If you’ve been in the software game for any length of time, you know that IT projects can take an unexpected turn, causing project delays, lost productivity, cost overruns, and lost revenue.

There could be a change or loss in personnel, the project could move in a different direction and require additional resources, or your customer may need something done quicker than expected.

Perhaps the project took a different shape along the way, and additional manpower outside of the current staff is needed to finish. Maybe there was an unexpected challenge with the infrastructure and external expertise is required to complete the project.

Or it’s time to make your idea come to life with a prototype, and you simply don’t know where to begin.

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So, who should you call for help when you need something done urgently but lack the expertise or resources to do it? An outside software development partner is the answer.

Unfortunately, not all software design firms are created equal. And choosing the right company can mean the difference between a project successfully completed on time and within budget to one that’s… not.

Below, you can find the key considerations to pay attention to when building your app development partnership. However, if you’re looking for more detailed information on how to choose a software development partner and avoid main pitfalls, we suggest you download our full guide.

Now, let’s move to six core aspects you need to consider to ensure a positive project outcome when vetting a potential firm:

Six Key Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Development Partner

1. Communication

Communication is crucial to the success of any project. Recent industry reports confirm that poor project communication is one of the critical challenges of outsourced software development.

To limit and prevent surprises, there should be a dedicated project manager at the firm that is available to answer your questions. This person should be comfortable speaking to both clients and developers using the business concepts and technology languages most familiar to each group.

By leveraging the talents of a skilled project manager, you can offload the otherwise daunting task of trying to explain the intricacies of your business to the developers working on your project.

A check-in protocol to show regular progress should also be in place. This will help address issues and, if necessary, allow for quick corrective action.

If the potential development partner can’t or won’t provide these services, then move on.

2. Tech Expertise

You want an app development partner that understands different types of technology and workflow scenarios. Depending on your project, it may encompass various tech tools and thus requires a certain skillset from your potential software vendor.

For example, if you’re looking to create a mobile app, you should turn to a partner with expertise in cross-platform and native app development technologies. Similarly, delivering web applications and portals involves the knowledge of appropriate tech stack to build secure and reliable backend, frontend, cloud storage, and databases.

On the other hand, when your project is to be based on specific technologies like blockchain, IoT, or AI & ML — check that your potential partner has enough experience in relevant software development.

Learn more about AI Software Types for Businesses

3. Industry Experience

Another essential moment to consider when starting a software development partnership is industry expertise. You have to make sure the company has worked with a variety of domains including yours so that they know how to handle your needs. Research the partner’s portfolio and check ratings & reviews platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, or DesignRush that help choose the right app development firm.

This step is crucial since some industry-specific projects require regulatory compliance and adherence to the core standards. Whether it is healthcare, insurance, banking, or manufacturing — they all have their technical or legal regulations and practices to meet.

Read up on HIPAA-Compliant App Development

4. Relationship

The firm you choose to build your app development partnership with should care about your company’s needs and take an interest in your company’s long-term goals. They will be working closely with you, so it is important to feel fully supported during the project.

Don’t be afraid to ask if the firm has long-term clients and what percentage of their business comes from referrals.

5. Legalities

You must be vigilant to protect your rights and intellectual property when dealing with any firm, especially those overseas. It is crucial to have your property rights secured through a contract that’s enforceable in a court of law. Firms you engage outside of the United States may not be subject to the same laws or penalties.

Take the time to build yourself a safety net and have a lawyer look over the contracts to protect your interests before moving forward and hiring a development partner.

6. Price

To prevent billing surprises, discuss not only the project but the follow-up once it’s completed. Determine if there will be any software updates that require tweaking. Consider ongoing maintenance and support needs. If not addressed, these aftercare services can pile up and result in unplanned expenses.

Shop around, compare prices and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

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Expanding a Team

Watch our webinar to unveil the tricks of onboarding a tech partner and incorporating it into the process to foster your product delivery.

So, don’t panic when a software project turns urgent. Instead, consider collaborating with a custom software development partner that can provide staff within seven days and get you back on track by offering the expertise and resources to get the job done quickly.

Velvetech has more than 20 years of app development history for various industries and has become a reliable partner for many businesses. If you’re about to approach your tech initiative or need help with running software projects, contact us and share your ideas. We are here to support you.

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