective alternative to email because there is usually a timeshare available. Software developers who use web conferences to obtain quotes can then use them to answer questions and build a rapport with the firm quickly and efficiently.
Hire in-house software developers Rather than seeking software development firm assistance through an external organization; it may be more beneficial to hire in-house software developers. The developers can focus their attention on building your software and ensuring the highest quality. When you contract an outside company to provide in-house software development services, you run the risk of finding out too late that your needs aren’t being met to your expectations. When you work with in-house software developers, you can be sure that the developers understand your software requirements and can meet your goals within the deadline you have set.
Work with a company that employs programmers and/or a team of programmers. Do you need software development firms that have programmers on staff? If so, you should look for firms that offer on-site and offshore programming solutions. The programming teams that develop projects for clients typically come from a variety of disciplines, including web design, database development, Java programming, and other programming options. By having a programmer on staff, you can ensure that your programming meets the highest quality standards.
Look for a buying organization that can help you manage your resources. A buying organization can also be an effective solution for your software development firm. A buying organization can help you make the best use of your software development budgets by providing additional resources to meet your growing business needs. A buying organization may provide additional resources such as programmers and/or teams to develop your web applications. A buying organization may also provide resources to increase the speed and/or scope of your development projects. If you’re a small to mid-size company, you’ll benefit from hiring a buying organization to manage your resources.