The Best Questions to Ask Software Development Companies

Posted by Sam Toole on Jan 13, 2016 11:23:28 AM

Whether you’ve hired a software development company before or it’s your first time it can be difficult to sort through the development options. As you start to reach out to different companies, there are often unknowns and uncertainties that are not apparent at first glance (similar to the act of developing software). So how do you find the best company for your needs and eliminate uncertainty?

This, of course, depends on what you are building, your timeline, your preferred software process, your access to capital, and a variety of other factors. Even if you have a clear understanding of your needs, I’ve seen many people struggle with the process during my time at Intrepid.

To help find the right partner for your company I’ve compiled a list of comprehensive questions that will help parse out the differences between companies and ultimately, help lead to a better engagement:

 

Development Capabilities:

  • Describe your development capabilities (ex. iOS/Android/Ruby). How big is each team?
  • Where are your teams located?
  • Do you work with contractors and partners?
  • How do you evaluate a client’s technology landscape? If we have existing frameworks and APIs how do you evaluate and integrate with themthese?
  • Can you send a code sample?

 

Strategy & Design Capabilities:

  • Describe your strategy and design capabilities.
  • How big is each team?
  • How is the design team structured?
  • Where are your teams located?
  • How do you evaluate a client’s current strategy, identify key business goals, and create consensus?
  • If we have existing brand guidelines how do you integrate with these?
  • Explain your design methodology. Explain how you engage with clients throughout the process to ensure a successful engagement.
  • What processes do you employ?
  • What design tools and software do your designers use?
  • What inspires your UX/UI decisions during the engagement?

 

Development Engagement Model:

  • Explain how you typically engage with clients. What is your preferred method of engagement?
  • What is the cadence of communication and what tools will you use? Can we be integrated into these systems?
  • What is the mix of personnel that would work on the project? E.g. development, design, project management, QA.
  • Explain your development methodology. Explain how you engage with clients throughout the process to ensure a successful engagement.
  • Explain your QA process.
  • Explain your methodology for on-going maintenance of deployed software.
  • How would you keep us aware of your progress? On both a technical and design side.
  • What is the average team size?
  • How quickly can you ramp up additional resources?
  • How will the code be delivered at the conclusion of the project?

 

Software Estimation:

  • How does your team typically estimate the cost and time to build software?
  • In general, how accurate are your estimates?

 

Portfolio and Past Work:

  • Give relevant examples from your portfolio, and include an explanation of the initiative and details of your involvement (design, strategy, development, team size, technology leveraged, length of project).
  • How did your past client’s measure success?

 

Rates:

  • What are your rates?
  • What is your billing structure? E.g. weekly, hourly, fixed?
  • Will there be any additional costs?

 

Company Info:

  • Give us a description of your company and business model.
  • What is the history of the company?
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What sort of customers do you normally work with?
  • How big is the company?
  • Where are your headquarters and other offices located? How big is each office and what are the specific competencies?

 

If you have any other great questions that you think should be added to the list, please send them my way! Feel free to email me: Sam@intrepid.io

Topics: Mobile

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About Intrepid

Founded in 2010, Intrepid is an end-to-end mobile design and development company with offices in Cambridge, MA and NYC. With expertise in insightful product strategy, well-crafted design and proficient development for iOS, Android, Back-End and Rails, we help companies, from startup to enterprise, boldly navigate their mobile future.

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