Software Development Done Right

Your Guide to a Successful Product Release

Ch. 4: Do Your Homework

As I’ve mentioned in the previous article, trust is paramount. You’ll be seeing me use that word often. But, before trust can be built, there is research and doing your homework. Below are the following tips that seem obvious, but believe me, I’ve worked for and been hired by organizations that don’t do some of these basic things. Let’s review some things you should be looking for in software development partner to help you:

  1. What's their mission statement? How long have they been in business? What are their products or services and who do they serve? What kind of culture does the company have and what values do they stand for, if any at all? It's important to understand as much about this company as possible so that when you're communicating with them, you come from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance or assumption.
  2. What is their process? How do they see getting you from point A to point B? What challenges have they seen in the past and how have they overcome them specifically, how will they overcome them for you when they happen?
  3. Are they willing to fight for your best needs? Hire the right kind of experts. Hire people who believe in what you do and are willing to fight for your brand or product. 
  4. Are they open to criticism and feedback on how to improve? Your software engineering partner should be willing to listen and learn from you and your customers so that they can make improvements based on feedback rather than defend their position. The best customer-focused partner of yours is not afraid of criticism or bad reviews; they’re prepared for them, know how to handle them, and use them as opportunities for improvement instead of excuses or reasons why things aren’t working out as well as they could be (or should).

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These are just 4 of the many questions you should be asking the software development partners you bring into your organization. They are simple and straightforward, but you would be surprised how many companies can’t answer them. Do your homework, demand the highest quality from the team you hire, and make sure you have clear answers before you start the engagement. Ask these questions and you’ll weed out 90% of the companies that aren’t a fit for you.