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5 Tips for Choosing Your Software Development Partner

Gone are the days when outsourcing was primarily for budgetary reasons.

Today, companies outsource software projects to tap into the best talent that isn’t always available internally.

But, the key challenge here lies in identifying the right partner.

This leads us to the favorite word in outsourcing – ‘trust.’

You won’t be able to develop a top-notch product if you don’t trust your software development partner.

So, how do you choose a trustworthy software development partner with whom you can collaborate successfully?

Here are few tips to help you understand better:


  • Tip #1 – Never Rush through RFPs

    Take time to learn about your potential partner. Know who you’ll be working with. After all, you’d want to be familiar with your partner’s work approaches and their experiences in software development. Wouldn’t you? So, never rush through RFPs (Request for Proposals) and do not speed through the process. Rushing through RFPs can lead you to work with a firm that doesn’t match your needs. Remember, starting a project with the right partner a little later than planned is always better than starting it early with a company that fails to offer you value-added service.

    Here’s a short checklist that you can follow to move ahead:

    • Find out who your potential partner has worked with in the past and check references (if any).
    • Learn about its industry-based experience.
    • Ask about its previous projects and the results.
    • Assess your findings, compare them and select the most suitable partner.
  • Tip #2 – Understand the Way the Company Overcomes Challenges

    Your software development partner must be smart enough to effectively deal with unpredictable scenarios. So, before selecting your partner, identify how accountable, transparent and proactive your potential partner is. Verify how it intends to overcome barriers during tough times. Ensure whether it will be available for daily stand-ups to discuss the progress of the project.

    If the firm states that it has never run into miscommunications, it’s probably lying. Miscommunications are a part of team-based projects and your partner must be equipped to handle it intelligently to accomplish goals.

    It’s only after you’ve gained clarity on the above details, can you go ahead and choose a software development partner for your business.

  • Tip #3 – Discuss What Value-added Services Can It Offer

    Next, request access to your software development partner’s staff members and their technical proficiencies. Learn about their core competencies, their ability to enable significant transformations at scale, and their knowledge of modern software stacks. You can start by asking the technical staff key questions like:

    • Which are the tech stacks they’ve worked on?
    • What project management strategies can they implement?
    • How do they maintain code quality?
    • How do they ensure what they’re developing is in line with your business requirements?

    Make sure the staff members leverage industry best-practices like:

    • Code Simplicity
    • Code Coherence
    • Code Reviews
    • QA/Testing
    • Estimation

    A thorough discussion with the staff regarding these various aspects can help you with the selection process better.

  • Tip #4 – Assess How Will Your Partner Enhance Your Business

    Check whether your partner is keen to enhance your business through its niche expertise. A good software development partner gets to the core of your business, does the homework and then moves ahead with the development project. It always asks you about your target audiences, who you want to cater to, how you came up with the project idea and accordingly improvises on your best-practices. Once you find the software development firm is willing to bring value to the table, only then go ahead and sign the contract. If you find your potential partner isn’t interested in engaging in a detailed discussion about your company’s backgrounds, you must raise a red flag.

  • Tip #5 – Keep Note on Contract Negotiations

    The last phase is the most critical. If you find the software development firm to have quoted a really low price for your project, you must raise another red flag. This happens if a company is too desperate to get a project. Never hesitate to go for a second bid during such times.

    Also, when going ahead with the procurement process, always make sure you have enough room to adapt to unforeseen situations. For instance, make sure the contract that you sign with your partner covers aspects such as:

    • Unrealistic timelines
    • Ambiguities in the specifications
    • Unavailability of key players
    • Intellectual property rights
    • Confidentiality details
    • Support service provisions
    • New software rollouts and version updates

    This would help in keeping away disagreements during the software development cycle. The result? A smooth collaborative journey.

So, keep a note of the above points before striking a deal with your technology partner. Ensure that your partner values proactiveness, accountability, transparency, and a positive mindset. The rest will fall in place.

Key Insight

Today, enterprises of different sizes and scales outsource projects to their technology partners to optimize their business processes: For example:

  • Deloitte recently conducted a survey of 500 global leaders, out of which 70% believed that their software development partners have the ability to implement disruptive technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Cloud, which offer them a business edge.

Therefore, if you find that your projects require expertise like Cloud, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science, RPA, UI/UX and mobile, simply outsource them to a company that specializes in these areas, and gain a competitive advantage over the others advantage over the others.

In a nutshell, look for technical proficiency, not cost, and you’ll end up saving money.

To Summarize

Be mindful while choosing your technology partner. Remember the tips mentioned above to build strong alliances and reap business profits. In the end, you’re creating something together. Therefore, a decision like this may either make or break your project.

With the above points in mind, we hope that you’ll walk down the right path and create something great in collaboration with your partner.

Note: Clutch and GoodFirms are great forums to find your software development partners.

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