No modern business can operate without a proficient team of developers. Even the smallest projects are seeking IT-professionals who can bring their ideas to life and support them. Given the constantly growing competence and demand in the field, the choice of a reliable IT partner is one of the most challenging tasks.
Although there’s no universal recipe, the below checklist will help you to hit the bull’s eye in hiring wizards of coding.
#1 Focus on the Client’s Business Tasks
Understanding the customer’s business processes is a must when it comes to creating a high-quality website, mobile application or any other IT product. A good company considers the development through the prism of the client’s business tasks. The goal is not to just develop a website, an online store or a mobile application and close the project but create a tool to achieve certain business goals.
After all, any website/mobile app/landing page performs a specific task or tasks (promote sales, attract new customers, increase brand awareness and loyalty, etc.). Let’s take an example:
Imagine a car repair company consists of two types of workers 1) focused on rapid profit-making 2) focused on solving the existing problem. Most likely, the first group will look for additional breakdowns to generate more income while the second one will competently and honestly advise the client on the options for solving the cause of the failure, taking into account the long-term perspective.
The same applies to developers: some are focused on generating a profit while others try to create a tool to maximize the profit, as well as increase the brand loyalty and recognition. Just like good doctors, reliable developers should examine the business organism, diagnose the problem and offer the solution that they think will be best in the long-term.
#2 Case Studies
The accumulated experience is another important criterion for deciding on cooperation. Find out what projects the company has implemented earlier and check whether it has similar work examples (cases).
Typically, IT companies with a good reputation willingly share links to their projects and post samples of their work on their websites. Carefully study the portfolio to assess the quality of work and technical skills.
The ideal option is to get feedback about the company from its previous customers. Visit the contact page or ask the contacts of the clients directly from the representatives of the company. Although reviews and recommendations can also be found on the Internet or special feedback page, they can be fabricated so that you better collect the feedback manually.
#4 The Team
The staff of programmers can say a lot about the company. This is an original indicator of its success as well as the opportunity to implement a big project. However, choosing an IT company, basing solely on quantitative indicators is not the best option. Find out what technologies will be used to implement your project, as well as who will bring it to life.
#5 Methodology and Project Implementation
Reliable developers follow a well-defined project management methodology such as Scrum or Kanban. They use of the latter helps to optimize the development process and ensure effective interaction with the client.
At the negotiation stage, ask which methodology is used and how much the client is involved in the development process. After all, either the need for total control or its absence at all stages of project implementation negatively affects the final result.
#6 Speed of Response
A high level of responsiveness is very important in the IT business. That’s why the manager should quickly respond to customer requests regardless of they are delivered by phone, email, official website, communities in social networks or any other channel.
To check the speed of response, you can fill in the feedback form on the website. Of course, the evaluation may be subjective, but you will get the first impression of the company.
Another important criterion is the financial stability of the company. You can somehow evaluate it by the information available in open sources. Check whether the company has debts to the tax authorities.
Many clients mistakenly believe that price is the paramount criterion. In fact, any project should be considered as a kind of investment in your future business success. Each penny invested in the development of a high-quality IT product may bring you millions in the future.
However, make sure to how thoroughly the pricing is grounded, as well as whether it’s clear for what and how much you pay. Make sure there’ll be no additional hidden payments.
The Choice of the IT Company: The Algorithm
1. Research. You can start with the top companies. After comparing the quality of the portfolio, feedback, recommendations, information on open sources and other factors, you’ll be able to identify several priorities.
2. Send applications. Having formed a list of interesting companies, send applications and test the effectiveness of feedback.
3. Fill the brief to detail the tasks of the project.
4. Analyze the preliminary calculations according to briefs to reduce the number of companies to several priority ones.
5. Start negotiations to discuss in detail the project, evaluate the team’s expertise and focus on business objectives, as well as clarify the methodology and the process of interaction.
6. Choose the best company. Having compared all the data about the company, you’ll be able to define the optimal price-quality ratio and sign a contract with the best company.
The choice of a reliable IT company is an inevitable part of any business project. I wish you to take right decisions and move confidently into the direction of your dreams!