How to choose a contractor for mobile development?
July 12, 2022
Do you know that in 2022 the mobile app market has grown significantly again? Just imagine you have a great idea to create a mobile app that should make an enormous ever-increasing profit. However, here everyone has a question: who will develop this app? And the option to ask your neighbor, the programmer, to do it seems to be good enough but doubtful. Choosing a contractor can always be risky. And making a decision will be even more difficult, especially if you have never faced the app development industry. It's exactly what we're going to get to the bottom of.
We'll probably scare you now, but the wrong choice can't only rain on your parade but generally put a stop to your idea, no matter how brilliant it may seem. An error in deciding a contractor can lead to wasted money, time and reputational damage: reviews of an unsuccessful app can go beyond the stores. Here are some steps that will help you avoid or reduce the likelihood of disappointment in picking a contractor.
Choosing a contractor is one of the issues faced in the mobile app development
Everyone knows that a team of professionals will be able to turn an idea into a ready-made workable product, with which it's possible not only to excite the market but also to gain investment. Such a team should include UI/UX designers, an experienced manager for developing the concept and coordinating the work of the entire team, front-end and back-end developers or mobile developer, a QA, an analyst, and an experienced PM who will be able to organize the work of all these specialists properly and monitor the results from the inside, as well as prevent crisis moments. Here the first issue appears, namely, the choice of a contractor for the mobile app development. One person is unlikely to cope with such a volume of diverse work, and it's simply impossible to be an expert in all these areas.
It's easier and more correct to contact a company immediately where all the necessary specialists work rather than look for and piece everyone together. Believe us, sometimes it'll be even more expensive, not to mention the problems that may arise with every specialist individually.
However, let's assume that an entrepreneur decides to deal with this issue on his/her own. The entrepreneur will have to spend time comprehending the project and realizing what specialists are needed. After that, it's necessary to find potential performers on numerous exchanges, assess their qualification level, discuss the project, conform their work and establish relationships.
Let's agree that choosing freelancers wouldn't be an entirely good idea. While working with your app, they may be unfamiliar with each other, which will complicate communication, and you'll be the only link connecting them. When choosing freelancers, you have no guarantees. As a rule, there are many risks, since they can work on several projects for various clients simultaneously. Nothing can insure you from this. Commonly in such cases, quality suffers, and they miss the deadlines. Also you'll have to issue tasks to everyone, handle the development process, transfer comments and resolve conflicts that inevitably arise between parties in the process who are working on the same team for the first time. Can you direct an orchestra? It's about the same here.
Of course, going directly to the company and fully hiring professionals for outstaffing for the project look much more expensive, but it's by no means always the case. A company where all the specialists are already in the state looks like a much preferable option. You need to tell your idea to the manager, and the team will do the rest. Furthermore, you can be sure it won't do without your participation, but you'll have to agree on the details; so that finally, you get exactly what you previously wanted. In both cases, you have to achieve the desired result, but the question is what this path will be.
What can go wrong when choosing a contractor, and how do you understand that everything is going badly with development at an early stage?
- You don't get questions. And if questions aren't asked, then it's an occasion to think. Often, customers mistakenly believe that many questions are a sign of the incompetence of the outsourcing team. In fact, the more inquiries asked, the better. Of course, these should be accurate inquiries and not simply to ask. Not a single requirements list, even the most detailed, is exhaustive.
- You are completely suspended from the process. Sure thing it's convenient, but you always need to keep your finger on the pulse, especially if you are collaborating for the first time. If the project team doesn't show intermediate results, breaks deadlines and doesn't make contact, everything is already awful. Risks can be reduced by the full immersion of the customer in the project.
- The preliminary budget calculation turns out to be totally at variance with the facts. If the project is accepted for work, it's given a high-level estimate that the customer understands the budget. The cost estimate accuracy depends on how detailed and thoughtful the customer is in the requirements list. Nobody offers you the Discovery phase or neglects it. You think it can save the budget, but unfortunately, it can't. It's both the task statement and the necessary integrations with the customer's systems. The efficiency will be better if the contractor is familiar with these systems. If they are developed on the customer's side, and there is no clear description of how they will work, the accuracy of the forecast is reduced. If the requirements list is all settled, but there are still no specifics with the budget, something goes wrong. For this, the Discovery phase is needed at the beginning of the project. Only after this and writing the documentation and specifications, you can accurately estimate the budget for the project.
