Software and web development projects can have a huge impact on your company – either positively or negatively. As a decision maker, the selection of a web development partner will reflect in a lot of areas, from your personal reputation all the way to the bottom line of your company. Although it may be an intimidating responsibility, you should have full confidence in the firm that you partner with for web consulting, projects, or team augmentation.
Any relationship requires trust, but what should you look for in particular to determine a good fit for your company?
When you’re looking for a development firm, you have the right to be picky. Make a list of the solutions you’re looking for, and directly ask the tough questions. A great partner delivers solutions with consistent quality, reliability, and long-term value. Their people are genuinely interested in your project because they desire to do their work with precision and excellence. They will not only answer your questions, but will also take it a step further to think holistically about your organization and its systems in order to see the big picture, even if they are only working on a subset. They are set up to handle large and complex web solutions, and they see challenges as opportunities to grow and thrive.
A trusted development partner is a leader in their own realm because they have a passion for what they do. Others look to them because they’re always curious about new technologies and the ways they can benefit you and your users by solving complex challenges, improving lives, and opening doors for new innovations. A helpful partner will even push back a bit on your ideas to expand into solutions that are bigger and better than you thought possible.
Skills and Expertise
Big ideas are great, but if your development partner can’t back them with proven results, you’re not going to get anywhere. Look for a partner that can provide optimal support throughout the process, including project management, resources, design, quality assurance, technical expertise, and ongoing maintenance. Make sure all the details are covered: they should provide support in front-end, back-end, and full-stack development, along with UX and graphic design.
When it comes to technical expertise, choose developers who are at the forefront of the ever-changing industry. If your project is built with Python or Django, ask in-depth questions about your desired user experience, technical features, and business goals and how they would find the best solution to fit your needs.
Questions to Ask a Development Firm:
1. Do you provide custom solutions, and what can you provide of the following: database-driven websites, dashboards, data visualizations, survey tools, or other features?
2. Can you explain your process of saving time and money by delivering the right features first?
3. Do you offer best practices consulting that improves ROI/TCO to review development and Agile project management?
4. Do you provide ongoing support, like regular framework and tech stack upgrades to ensure the apps remain secure, support future growth, and keep future development costs sustainable?
5. Do you provide staff augmentation to alleviate capacity constraints, improve code quality, streamline development, and implement long- term capacity building along with temporary resource boosts?
Value and Innovation
Business is business, and you can’t ignore the looming question in custom software development: price. As you’re gathering information, a bid might look competitive, but is it realistic? Delve into the firm’s project management and quality assurance credentials, and consider the value associated with a reliable work product. Learn about how strong the firm’s reputation is when it comes to encountering complexity during a project.
Your choice must be based on more than price. The firm should quote within industry ranges, and they should put careful thought into estimating your projects by conducting proper discovery and requirements gathering up front. Throughout the process, they will ensure that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and support the right features. There is value in experience: If you’ve ever had a “rescue project” on your hands, then you understand. If you choose the lowest bid to save money, the project may be scoped and/or estimated incorrectly, mismanaged, or undergo multiple rounds of unforeseen extra costs.
Thinking Ahead on Your Behalf
A great dev partner will understand that when you win, they also win. They will maintain awareness through market research of important trends in technology, will identify and operationalize new uses of technology quickly, and will offer them to you in order for you to maintain a competitive advantage. They will use collective expertise to maintain thought leadership across all offerings, ensuring the greatest impact from all work performed for you.
At Caktus Group, our teams are built on trust and fortified through our core values. We are a close-knit group with highly functional teams that work within an Agile / Scrum environment. Each team member is an expert in his/her respective field. They all know how to hold each other accountable and do whatever it takes to complete projects with excellence, both internally and externally with clients and stakeholders.
We understand that sometimes there are setbacks, but in all that we do, we will fulfill our values: collaboration, community, curiosity, diversity, empathy, excellence, and initiative. The early stages of estimation, requirements gathering, and discovery should provide ample opportunities for you and your development partner to develop a shared understanding of your project and goals. With this shared vision, your team will build mutual trust with your chosen dev firm that will enable you to deliver solutions for your company that will ensure success, every time.