When you’re looking to hire a development company to create your custom application you need to be mindful of a few of the big pitfalls that companies can fall into. With a little forethought and attention to detail, you can make sure that your company can avoid these when choosing a development company to work with.
- Hiring based purely on price.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” could not apply more to application development. If you get several quotes and one company comes in way below the others, chances are they either don’t fully understand the project or they are cutting their profits and will probably cut corners with development. A cheap price usually means the cheap code or poor service.
- Make sure you own the source code.
When it’s all said and done, make sure that you own everything that the development company did. The source code is the foundation that the application is built on and if you want to make any changes to your program in the future, either with this developer or a different one, you have to have the source code, without it there’s nothing you can do. If the developer won’t consent to release the source code, stay away from them.
- Set a firm project deadline.
If you don’t keep the developers on task and give them firm deadlines and goals throughout the development process, the project will drag on and costs will increase. Instill a sense of urgency with the developer and check in periodically to make sure they will still make the deadlines. Be sure to work with the developer to make sure the deadlines are reasonable and achievable. If the developers aren’t willing to agree to your deadlines, then you should look elsewhere.
- Don’t be too vague in the project definitions.
You know what you want your application to do, but does your developer know what you want it to do? If you give vague descriptions of what you need the program to do, the developer doesn’t know you business well enough to be able to guess about the functionality that you want in the application. But if you sit down with the developer, give them a background on your company and tell them what you want it to do in as much detail as possible, you will get the product that you’re looking for. The better you can define your application up front, the less rework the developer will have to do and the better the end product will be for your company. Most developers will want as much information up front as possible. If the developers don’t ask a lot of questions to learn more, steer clear.
- Lack of communication.
One of the biggest pitfalls that customers fall into when dealing with a development company is sitting back and assuming that everything is going well. If you don’t regularly contact the developer and get status reports, the developer could simply be working on other projects and letting yours gather virtual dust. Set weekly status meetings or conference calls so you can make sure the project is moving along, answer any questions the programmers may have, as well as be reassured that your money is being well spent. If you find that you are having trouble getting the development company to return calls or emails before you even get started then it’ll be the same way during development.