- They don't offer an alternative. Customers need to hear alternative quotations if they entrusted the outsourcing team with such a way of technical expertise. Imagine the incoming situation: development didn't go according to plan. It turned out that either the deadlines have been extended, not in your favor, the budget has been overgrown, or there is no alternative to the functionality discussed earlier. An acceptable contractor will reasonably explain why this's so and offer another option for solving the customer's business concern.
Moreover, these offers can often help you save money or achieve higher rates. Literate loyal contractors, who are in tune for reputation and long-term partnership, still go to the customer with such offers, while it looks unprofitable for them in the short term. Please pay attention that it's a marker that you can work with the contractor for a long time. At the same time, the absence of such offers doesn't mean everything is rotten. Perhaps they don't just exist in your case.
How to search for a team?
The very first thing customers usually do is decide whether they will need in-house, outstaffing, outsourcing development, or even a freelancer. So let's make it clear. In-house is the formation of a team within your company. In outstaffing, an intermediary company offers you the staff, but unlike outsourcing, you manage these specialists. However, if one of the staff doesn't cope with the tasks, the outstaffing company will change it.
Outsourcing is a company that implements your project under its own control, and all processes will go inside the contractor's company. Typically, outsourcing teams execute most projects. Their review is the most diverse, there are run-in solutions in their experience, and constant involvement in the market allows them to follow the latest ideas.
The quality and content of the website of an IT company should be appropriate because it's a brand identity, face and a point of lead generation. It'll be strange if the company doesn't check it, doesn't improve it and falls short of the target. Through the site, the client can get acquainted with the portfolio of tasks of the previous clients. As the matter stands, it's also worth paying attention to how alive the resource is, whether the content is relevant and whether it corresponds to modern trends.
What to look for when picking a contractor?
First, remember to rate the development company according to the following standards. It will allow you to protect yourself from an unscrupulous contractor, not to waste money and not to get a raw product in the end.
You probably know that if developers have already made such an app, they know all traps and pitfalls and comprehend how to optimize the process. It will take into account the experience of predecessors and reduce development costs.
Pay attention to who will make the app. Some companies hire freelancers for every project. And this isn't good practice. You might be better off focusing on an already established team, don't you think? Of course, it likely won't be a large company where programmers come and go or where they're constantly "resold" but a small and professional team that looks for a suitable project. It's a guarantee that the contractors know how to work in a team, and that's the only way to achieve a worthwhile result.
Remember that people always write and talk about a reliable contractor. Reviews and video reviews on the website and social networks and participation in the ratings of mobile app developers indicate that the contractors have received recognition from customers and colleagues and know their business well.
The comments from satisfied customers speak volumes. However, you must be careful because companies can write anything on their websites and portfolios. A reference letter from a client is the best proof, and what's even better is to call and ask the client directly.
The next step will also assist you. Compare the cost the contractor wants with the price of other companies in the IT market. It will help to understand how adequately the contractors evaluate their work. As a result, you won't overpay for development and won't work with those who are ready to make an app for a suspiciously low price and, most likely, won't show the desired result.
Ponder a question: is the contractor ready to contact you to communicate with the team? Will this company provide you with access to a task tracker to estimate the time it takes to work? Will you get access to the source code? The more transparent the relationship between the customer and contractors, the more likely the product will be successful.
Pay attention to how quickly the contractor prepared a commercial offer and how fast the manager answered questions. It will definitely help to realize how the processes in the contractor's company are arranged. If you got everything at the stage of discussing the project, our best guess is that it will be clear at the development stage. However, an exact calculation can still be given only after the Discovery phase.
Checklist for choosing the right contractor
- Understanding the customer's industry and its characteristics.
- Qualification of the dedicated project manager and the team. Teamwork.
- Vendor's prior experience: cases, clients, awards.
- Ease of communication: you are on the same page.
- Interest in you as a client. Make sure the contractor is taking on your project because of great interest in working on it, not out of need.
Finally, you can face many companies on the market, but in a real sense, it can be hard to find a loyal team. As a result, there are no perfect contractors for everyone; it'll be different for everyone; it's noteworthy to feel and understand that you are in tune. Realize whether you have the same valuables and if you like this team. It's significant to feel comfortable next to the contractor, so working together will be faster and easier. We hope this algorithm will allow you to save time when choosing a contractor and release the app on time and without unforeseen situations. In turn, our company is always ready to help you!