How to Choose a Software Development Partner: The Utter 2022 Guide

Updated 04 Aug 2022

15 Min

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What is the most crucial thing in cooperation with software development companies? There is no one thing. There are many important nuances and steps you need to follow if you plan to find a trustworthy partner. This article will cover the preparation stage, all the steps, and what services a reliable partner should provide you with. We mean additional ones apart from the mandatory web or mobile app development services. But less talking, let’s move on!

Determine Why You Need a Software Development Partner

Prior to starting a partnership with tech architecture providers, you must define for yourself what targets you are pursuing within the cooperation. Further, your outlined objectives will help not only help choose the best software development vendor specifically for your case but the most relevant partnership model as well as conditions.

Thus, potential goals may be formed as follows:

  • Reduced development costs and investments
  • Integration of new technologies into the product and related expertise
  • Partial/full delegation of responsibilities related to software architecture
  • Creation of a digital product in a specific domain on a turnkey basis
  • Compliance with essential guidelines and regulations (depending on the domain)
  • One particular separate service type (Quality Assurance, UI/UX design, maintenance/ support)

You should also choose the most comfortable and convenient option for communication as well as connection with the selected team because this will reduce the list of regions for the search. This is due to the cultural peculiarities, language expertise level, and proximity of different regions. We will cover those aspects a little bit later in this article.

In turn, the vectors for the progress of the most successful IT providers should sound approximately this way- finding and offering the most successful, optimal modern solutions in the field of workflow automation and streamlining, building a proper strategy to meet the requirements of clients and help them to meet their business goals. To successfully identify such solutions, create project pipelines, and architect flawless products, credible tech companies constantly keep an eye on state-of-the-art solutions and digital market tendencies, expanding their technical expertise.

Get Prepared to Partnership for Software Development

When you have highlighted the goals of cooperation, the search for an appropriate company is simplified at times because you can easily analyze which of the potential partners can meet your needs.

The initial stage of the search for a software development partner begins with the following steps:

Market analysis

This phase involves familiarizing yourself with the offerings that exist in today's market. You can conduct it in stages by going through the following steps:

  • Outlining your request and the expertise required for the project
  • Searching for the best tech hubs (in particular, Northern and Central Europe)
  • A more detailed consideration of potential partners, filtering by existing companies
  • Selection of criteria for the analysis (e.g., time on the market, portfolio, domain expertise, feedback from previous customers, price segment, etc.)

Considering a cooperation model

The next step is to get familiar with the existing cooperation models and choose the one under which you would like to conclude a partnership. The concept, as well as the idea of your project, are the fundamental aspects to prioritize when selecting the most suitable cooperation model. The scope of work, project terms, the product complexity, and the requirements precision impact which conditions to go for. Apart from this, customer engagement in the project performance is one more factor.

Below we’ll provide a brief description of the existing cooperation models; we’ll get back to them later:

  • Time and material cooperation model represents the option for projects with undefined requirements where customers pay for the specific work scope accomplished.
  • Dedicated team model is a perfect choice for projects with dynamic requirements changing within the development flow.
  • Fixed price model refers to cooperation within strictly defined requirements and, accordingly, price. Most relevant for short-term projects.

Research for a dependable company is not the only step you should take. Even if you already know what company you prefer cooperating with, you need to spend some time and write down project ideas, features it should have, and maybe some sketches to show UI/UX designers what you exactly need. The more information you will provide software development partner with, the higher the chances that your future product will entirely meet all your expectations.

Besides, you will save your time. So it is preferable to contact software development partner when you prepare all the necessary information. Let’s consider more details about the info you’d better prepare to.

Preparation stage

Preparation stage to start looking for software development partners

Setting the software main goals

You probably know what target audience you want to reach, the primary purpose of your software, how it should be used, and the main tasks a software should perform. It will be much easier for the development team to delve into the process and understand your goal.

Determining the project scope

Feel free to prepare a visual presentation of your software. You don’t need to be skilled in design or software development. It will be enough to write down the project scope, show visually what result you want to get, and so on. In case you don’t want to create presentations, you may write in docs some user stories - a description of the activities a user may perform in your software.

Defining technical details

For example, you may already have software that other developers started creating, but due to some reasons, you don’t want to keep on cooperating with them. Therefore, you need to describe what your software already includes and what you want to add. A new software development partner will save yours and their time, and they will start the development faster. Also, mind to add info about what platform you need (iOS or Android or both), front-end/back-end, and so on.

The more detailed your description is, the faster your software is created.

Finally, don’t hesitate to create a list of preferable criteria to choose the dream team and the most exceptional software development partner. This list may include such points as hourly rate, country, tech stack, time zone, etc.

When it is done, you may take the following steps to choose the best software development partnership.

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Steps to Consider When You Choose a Software Development Partner

You have prepared a presentation or other documentation, and now you may follow these nine steps that will help you find a good and robust software development company.

