Custom software development is a significant investment. You need to be selective when choosing a custom software development agency. If you aren’t careful, you could have stress and problems.
These problems could include a slow turnaround time, a defective product, no future support, and poor communication. Integrating new custom software into your business model should be exciting, not stressful.
To ensure the success of your venture, you need to ask custom software questions when you are meeting with potential companies. This will give you a clear understanding of company policies and practices.
By having this information, you can enter into this relationship with confidence.
1. How will you get to know our company and our vision for this project? How will you transfer that information to building the software?
Even though you are asking the questions right now, once you hire a software development team, they should be the ones who ask you the questions. Find out the company’s strategy for understanding your company and vision for that project.
After they gather that information, find out how they use it to build the software. An experienced company will have a tried and true process for collecting the information and utilizing it to develop your software. You want to find someone who will truly understand your company and your needs.
If you are looking for a collaborative process, make sure you hire a company that wants to work with you to create the best custom software for your business.
2. Have you worked on projects similar to ours in the past?
The company should be experienced with projects similar to yours in scale, niche, or features. This will give you information about if they can handle the solutions you require.
Get into specifics and ask for more details about similar projects. How were these projects handled, and how did the company overcome any hurdles?
3. What is your technical expertise, and how many people are on your team?
Ask for qualifications, awards, reviews, and ratings. Find out about their education and team members. This information is crucial if your project is time-sensitive. The more qualified developers working on your project, the faster it can be completed.
Also, the more people working on the team, the more likely they will be able to accommodate changes or additional requests as they arise without changing the deadline.
4. What methodology will you use to develop our custom software?
A quality company will have a team ready to develop software to help you solve your business problem.
Find out what processes are used to create the software and solve potential problems. Ask what custom software project development models the company uses. A company should have a solid method that they can explain to you. Also, clarify if this process is done in person or remotely.
Ask about how tasks are delegated, meeting frequency, how much time each development phase should take, and how problems are solved.
5. What level of involvement will I have during the development process, and how will we communicate?
Some people wish to be very involved in developing their software. In contrast, others want to focus on their own work and let the software company take care of everything.
If you want to be involved, clarify your role in the process. What decisions need to be approved by you, and what can the team decide on their own?
If you want to be hands-off, discuss how often you will be needed and how often the team will send you updates.
Also, chat about communication options and the schedule for updates so that you are on the same page.
6. Who will own the rights to this software?
It’s best to clarify this point upfront. Custom software can be complex and is often integrated with existing programs. Ownership is rarely all-or-nothing. You, the developer, and any third-party vendors will need to assign ownership of various software components.
7. What is included in your contract?
It’s essential to read through a contract before signing it. If you’d like, you can consult a lawyer. The agreement should cover a variety of topics. These include:
- Terms of the contract: length of the warranty period, what the vendor will provide, and what you will provide
- Custom software project timeline
- Necessary materials
- Price breakdown and invoicing schedule
8. Can you accommodate changes?
Ask what happens if you want to make a change in the middle of development. Is there a cut-off for making changes?
Be sure to ask about the possibility of making changes in the future.
9. Can we expect long-term support from you?
Some companies feel that their part is over once they deliver the software. You want to find someone who offers post-launch support. If problems arise, the company should be available to fix them.
Also, you might want to make improvements or add new features in the future. You want to find a company that has a vested interest in your success and will be with you for the long haul.
10. Why should I hire you, and what can I expect from your company?
By the time you reach this question, you should already have a good or bad feeling about the company. This is the time to let the company speak about what sets them apart from others.
Most companies will have this speech prepared. Look for something that sounds more appealing than an elevator pitch. It should be sincere and measurable.
Benefits of Asking the Right Custom Software Questions
Custom software development is a significant investment. You don’t want to waste your money by working with an unreliable company that delivers a poorly designed product.
You deserve to find a company that cares about your success and wants to create a product that will help your business grow and thrive. When you take the time to thoroughly vet potential companies, you can find the best match for your needs. When you ask the right questions, you will understand the process and know what to expect.
When expectations are clear, the development process will be more pleasant. This also helps the finished product to meet your expectations. With new custom software, you set your business up for success and make it scalable for even more growth!