You already have a vision about your new mobile app, a website, an eCommerce solution, or any disruptive digital solution and now need a development partner. If you have started this hunting exercise then you must have realized that finding a right partner who will transform your vision into reality, is a challenging and painstaking task.
Yes, it is a difficult stage, but then let’s accept it…there is no shortcut. Most common ways to identify worthy development partners is by conducting an online search to narrow down the options, asking peers for recommendations, or hooking up on the social media. However, in the end you will need to use a mix of sources to get your list ready.
Let’s assume your list of prospective partners is ready. How do you evaluate them? Well here are 7 key areas I suggest to evaluate before you finally commit.
1. Experience matters
The first thing you need to evaluate is their relevant experience to be the right fit. Experience in successfully delivering similar solutions to yours, their industry knowledge, client feedback and so on. These are good areas to study because this experience will help you to take your vision to new heights.
2. Innovation is the key
Having relevant experience is good but being innovative and future-thinking is critical. Their knowledge and drive for continuous innovation in this ever-increasing digital economy will always play the vital role in your success. So, with a keen eye observe if their solutions evolved as per market dynamics or user requirements. Also, check out if they are open to co-creation in case you want to share the Intellectual Property.
3. Design conquers
A good partner will always try to understand your customers, their journey, and expectations first. They will build your solution around your target customers while ensuring a personalized and consistent experience on all touch points. This combination of smart codes, led with the experience design will create the right Midas effect that will generate your desired ROI and steer you onto the path of success.
4. Closer the better
Think about a situation when you need an urgent delivery, your partner who works on an offshore-onshore model requires time, as geographically you are distanced. This leads to problems in coordination, accessibility of information, barriers in proper communication, cultural differences, which overall impacts your project. Proximity is best when it comes to development. It's more like buddies in good and bad times, doing things together for a common benefit – your success!
5. Approach counts
Most development companies follow industry standard processes to streamline deliverables. The right partner will be the one, who has the knowledge and practice in both agile as well as waterfall methodologies to dish out the right approach that best suits your requirements. End of the day you want transparency, timely decisions, and speed-to-market.
6. Engagement is serious
Yes, you read it right! If you're serious to get into a partnership with your prospective partner for your development project, knowing their work engagement model is a serious thing to consider before signing in. Select the right partner, who is flexible and best understands your business needs by offering different models of engagement - be it through “time & material”, or “turnkey-solutions”, or simply a “hybrid” model.
7. T&C Validation
Last but not the least, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully to understand all the conditions on data security issues, post deployment warranty, project limitations, usage of third party libraries, licensing, legality of the product, intellectual property rights of the source codes in case you decide to dissolve the partnership.