Do your research

The Internet is a global network where you can find everything. That is why you can use it for research and sort out software development companies. But what is an optimal way to do it? When you are looking for software development partners, you need to use appropriate portals like the following:

Using them, you may sort companies by ratings, countries, a number of reviews, hourly rates, etc. The main advantage of this website is utterly correct information. It is impossible to post false information since the administration of portals verifies everything.

When you selected a few companies, you check their websites to make sure they look professional, well-thought-out, and provide users with a crowd-pleasing UI and UX. And then you may proceed to the next step.

Check their experience

To evaluate the company’s skills, you need to check their portfolio. Many software development companies create a relevant section on their website where you can find the list of previous projects made by them. It is an excellent proof of expertise, and you may also evaluate their technical level. But keep in mind that the portfolio usually doesn’t contain all projects. For example, at Cleveroad, we add to the portfolio the projects that are designed for public use, and a client agreed to share it with visitors. However, the majority of our projects are created for internal use, and due to non-disclosure agreement (NDA), we are not allowed to post any information about it. Everything depends on the customer’s permission.

So you should ask the company directly about all the nuances interesting for you. Moreover, if you also want to protect your idea from being copied or stolen, sign an NDA or software development partnership agreement before you start sharing your idea.

Explore their software development process

Find out how the software development process is going in a chosen company. What it starts with, who is in charge, who is a contact person, how meetings are held, and so on. As a rule, IT companies have relevant articles that describe a software development process, and we are are not the exception. You can check out in detail how a software development process is performed at Cleveroad.

Get acquainted with the key reasons why outsource web development

In case you need more detailed information, you need to contact the requirements manager of the company and ask them your questions. If a company is reliable, it will provide you with comprehensive information.

Choose your methodology

You need to determine what methodology is preferable for you and whether the selected company uses it. If you want to keep a high quality of your future software and make sure that everything will be done on time, you need to focus on Agile methodology. The development process is divided into sprints, and each sprint is agreed with a customer separately. Agile provides more flexibility to changing circumstances, and it helps avoid unwanted bugs. Thus, a customer evaluates the functionality of each sprint, all bugs are fixed, and the development of the next sprint isn’t started until there is an approval by a customer.

Agile methodology implies permanent communication between a customer and service provider, and it is vital.

Determine a pricing model

If you didn’t know, there are three main pricing models in software development - Time and Material, Dedicated Team, and Fixed Price Model.

Time & Material is a no less popular option than a Fixed Price model since you pay only for hours spent. If you don’t know how large software should be, how many additional features you need, and other details - you need to focus on T&M model.

Fixed Price is a good option if you clearly know what you need, you have definite requirements and features, and strict deadlines. You get estimation with a fixed price, and if you agree, everything is created within the set budget.

Dedicated Team model is an excellent option for a long-term partnership. You hire a team of developers, designers, QA engineers who work only on your project. You have total control over the process, you distribute the workload of each specialist, and flexibility is in your hands.

Choose a software development partner

Steps to find a software dev partner, pt 1

Delve into the technical experience

If you are a little bit skilled in programming tools, and you know how one or the other tool is used, you may choose an appropriate and preferable tech stack for your project. Once you did it, your next step is to find out whether a selected company may provide you with developers who are experienced in these skills and ready to build software for you.

However, if you are far from technical aspects, you need to get a consultation from the company’s managers who will help you choose an optimal tech stack for your future project. Moreover, they will explain to you all the pros and cons of each technology.

Pay Attention to Communication Quality

Excellent communication between partners is the key to the successful outcome of their mutual efforts. Do not underestimate the significance of this aspect because developed soft skills and the ability to build quality communication will help both parties to perceive the other side better, convey the message clearly and distinctly, as well as jointly build a strategy to implement all the requirements for a digital product successfully.

It doesn’t matter how tech-savvy company is and how many projects they created if their communication skills leave a lot to be desired. You need to make sure that communication with this company will be flawless and without obstacles. You should see that the project management team is good at communication, and you won’t face any issues.

Besides that, a software development partner should speak English very well since it is an international language that is used worldwide. The first impression is vital. That is why you need to organize a meeting by Skype (or even meet personally) and evaluate their communication skills. We strongly believe the first meeting will speak for itself.

Learn more about the country

You need to know more about the country where a selected company is located. It will help you organize your process more efficiently, and understanding of a culture will be a good assistant during cooperation.

First, find out how fast Internet connection speed in that country. It is essential since online calls should be performed like clockwork. Otherwise, you won’t be able to communicate with a software development partner properly.

Then, the English proficiency level is also essential as we mentioned before. Also, discover more about national holidays since you need to know when the company has days off.

Finally, get acquainted with the business culture of the country. You will understand your partner, and you will be prepared for unwanted challenges.

