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Congrats, you have an idea for a web development project. That’s awesome. Now you have both tiresome and exciting road of choosing an outsourcing vendor – the company that will handle the development of the project.

How difficult can it be? There are a lot of companies out there, I will definitely hire great web developers for my project.

Sure, you will. There are indeed many web development services providers so it’s not difficult to find someone. There is an issue though: do you want someone? Perhaps you’d rather go to a trustworthy long-term partner for the project, not the first company you can find.

Luckily, with a choice of the outsourcing companies, there is literally a team of developers for any project. The key is to understand what differs your idea from others and how it influences the requirements for developers. To do that, we’ll break down a process of picking a vendor into a step-by-step guideline (and no, it won’t take long).

Step #1  – Analyze your idea

Before looking for a software development partner, you have to understand clearly what is it you want to develop. Keep this in mind while working on your business plan and make a separate sheet where you’ll fill out the necessary functionality, set the goals and technical requirements for the project.

If you doubt your qualification to define technical tasks clearly, just write down the examples of projects you like – so your web development vendor can use them as references, not to apply these same design principles but to understand your vision.

What project characteristics should I define?

To find a web development vendor, it’ll be enough to comprehend basic technologies you want to use – whether it’s a static web page or single-page applications. If there are any other innovations you’d like to add to the mix, write them down as well.

Step #2 – Find an authority

If you don’t have web development background or the experience of previous cooperation with vendors, it’s important to define whose opinion matters to you – and could help you with a choice. If there are friends with development experience, start with consulting them. If not – don’t worry. There are plenty of software outsourcing ratings to help you decide.

Are ratings trustworthy?

Not all of them, of course. We use Clutch and GoodFirms for development companies evaluation – these are international ratings that have already acquired a reputation of credible advisers. There are interested to put actually top companies on their lists because they take the responsibility for the publishing dependable information.

Step #3 – Assessing company’s expertise

Assessing potential vendors, you need to determine company’s reliability and stability. To make it easier, we prepared a checklist of questions that makes things really easy.

How big and experienced are both a development company and their website development team?

If you assess a big software development company with few hundreds of employers, don’t just assess the general company market position. Evaluate also their web development department.

Check the company location

The market vendor works in determines prices, developers qualification, the management process. Here you have two ways to go:

  • look for a company that is closer to you, for the sake of more comfortable cooperation;
  • outsource development overseas to optimize cost and get international expertise.

Here think about the specifics of your future product. If it’s a complicated long-term project and you have no experience managing an outsourcing project, choosing a closer company minimizes the risks. Now through the practice of outsourcing web development is getting more and more regular even for a complex enterprise project.

Find out the size and the composition specifics of web development team and discuss what resources you can get for your project. Ask if there are awards and certifications to prove the expertise. Sure, achievements are not a guarantee of smooth cooperation yet it’s a possibility to assure that you are not paying for a cat in a sack.

Step #4  – Define what cooperation model you’d like to use

Good software outsourcing companies are fine with all the most popular development methodologies – Scrum, Agile, Waterfall etc. Discuss monitoring the workflow and evaluating the results. Transparency is a key to success. What can a potential vendor offer to monitor the project progress and a quality of performed work? Find it out.

Step #5 – Take the most out of portfolio

A golden rule of choosing a web development company says: ‘Show me your projects and I will tell you who you are’. That’s exactly what you need to discuss with your potential web development partner. Check the projects the vendor currently develops and take a note of what industries that know best. Technical proficiency matters, no doubt about it, but you also want a vendor who understands the specifics of your business.

  • What information should your company give you in a project description?
  • How long did a project take?
  • How many developers and testers were involved in the process?
  • What methodology was used?
  • How do they determine the efficiency of performed tasks?

Conclusion

A five-step procedure – that’s all it takes to find a good vendor. Don’t perceive it as a complicated task but rather as a chance to get to know your partner better. Cooperation starts with communication. Start communicating with your development partner at these very first stages of cooperation – and you’ll definitely make a good choice.

Author Bio

Sandra Parker,  Head of BizDev at QArea Software Development Company

I work as Business Developer in QArea and help companies to accelerate their businesses through custom software development and testing.