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A Detailed Guide to Choosing the Best Software Development Partner

SpdLoad prepared in-depth guide on how to find app development partners

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Want to extend your outreach by digitizing your business? Great!! But wait, it is not that easy as you might be thinking.

As the current time is a digital era, it has become extremely crucial for firms to stay connected with users all the time. And the only way to do it is by allowing them to interact with an online website or app. A software development partner can help you get that.

Moreover, with the rising need to digitize your business, the competition in almost every market has elevated. Hence, every firm is focussing on developing state of the art websites and apps.

As per Statista, the global app revenue will reach up to $935.2 billion by 2023. These stats clearly depict the need for software or app development partners.

As there is an ocean of product development partners out there, it becomes necessary to put all your cards on the table before opting for one. There are many factors that matter while working in partnership with a software development team. The key factor is defining your objectives in the first place.

In the following sections, we are going to take all those factors one by one in absolute detail. So, let’s begin!

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Where can you find the ideal software development partner?

Well, before we dive into the process of checking what is necessary for a product development partner to have, let us check where you can find them.

So, if we take a broader look at the sources that you can harness to hire a development team, there are three options:

Source Description
Google: The Master Search Engine The first and foremost way to find the best partners for product development is your favorite search engine, Google.

The search engine method is a bit blunt as you may not find exact results on the go, but you will get to explore a number of options.

When you search for partners for app development on Google, you may end up getting some prominent blogs that explain to you the sources from where you can find the partners.

Moreover, this method may also deliver you optimal results by finding you the ideal agency for your app development partnership.

Company Search Forums The second method to finding partners for your app or software development project is by referring to search forums for agencies and firms.

The core pro of this method is that you get exactly to the point. It means that when you search on company forums, you will get exact results based on your search query.

Some of the online websites and forums that you can leverage to get the best development agency are:

And many others!

These websites provide you many relevant facts about the firms like:

  • Number of employees
  • Reviews
  • Hourly rate
  • Headquarters

You don’t need to worry about the authenticity of the information as these portals carefully analyze the legitimacy of the data posted on their website.

Recommendations Last but as per us, the best way to hiring a partner for software development is via recommendations.

If you have someone in your network who has previously opted for the services of any development firm, it is best to get recommendations from them, if any.

Also, make sure that you verify all the vital factors while you talk to that person regarding the performance of the firm.

A recommended software development firm is the best option as people have working experience with it.

You can read more about how to find a developer in our guide.

Before consider app development partnership learn about search channels

3 Pillar Criteria for Choosing a Product Development Partner

As you are completely briefed on the ways by which you can form a partnership with the best product development firm. Let us now dig deep into the factors or criteria that you need to keep in mind while deciding on one.

Choosing a good development partner for your software or app is not a walk in a park. It can become really tough and pricey in the end if you don’t have a proper plan before opting for a development company.

The most crucial pillars of the app or software development process can be summarized in three headings. All these things are a part of the project discovery phase, and they are as follows:

  • Setting the goal of your software: Make sure you have the primary as well as a secondary goal of your product in mind. For example: if you are developing a gaming app, you should know your target audience, your competitors, what features do you need to include in the product, etc. When all these things are pre-planned, the development team can start working immediately as per the requirement with a clear understanding.
  • Project Scope: The second crucial thing that needs to be a part of your discovery phase is defining the scope of it. For example, the same as above, if you are making a gaming app, develop charts, figures, or other visual representations of your software. It will help in a better understanding of your final output requirement.
  • Tech details: All that awesome software has is a great tech stack. When planning a layout of your product, specify platforms for which you want the app, like iOS or Android. Moreover, you can also include other specifications if required.

32% of projects fail due to poor estimation in the planning phase. Hence, detailed planning of all the above-described factors will not only gear up the development process but will also help in cutting down the extra cost.

Coming to the criteria for choosing a partner for your product development process, there are broadly three criteria based on which your final pick will depend. Here are all of them:

  • Communication

Poor communication leads to project failure one-third of the time.

Hence, having regular communication with your client is an indispensable thing. It keeps you updated with the progress.

And when it comes to choosing a development partner, it becomes essential to analyze a number of things regarding the client via communication.

To get the best product in the end, make sure you verify the following factors:

Factors Description
Product development workflow The crucial thing that matters in a software development partner is their workflow.

Things like what tools are used,  who will undertake the project, how meetings are conducted are required to be known beforehand.

When you have good knowledge of all of these, then only you can choose the best development partner for your product.

