It is difficult to hire app development company. With so many similar app development shops, it becomes super complicated to choose one. In this article, I will write about all the engagement models available and factors that you need to consider while talking to a potential partner.
First, you need to know about all the different engagement models that you can opt for. Many agencies will offer services like Remote Staffing, Complete Product Development, and Onsite Engagement. The services can include all or individual service like Design, Coding, Prototyping/Wire-framing, Maintenance, and Product Marketing.
With Remote Staffing, you have a virtual team in place, where you can utilize the services of dedicated coders. This mechanism gives you the complete autonomy over the team, and you can monitor the progress of every resource. This model works well for clients that already have a good technical background and will rely on their project management skills.
With Onsite Engagement, you will get the team visiting your facilities and working along with your team to build the product.
Outsourcing complete development works well for clients that are either developing projects from scratch or giving away a part of development work. At times, the development work is a side project that they are planning to build.
No matter which engagement model you choose, knowing about the App Development Process, should help in making the decision. So, it’s a must to know about all the stages involved in app development to discuss with the potential partners.
Now, let’s discuss the factors that you should consider while picking up the development agency.
Before you start discussing or sharing your idea with the team, it’s crucial that you make sure that you protect your IP (intellectual property). Signing an NDA is a good practice, as this will give you the confidence and assurance that your idea is safeguarded.
Also, do ask about the mechanism in place for idea protection. This might include asking them about their agreements with their employees, so you know that someone from their company cannot steal your idea.
Before getting into any agreement, go through their work. You should use their products and get the idea of their skills. Once satisfied, then you should progress with discussing your idea and so on.
Many agencies will also facilitate you to talk to their clients for references. If possible, ask them for few clients’ testimonials and talk to them. It will give you a very good indication of their prior work assignments. While talking to their clients, do ask for their process, the positives, the negatives, their availability, and support.
Warranty and Support
One of the most important considerations for you and any development agency is the involvement after the product goes live. Most of the companies would provide a warranty period, where you can test and explore the product and in case of bugs.
So, you need to inquire about their warranty and support process.
Companies will charge for the support of the product once the warranty period is over. Do discuss the charges and scope of the maintenance in detail.
Don’t expect the agency to build new features for you during the support period. Define the scale and scope of support work in detail.
Complete product development is a complex project management task. For example, a good solution architect can get your app developed efficiently by building independent modules in parallel. He/she will identify roadblocks and bottlenecks to the project early on and notify you and fix those.
So, it’s an essential task for you to know about their project management and the solution architect in charge. Getting more and more insights into their development process will give you the confidence to choose the best one.
Milestones and Payment Schedule
Determine the payment schedule in the beginning. Please tie all the payments to an actual outcome. This mechanism gives both parties clarity about the timelines and deliverables.
Choosing the right communication tools is a key to any project success. The agency might be using Jira or some specialized communication tool to talk amongst themselves. These options might not be the best one for non-technical users. So, it’s better to determine the tool that you will use for communication.
Email is slow and can easily cause a delay in communication. Skype, Slack, and Trello are better tools for communication. Use tools that both the parties are comfortable communicating and updating on. These tools, if updated properly by the agency, will give you a clear picture of the work.
Another way to stay updated about the work is to hold weekly or bi-weekly calls with the project manager at the development agency. This will give you a mechanism to understand the progress made so far; also it will keep the team developing your project, accountable.
If you are bringing in your idea and have hired an agency for the entire process of designing, development, and deployment, make sure that you are available for the feedback at every critical milestone and stage of the project.
For this to work smoothly, ask the agency about all the major milestones during the app development stage. Once the milestone is hit, get involved and be ready to share feedback. This kind of involvement will save you and the agency a lot of hassle.
Remember, it’s a bad practice idea to look only at the finished product and not during the steps in between.
No one likes surprises. To avoid surprises, try to learn and understand the process yourself. Get most of it outlined on paper, set measurable milestones, and then be involved with every step.
To learn more, talk to us, App2Dev.