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How to Hire a Software Development Company or 7 Mistakes to Avoid

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Freeport Metrics Team
Aug, 2022

Armed with an idea, you need a software development company able to bring your vision to life. Your goal is to hire the right team to deliver your application on time and within budget.

Finding the right software development partner can make or break your product's vision and success. Based on years of client interactions, we've observed the common pitfalls of finding the right software development firm. We've collected valuable insights about the types of expensive mistakes clients made before partnering with us. 

By reading the article, you will not only benefit from the experiences of others but reduce the risks of wasting money on projects that never meet stated goals. Avoiding these mistakes will lead you to the best design and development partner to deliver your product successfully.  

7 Mistakes Software Development Teams Make to Ruin Your Project

When seeking to outsource your project, it's easy to become entangled in fake promises. We recommend that you resist this urge. It's best to assume control and ask focused questions. To this end, we've listed mistakes to avoid. 

1. Poor Project Management Skills

Don't hire a firm that wants to begin coding before conducting the requisite discovery and project scoping to support your vision and business requirements.

Questions matter. The software development company you hire needs to understand the key points: 

  • What pains do your application address?
  • How do target users interact with your application?
  • What task(s) do they want the software to perform?

Answering these questions requires speaking with target users and applying their feedback to align with your vision and the software design.

At Freeport Metrics, we use human-centered design methodologies to create an effective digital product. In practice, our clients enthusiastically approach us with a healthy budget and a long list of features, all woven into a neatly presented business plan. After researching end users, we uncover needs and behaviors, lead discussions to prioritize requirements, and propose a more targeted project scope for reallocating the budget toward a sales and marketing effort. It gives them faster time to market as well as saving money.

2. Lack of Management Expertise

Management skill is critical to project success. The management has many moving sections, including product road mapping, cost, delivery estimates, sprint burndown charts for design and code reviews, and user acceptance testing. At Freeport Metrics, we believe that solid management skills provide insight into your project status and transparency so that there are no surprises when you see the final result. 

3. Strong Design Talent Yet No Coding Expertise or Vice Versa 

Hiring a software development firm weak in either design or technical expertise presents a risk. Today's user experience expectations demand a quality design to ensure user adoption. However, excellent design skill is insufficient by themselves to ensure software success. 

A common trap is to overspend, perfecting your design only to end up with neither a viable nor buildable product. The reverse is also true. Complete focus on technical development can yield an application full of inelegant task flows and user navigation.

A high-quality digital product depends on the development process that provides the foundation for design and coding expertise. We are focusing both on design practices and technical competence in our work. Therefore, it's crucial that the firm you hire places equal emphasis on and commitment to both.

4. No Communication after the End of the Project

Don't hire a firm that will ignore you after the contract ends. It speaks to both maintenance and knowledge transfer. Your project plan doesn't end with the product launch. A partner can help to ease the transition by providing the expertise required to ensure your application's longevity. 

It's critical to find a firm that will negotiate post-delivery cost structures and even embed members of their development team into your company to ensure on-time delivery of new features and maintenance of existing code.

5. The Lowest Prices

Don't hire a firm that offers the lowest price but lacks the appropriate technical or project management expertise. Hiring a firm based on price alone is tempting, but you want to consider many other parameters. What to mention when hiring a team? 

  • What is their level of expertise, and what experience do they have delivering quality software that meets requirements and is within budget? 
  • What is their credibility among past clients? 
  • Do they make themselves available for Q&A and review sessions? 
  • Are they accessible for in-person presentations and meetings? 

We believe people hire people and that experience and background matter. Be skeptical. Read the bios of employees. Check LinkedIn. Who have they worked for? What have they delivered? These are the people who will make or break your product, so their level of expertise matters. 

6. Unproven Technologies 

Don't hire a firm that loves developing applications using unproven technologies. Our recommendation is to avoid esoteric technologies. You'll want a well-known tech stack. If only a few people in the world can code in a particular language or technology, you may not be able to find experienced people to support your codebase later. All technologies risk obsolescence when too few developers adopt the technology. Without a critical mass of people using it, the technology dies off.

7. Low-Experience Team

Don't hire a firm that hasn't been around for a very long-stability and longevity matter. Small firms with a few freelancers agreeing to work together may lack the financial wherewithal to endure; they may not be around in a few years. Ask yourself how this will impact your long-term support and knowledge base if your development partner disappears. Be aware of a company's reputation and customer base.

Final Words 

Identifying the right software development partner to create your product is crucial to achieving your vision. Your partner must not only possess deep design and development talent, but they must also understand your business goals and offer the appropriate support to achieve them. As you peruse the vendor landscape to find your ideal software partner, remember to ask the probing questions that allow you to derive the most value from your investment. It’s better to avoid these costly mistakes.

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