HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOFTWARE HOUSE?

Outsourcing is a popular form of delegating some tasks and functions to an external company in order to efficiently implement the company’s projects. Popular areas of outsourcing include HR functions, training and accounting. However, there is one area in which virtually most companies decide to outsource – software development.

Why is it worth employing an external software house? 

IT departments of companies are growing – everyone is investing in this area. However, all too often, companies choose to outsource their software development. Why is there such a high demand for specialized partners in this particular area?

It does not matter if you are creating your first IT project or if you already use more solutions prepared especially for you. The implementation of software by a professional  software house  is usually the only right decision to achieve satisfactory results. If you focus on the success of your project, a team that can boast of such success should stand behind it. Outsourcing in this case saves time and resources, as well as profit in the form of a partner who takes responsibility for the success of the project.

An experienced software house is a valuable asset for any company. The constant support of the team with the appropriate know-how and background will provide your company with security that cannot be overestimated. Therefore, the right question is not “do I need a software house” but “how to choose the right one”? Below are some tips that can help you with this.

Your needs and possibilities count

Regardless of what product you need – a complex website, advanced mobile application or corporate intranet. When looking for a potential contractor, you should start with precisely defining your needs and expectations. The software development market is a competitive environment with a huge number of entities. Of course, this is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time, as it requires greater commitment to making an already difficult decision. 

Write down your expectations for a potential software house. Carefully describe the idea for your project, so that in an interview with a potential partner, he or she could define the proposed solutions and technologies. If you assume use in advance, or simply prefer specific technologies, replace them. Think about safety issues – what aspects should you discuss with the contractor? Do you need advice in this regard or legal support? It is possible that the project you are planning will require later updates, or are you planning its further development over time?

If you can prepare the technical specification of the project, do so. Of course, when you are not able to prepare such a document inside the company, the exact technical specification is part of the offer made by the potential software house. However, the more valuable information you pass on, the more details you’ll get in return.

Consider the size of the project – can you assume that this one will require a larger team? It is also worth considering at this point whether your vision can be fulfilled by one team with broad competences, or it may require the involvement of a larger number of teams?

Only taking these assumptions into account, set the project budget. Thanks to this, you should have a broader view of whether the resources you want to spend on creating new software are adequate to its scale. Keep in mind how and for how long you will finance the project. 

The next step is to set the required deadlines – what is your deadline for completing the work? 

Time for research

Once you have fully prepared your requirements and assumptions, you can devote your full attention to finding a software house that will meet them. 

The first step is to select companies with appropriate experience. Achievement so far and realization are the greatest indicator of future success. Therefore, for further talks, it is best to select companies with projects of a similar scale in the same industry in their portfolio.

Next, check the integrity of the company. By using testimonials and opinions on external websites, you are able to assess your commitment and competence in delivering projects. Meet only companies that pass through the dense pre-selection sieve. This will allow you to spend more time contacting people with whom you will work on a daily basis – set deadlines, solve problems and specify issues related to implementation. 

Pay attention to communication and the way it is conducted. Determine how often and how your company will communicate with the other party. Who on the team will you most often exchange e-mails and phone calls? Does the company use a dedicated project management system? 

You will have a lot of time to make an impression of contact with a given software house, asking about your previous experience and portfolio. Go ahead and ask – you will not find everything written in the form of neat case studies, and direct contact and the right questions can dispel your potential doubts. 

Ask for references – you don’t have to rely only on the opinions found on the internet. Remember that companies satisfied with the software house services will be happy to find you a few minutes to share positive impressions. 

When you feel that a company just understands your project, has a vision for it, and knows where to start, you’re on your way. Avoid companies that say “yes” to everything. An experienced software house should have its comments, suggestions and thoughts. Consider whether a given company “sells” a certain technology to you because you simply know it, or is it offering you the best solution? Also determine whether your own software development should be accompanied by other services? 

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