Transparency is a must

And the last but not the least step is to make sure that there is transparency in your partnership. Software development company should provide you with transparent processes, but so do you. All issues and nuances should be discussed at the meetings, and a dependable service provider is always ready to listen to you and take into account your remarks. And all information about the rates and development process generally must be clear and precise.

software development partnership

Steps to find a software dev partner, pt 2

We can straightforwardly state, that if you follow these steps, you will likely find a top-notch and robust company that will completely meet your requirements and expectations.

Five Points a Credible Software Development Partner Provides

Transparent processes are essential. But there are some additional services a reliable company must offer. We will check them out.

Encryption and regulation compliance

First, a software development partner should care about the proper protection of your software. If it is a financial software and it works with personal data - the protection level must be high. Software developers should ensure that a product is secure and protect it from any vulnerabilities. If it is a website, SSL encryption should be added. Then, regulation compliance is also required if your app is processing personal data. It should be GDPR-compliant if it is created for the EU regions, HIPAA-compliant (if it is a healthcare app for the US market), or it should comply with other regulations and directives depending on the world region. The dynamic development team should consider all this stuff when creating your app.

Scalability

Your software is recommended to be scalable if you plan to develop your business and meet growing demands. It means that your software should be created considering growing capacities and workloads during a specific period. It makes your app or website competitive and gives you more perspectives. Smart developers will offer you build scalable software since they are aware of business market demands and will help you choose the right approach.

Project progress reports

To receive your acceptance and show the progress, each competent tech vendor provides a project progress report. Its name speaks for itself- a document that discloses in detail the headway of the software product implementation flow. A project progress report singles out the performance as well as tasks your team has executed and the milestones they’ve achieved according to the product development roadmap.

Communication and availability

This point refers to the general ability to contact your team and maintain communication within the project implementation apart from conducting meetings. Communication tools like Slack, Google Chat, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or any others chosen by your team are integral to reaching your partners and getting a quick response during office hours. Especially in case your project comprises undefined requirements, it’s vitally important to choose a software development team that prioritizes a solid connection, delivers quick responses to changes in the project roadmap, and discuss the strategy of realizing upcoming modifications with you.

Post-release support

Many software development companies provide customers with post-release support services if you need them. It means you will get updates when necessary, and developers will maintain your software. If any bugs appear after deployment, developers will fix it. Thus, your software is always under the protection and in good hands.

Wrapping up, we’d like to emphasize that all reliable software development partners will always keep you updated about all changes. You won’t need to contact them on your own every day to find out the status of your project. Agile methodology implies meetings after each sprint, so you will delve into the development process deeply,

Let’s dive deeper into the in-house vs. outsourcing comparison in this article

Cleveroad: Your Credible Software Development Partner

Cleveroad is your credible IT partner for experiencing all the benefits of software development project outsourcing. The outstanding expertise of our tech professionals covers a wide range of domains, within which we’ve successfully architected custom solutions for our customers. For this, we put workflow transparency as well as excellent communication quality in the primary priority.

Besides, Cleveroad offers each of the three cooperation models described in this article, suitable for each project case. You are welcome to check our portfolio as well as clients’ feedback concerning our cooperation.

Start cooperation with top experts

Our certified software engineers will deliver flawless performance and perfect cooperation outcomes

Frequently Asked Questions

To find the right software development partner you have to conduct a research. Then, single out several companies that match with one or several of your criteria. Come up with a feature list of your project and contact the company to get a rough estimate.

The best way to find software development partners is to use services like Clutch, and GoodFirms. They display overall information about the company, contact details, and client reviews.

Pros:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Time-efficiency
  • Full-cycle support
  • Guidance through all stages of the project

Cons:

  • Remote location from the contractor's country
  • Some regions (Asia, Africa) have insufficient experience with English language. This fact ruins communication and client service.

Potential goals may be formed as follows:

  • Reduced development costs and investments
  • Integration of new technologies into the product and related expertise
  • Partial/full delegation of responsibilities related to software architecture
  • Creation of a digital product in a specific domain on a turnkey basis
  • Compliance with essential guidelines and regulations (depending on the domain)
  • One particular separate service type (Quality Assurance, UI/UX design, maintenance/ support)

Below we’ll provide a brief description of the existing cooperation models:

  • Time and material cooperation model represents the option for projects with undefined requirements where customers pay for the specific work scope accomplished.
  • Dedicated team model is a perfect choice for projects with dynamic requirements changing within the development flow.
  • Fixed price model refers to cooperation within strictly defined requirements and, accordingly, price. Most relevant for short-term projects.

The main aim of the outsource software development partner is to deliver a quality software for a reasonable price within a specified time frame.

To evaluate the company’s skills, you need to check their portfolio. Many software development companies create a relevant section on their website where you can find the list of previous projects made by them. It is an excellent proof of expertise, and you may also evaluate their technical level. But keep in mind that the portfolio usually doesn’t contain all projects.

  • Encryption and regulation compliance
  • Scalability
  • Post-release support
  • Communication and availability
  • Project progress reports
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