Find the right team. Look for a web development company whose values and work ethic mirror your own. Check out their portfolio, past projects and client testimonials to see if it looks like you’re on the same page. Top tip – if the `app developer or software development agency you’re considering doesn’t have any of this information on show, that could be a big red flag.
Check their future goals, after all, development projects are just the beginning of a journey, and your app project will grow and require maintenance, tweaks and hopefully upscaling. Ideally, you’ll want your development team to come on this journey with you, so they should be just as interested in the future of your product as you. Check out their website, blog posts and social media to see where they’re heading, what are their future plans, predictions and new tech or software that excites them? Try and ensure it looks like you’ll all be heading in a similar direction and the next few years will be very easy.
Web projects can be complex, especially where startup business with often complicated technical requirements are involved, and all but the most simple projects will involve multiple people or even multiple teams – so it’s important to ensure that your development team or agency has the correct structure in place. Look for details of team structure – who are the key team members, how are they managed, (for example, there should be an account or project manager who reports back to you, the client, and funnels requests and amends back and forward to both parties.
Check also the way the company intend to behave at the start and end of the project. Do they begin with formal scoping processes so that everyone is clear on what’s included in a price before a single line of code is written? How will they work with you on plans for user experience and product testing? What are their after project procedures? Apart from maintenance contracts, what support is provided during and immediately pre-launch? It’s good to discuss all possibilities, from what happens if your projected user numbers are double or treble the original estimate, how will the system cope, has load balancing been discussed for high profile advertising campaigns or viral publicity etc? Nice problems for a fledgling business to have, and the competent web development agency will ensure that anomalies have been discussed and scheduled into the development where easily predictable. Choosing an agency with the right level of experience should ensure that they will be able to both predict and support high growth patterns.
The other side of this, of course, is problems, unforeseen issues and delays. These could be market or budget driven. Again, a good agency will help to anticipate and forecast, and will have robust systems and controls of their own in place to support you during any road bumps. Good planning should help to make sure that there are no surprises that solutions haven’t been scoped for and help your project to avoid scope creep. They will also help you to plan for human error, (it happens!), with systems in place for spotting common mistakes and strategies for dealing with them.