Finding the right partner to work with is a gargantuan task. While not just confusing, it is also time consuming. Right from the initial phase of understanding the brief to the last phase of rolling out the app, an app development partner is critical. As an entrepreneur or a businessman, there needs to be complete trust between the two parties. Imagine a scenario where the outsourced company refuses to answer queries, delays meetings, or worse still, runs away with the original idea. Nobody wants that scenario unfolding. Here are 5 key parameters to consider before selecting a mobile app partner.
This is one of the most important criteria. A commitment to a great user interface, one where the end user feels an emotional connect with the app and a sense of a ‘never-before’ experience. A good app development company must have great designers – who are committed to providing and developing such an interface. Look for a team that has already proved its aptitude with building apps that have been popular, offering a fantastic user experience and good visual design skills. You can always watch out for this attribute in apps that this company has previously developed.
Needless to say, any company that offers services and solutions as its products needs to be able to provide the best possible service to its clients. In spite of a great set of skillsets that the team may possess, nobody wants to think twice before reaching out to their partner. Soft skills are equally important, and they can be measured on how promptly they reply, how they connect with you, relationships the designer has with his/her client services manager and so on. The company may have a brilliant coder, but that would be pointless if the person taking the brief is arrogant or impatient. Service is a tricky parameter, as you don’t know how good the hotel staff are, unless you’ve stayed at the hotel. One way to work around this is to talk to people in the industry; and, if there are any hidden skeletons, you’ll find out soon enough.
“Soft skills are very important – a good relationship means a positive and open environment.”
Is the team qualified? Today, there are so many start-ups mushrooming, especially in the software field, that it is hard to tell one good firm from the other. However, qualifications become a straightforward parameter. Not merely the degree or number of degrees, of course that must count, but the quality of learning. What is this company’s hiring policy? Do they put all weightage on academics? What are the kind of skills tested at the time of interview? You would want a highly motivated team, a young team, and a team that is constantly evolving. There are several popular websites from where you can get these details. Think of it this way, you just landed yourself an interview and you are doing research about your new employer and the people you’ll be working with.
“You want a highly motivated team, a young team and a team that is constantly evolving.”
This is often an overlooked parameter. The environment in which you work must be an agile one. You do not want to work with a dull workforce. There is going to be a lot of to and fro, a lot of interaction, and expectations are going to be sky high. Whom you need is a partner who will understand your business needs fast and accurately. This is an idea you can formulate during initial interactions. Rapid development is key. In fact, fluctuations will be common and flexibility is a huge plus, along with an ability to adapt to change.
“What you need is a partner who will you understand your business needs fast, and correctly.”
If the above parameters, of good service, the right qualification, agility, flexibility and a great commitment to UI are in place, you are good to go.
While cost will be one of the ultimate deal breakers, let not your decision be skewed to this one criterion. As mentioned above, start-ups are aplenty, and hence, the demand for good designers and coders leads to tight competition even for app developers, as they struggle to retain the right talent. However, this comes at a cost. The right resources will not come cheap. Another area would be timelines, and with every client partner relationship, there needs to be a hygiene factor. Timelines are meant to be sacrosanct, and the app developer should not take these lightly. Again, talking within the industry circle will help you get a sense of who’s always late and who’s not. These qualities spread fast.
While these are key things that should be on your checklist, there are finer points that will be unique to your business/industry. Are there some parameters that we missed out? Or have you had to make a similar decision? How did you go about selecting an app development partner? We would love to know – leave a comment below.