Here are some aspects of the product development workflow:

  • The methodology of work: Every client has their way of handling the development work. It will depend on you how you want to get the work done.

Work methodology plays a crucial role as you and your client need to work as per the same one to avoid miscommunication and errors. One of the best methodology to work by is the Agile development methodology.

The basic steps of that methodology are:

Meet  > Plan > Design > Develop > Test > Evaluate

The meeting part is the crucial one, as you can ask questions from the client regarding the tool used. You can also clarify your requirements with them.

Post this comes the planning that includes everything regarding the development and designing in a fixed time (sprint).

In the end, comes the testing and evaluation. This part contains the testing of the so far created product and necessary instructions for the further process.

Apart from this, you can also go for the Scrum framework.

  • Toolkit to work with projects: Tools are the weapons if product development is a war. Better they will be, more will be the probability of getting a top-notch product from your product development partner.

Hence, it is necessary for you to check what toolkit your app development partners use.

The presence of innovative and latest tools will help you enhance user experience. Look for tools like Figma, Github, Jenkins, Jira, and others in their toolkit.

  • Calls during projects: The best form of communication is verbal (face to face or over the phone. So, make sure that when you communicate with a software development partner, probe them about the internet speed in their locality.

If it is not up to the mark, refrain from hiring them for your project as your final product may suffer due to a lack of communication.

As the product development process needs timely communication, you need to take this thing seriously while partnering with the client. The language barrier can also be an issue so keep a check on that also.

  • Documents to sign up: One last thing that needs to be checked is if there are any documents that need to be signed before beginning the contract.

Do get an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) signed to protect your idea from being stolen. Also, create an RFP (Request for Proposal) document where you define your project goals, tasks, and other necessary information.

All these factors need to be carefully examined, as they will help you know how transparent the product development partner is.

Do your analysis from the communication. Now, you have a clear picture of the workflow of the app development partner in your mind, right?

But apart from the workflow and technical aspects, there are other emotional aspects that you need to verify via your communication with your client.

  • The first one is the vision and values of your development partner for the product. If you and your client work with a common vision, the end result will be remarkable. You need to check this factor by asking them questions in the communication.
  • The second factor that defines the genuineness of the development partner is their probing during the initial sessions of screening. More are the number of discussion sessions and questions of the firm. Better and faster will be the final output.

The level of questioning is enough to describe the authenticity of the development partner of your app.

  • The last point that you need to analyze via communication with the partner of your software development is proactiveness.

A lazy team will never get you quick results. Hence, the more the team is proactive, the better will be the quality of results. You can check this during the vendor selection process by analyzing how they present their vision for your idea.

It will make one thing clear in your mind. And that is if the partner for app development can provide you an awesome yet unique product for the market.

Communication is a key criterion to consider while choosing a software development partner
  • Experience

The second criterion that needs attention while making a partnership with an app development firm is experience. And the term experience does not end at a number of projects or years. There are many other factors that are counted under experience. Here are some of them in detail.

Factors Description
Technology aspect As the use of ingenious technology is a must for app or software development. It is necessary to check if your partner has it.

If you have the working knowledge of the latest tech stack or technology. You can check it with your partner if they can use it for the development of your product.

But if you are not that involved with technology, you can communicate with your client. Here you can find out which tech stack will be best for your software or app. Also, check why this tech stack is necessary for the product.

Some necessary technologies that all the app or software development partners use today are:

  • Laravel
  • Node JS
  • React
  • Vue JS
  • React Native
  • Flutter

And many more!

Along with the tech stack, you also need to ask the client about their developers. Your development partner should have enough developers for developing the product.

Moreover, they all should also be experienced enough and have expertise in developing tech solutions.

Portfolio, references, online presence If an app development partner offers premium quality services, then it will have a great online presence.

And that is what you need to check. Most of the development partners will not post much about their projects online.

This is because of the NDA signed with their clients. Albeit, you can check their other projects meant for public viewing. With this, you will get a better insight into their working outputs.

Another thing to check your client’s success is by referring to their testimonials. The testimonials are the reviews submitted by their customers.

You can check their online presence and references on websites like Clutch, Good Firms, etc. These websites will provide your legitimate reviews of the software development partners. Provided, they are listed on them.

Related experience in the same solutions or technologies Now, the last thing that you need to verify in the experience of the product development partner is its related experience.

It is possible that the development partner may not have experience in the same industry. But, they may have rich experience in the same technology.

