Having too many options can be overwhelming – especially when it comes to choosing whom to trust with your next custom software development project. It might be difficult figuring out where to start, but as experts in the field, we have curated a list of questions to help you filter through potential candidates. This set of questions should operate as a checklist. It’s crucial to find a company that can collaborate well with you since you’ll likely spend a decent amount of time communicating with them…and they’ll have an enormous impact on the state of your software architecture. Keep these questions in mind, compare answers, and find the best software development company for your specific needs.
Software Development Basics
The first set of questions to consider includes general company practices and methods. Some points may be negotiable (depending on the company), but others might make or break your decision to work with the team altogether.
What is your project management style?
There is a wide variety of project management styles, and the most common include “waterfall,” “agile,” and “scrum.” You should take the time to evaluate your own preferences, then compare them to your potential development company’s response. If the styles do not mesh well, then it may not be a good fit.
How do you estimate project timelines?
Project timelines are important if you have certain deadlines you would like to meet. If you don’t feel confident in the company’s ability to accommodate your specific timeline needs, you should discuss that up front. They may be able to shed light on why some types of software architecture could potentially be more time-consuming than others.
How do you handle intellectual rights?
You should establish early on who would have ownership of the intellectual property and if that ownership is to be exclusive. It’s common for custom software development companies to maintain a license for the software they produce. This way, they can use prior system elements for current or future projects.
What process do you follow to ensure you get my full requirements?
From the beginning of the project, it’s essential to convey your expectations and requirements with the development team. Accordingly, you should understand what the software development company will do to make sure they understand exactly what you’re wanting from the project. You can listen for terms such as prototyping, wireframing, and other software architecture necessities. Make sure they will check in with you during each step.
Do you have experience with similar projects?
If a company has experience in your industry and with the project you have in mind, then there will likely be less issues than one that has zero experience with either. Asking for a project portfolio is a good way to assess their capabilities, too.
Why should I work with you?
This question will offer insight into the company’s strengths, experience, and customer service. It’s a great beginner question that helps you begin cultivating a professional relationship, too.
Software Development Details
After you have learned the basics, you’ll probably have a smaller list of potential software development companies. Now it’s time to ask about the finer details.
What’s the first step you take in a project?
The company should answer this question with something that focuses on the client’s needs. Gathering the requirements should be one of the first project priorities, so any answer beyond that is grounds for concern.
How large is your development team?
Knowing the size of the team will help you assess if they can handle the magnitude of your project.
Is there potential for software updates?
It’s more cost-effective to consider product updates from the beginning. As your business grows, you may need to make changes to your software. You should make sure that the company will be able to accommodate.
What happens after product launch?
Do they offer any post-launch services or support? Issues can come up at any point after launch; you should know what the procedure is after product implementation.
Can you provide a rough cost estimate?
This is a necessary question to confirm that your financial goals for the project align. This is also a good time to ask if they are able to stick to your budget, or what might happen if they exceed the budget limitations.
Communication and Reliability
Having details on what to expect from the team and their past work can help you determine which custom software development company is the best fit. There are a few questions to ask that will assist in making the final call.
Will there be a specific point of contact?
There’s a fine line to walk with project communication. Having too little communication could delay the project, but too much from too many people can confuse the situation. You should figure out who your point of contact would be, how frequently they will check in, and other minor details.
What if things change?
Sometimes your project needs may evolve, and that’s okay. It’s best to have a plan of action in place prior to beginning the project, however. This way, you’ll know exactly who to reach out to and the type of information to provide.
Can you provide references?
Although you’ve most likely reviewed a portfolio, reaching out to a reference or two can help you understand the client’s experience at a deeper level.
It’s never a bad idea to vet the software development company you’re going to partner with– especially if it’s your first experience working with industry professionals. Whether you’re looking for assistance with APIs, software architecture, or other custom software development, our experienced team at 245TECH will gladly answer any questions. Give us a call at (865) 465-4040 to discuss your next project ideas; we have the knowledge and expertise to give you the best software development experience on the market.