5 Tips For Finding A Qualified Partner For Your Custom Software Projects

When your manager comes to you with another custom software development project, you’re ready to throw up your hands. Your in-house team is overloaded with work, you’re missing deadlines and new projects are being added to your backlog every day.

If this situation sounds familiar, it may be time to consider bringing in an outside software development firm. But with hundreds — if not thousands — of vendors in the market, it’s not always easy finding a qualified partner for your custom software projects.

Choosing the right vendor is vital to completing projects on time and makes all the difference in the overall success of a project. Partner with the wrong firm, however, and the project could backfire. This may result in more work for your team and a loss of trust within your organization.

Fortunately, there are ways to find high-quality software development firms. Here are five tips to help you find a qualified partner for your custom software projects.

1. Ask For Referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most underrated ways to find a great software development firm. Happy clients are always willing to share their experiences and love referring others to their favorite vendors. Ask your professional network if anyone has worked with a software development team and find out how their specific needs were addressed.

2. Meet The Team

Whether it’s via WebEx or an in-person meeting, you need to meet and talk with key individuals in any software development firm you are considering partnering with. While you may feel confident about a company after reading about their client projects and experience that may be relevant to your needs, the most challenging element in software development is oftentimes the interpersonal challenges. Ask them about how they work with other companies and the types of challenges they see and how they overcome them. You’ll get a good sense of the company through such a meeting.

3. Find A Company With Thought Leadership

Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. When choosing a partner, look for a software development firm that is considered to be a thought leader in their industry.

Thought leaders regularly publish blogs, articles, case studies and reports. They attend industry events, keep their social media pages up-to-date and are knowledgeable about custom software development.

4. Look For Key Skills

Too often, businesses overlook key skills when bringing in a software development firm. A successful partnership requires choosing a firm that complements your in-house staff and has the skills necessary to complete custom software development projects. Here are some of the most important skills, strengths and qualities to look for when choosing a software development firm.

  • Skills:
    • A mature, agile software development process
    • Cross-functional communication and collaboration
    • Ability to define a product strategy and roadmap
    • Ability to manage project scope
    • Accurate cost estimates
  • Strengths:
    • A partnership mindset
    • Experience with similar projects and industries
    • Ability to drive innovation
    • Teamwork and cooperation
    • Listening and sharing knowledge
  • Qualities:
    • Always learning and reflective
    • A sense of urgency
    • Honesty and integrity

5. Find A Strong Cultural Fit

Finding a team with the right technical skills and background is most important when choosing a software development firm. However, almost as important is the cultural fit of your external partner.

If a vendor is a poor fit for your company’s culture, it may lead to friction between teams, long development cycles and missed deadlines. When you meet with an external software development team, get to know the people you’ll be working with. Learn their personalities, how they work best and their communication style. Finding a vendor with similar cultural and core values as you helps ensure the project runs smoothly.

Too often, businesses look for software development firms with the lowest rates or quickest turnaround times. Instead, focus on finding a vendor that has the right technical skills, thought leadership in the industry and is a good cultural fit for your business. A qualified software development firm can become a valuable strategic partner that helps you meet deadlines and produce innovative custom software.

Ready to learn more about teaming with an agile software development firm? Receive expert advice by contacting us or calling 336-245-4578 to speak with a software consultant.

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