Check this factor and their past projects related to technology. They may do better than others.

Experience is another key criterion to pay attention to software development partnership
  • Cost

This is the factor that can make or break your partnership with your app development client. As per stats, around 28% of the projects fail due to the inaccurate estimates of the project cost. So, it is really critical to focus on the app development cost. As your app development project is a kind of precious one, invest wisely in it.

Here are some of the things you need to keep a close check on related to cost:

Aspect of cost Description
Learn about the cost Well, this factor can vary with different app development partners. Moreover, there are various factors that define the cost of the project.

Some of them are:

  • Hourly rate
  • Location of the software development partner
  • Tech Stack used by the development agency
  • The expertise of the team
  • The request of the customer (if demands are high, the cost will be high)

It is necessary to learn about these cost affecting factors before opting for a product development partner.

Pricing Models To pick cost-effective app development partners, it is necessary to check what type of price models they follow.

Pricing models are basically of two types:

  • Fixed Price

This is both a good and bad pricing model, followed by app development partners. You will get the best results on time with no provision to make any amendments in between.

The price and final product are also agreed upon at the beginning of this model. If any changes are required, it will add extra cost and extended deadlines.

  • Time and Material

This model is much better than the previous one. After opting for this model, you get the flexibility of making changes to the product.

The rate is based on the number of hours, and you get absolute transparency of what’s being done. The fixed price model does not provide you with any supervision of the project.

You can go for any of these models based on your requirements and budget.

The high cost is ok, if you are work with experienced product development partner, because low cost is about a plenty number of risks

3 Reasons Why “High Price” Is Justified

It is natural that, for once, you will be surprised to hear the cost of development. It can be high as well as low.

But, a low-cost project does not mean that you need to grab it without considering the described factors.

On the other hand, don’t refrain from choosing a high priced project. Here are some benefits of a high-cost project:

Benefits of the high cost Description
Low price = Double cost If you get a choice between $20/hr and $50/hr, don’t go for the first one. Most of the low-cost projects deliver bad quality.

There are many reasons for that, like:

  • Backed by amateur trainees and juniors instead of professionals.
  • Poor quality code with countless bugs.
  • Bad user experience leads to a decline in revenue.
  • Missing deadlines and launch dates.

In short, going for the partner of app development that offers $20/hr may cost you double.

Ballpark vs. precise estimation Initially, your partner for software development will only provide you a rough estimate of the project. This is termed as a ballpark estimation.

The actual value of the project can be less or more than this. To know that, it is necessary to invest some upfront money in the discovery stage research.

It will help you in getting an exact estimate of the total price. The price of this research can go up to $15,000.

Discovery phase, a failsafe It is best to opt for a partner for app development that can help you analyze the total cost.

For that, the discovery phase is the best way. It includes everything related to the project, like idea validation, prototyping, market analysis, blueprinting, etc.

Analysis of these factors by a development partner helps in building great software.

What to Ask the Potential Partner for Software Development?

Well, there must be many questions in your mind that you want to ask the product development partner. Here are some of the most crucial ones:

  • What are the project management tools that your firm uses?
  • How do you communicate with your clients?
  • How many projects have you handled so far?
  • How do you estimate the cost of the software development process?
  • What makes you different from others?
  • What is your team size and experience?
  • How will I get updates about my project?
  • What if your team member quits between the projects?
  • Do you sign an NDA?
Checklist of questions to ask your potential app development partner

Look for a Reliable App or Software Development Partner?

Well, if you have an app or software idea and you want to bring it to life, we at SpdLoad have all that you need. Our qualified team of experienced people helps in handling every little aspect of the development process with ease.

Our pre-screening team keeps every detail mentioned by you in mind while designing the project flow.

Moreover, we take absolute care while undertaking the discovery phase of your project.

Our managers keep you updated with the progress of your project via timely reports.

Our developers and designers use state of the art tools to deliver you top-notch software in the end.

In short, we keep a close oversight over everything that we do and make sure that you get the best of the best solution. If you are searching for a reliable software development partner, SpdLoad is your ultimate stop.

Interested to Work with Reliable Software Developers?

Take a look at our case studies and make sure, we will make fit to your request.

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Posted by

Max Babych

Max Babych

I am CEO of SpdLoad

I launched SpdLoad almost 7 years ago and now it has 20+ successful products in SaaS and Marketplace industry and several own products. I am an expert in Marketing, Lean Methodology and Customer Development approach.

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