If you are just getting quotes from different providers and choose the one with the most competitive price, then you are not doing the right thing. In this article, I try to cover all the key things you need to consider to ensure you get the best service provider on board for your next web development project..http://omate.com.au/
Are you a tech start-up looking to outsource your next web application development project? How do you ensure you outsource it to the right service provider?
If you are just getting quotes from different providers and choose the one with the most competitive price, then you are not doing the right thing. In this article, I try to cover all the key things you need to consider to ensure you get the best service provider on board for your next web development project.
1. Scope definition:
In IT outsourcing, you only get what you specified not what you meant. To make sure you get the right quote, define as much requirements as possible in written format. The clearer your requirement definitions are, the less chance your project will be over-budget. The best way to communicate your requirements is by having sketches of your application rather than trying to define everything in words. You don’t have to use Photoshop or any graphic software to draw sketches, just draw them on a paper or whiteboard, and click pictures with your smartphone. Here is an example of the requirement for the home page of a simple website.
I understand that not everyone has their requirements defined to this level of detail but if you need a fixed quote for your project and would like to complete it without any variation to the budgeted cost and time, then I am afraid that in most cases you need to define your requirements to this level of detail.
2. Researching Suppliers:
After completing your requirements/sketches, you are ready to get a quote from your selected suppliers. Make sure you sign a Non-disclosure agreement before sharing your requirements with the developer/service provider. Let’s address a common mistake in choosing suppliers. Lots of businesses just rely on google search to identify their service provider. Top search result for a company in google does not guarantee good service in any sense for that matter. Do your due diligence research not just google search. Interviews, customer references, site visits are a few key things you should look at other than cost. If you are not comfortable with conducting interviews, get help from a buddy who can. If your service provider is in a different country, see if you can find someone who can make a site visit.
Now, let’s assume you’ve sorted out the quote, customer references, and interviews. What else do you need to look at? There are many other things that affect the project quality and project delivery. Here are some key things.
3. Project tracking:
Ask the service provider whether you will be given access to their project management/quality assurance tool so that you can keep track of the progress and also correct any mistakes or misunderstanding of requirements in the beginning rather than reporting it after development
4. Development methodology:
Ask your service provider what development methodology they follow. It surprises me to see how many developers still follow a waterfall approach. Basically, the 2 main methodologies are waterfall and agile. In waterfall, emphasis is on implementation/release of entire system at once while in agile and other related methodologies, the system is released in multiple stages. Development methodology is too large a topic to cover here but the key thing you need to ensure is that you are involved throughout the development process to provide your acceptance at various stages of the project. You can read more about agile methodologies here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development
5. Browser compatibility: This is critical. You need to know the browsers and the versions the application will be tested for. Lot of service providers do not support IE7 and some do not test for safari. It’s important to understand this and manage a clear expectation with regards to which browsers and versions you want your web application to work.
6. Change requests:
90% of the time you are going to a need a change request from your initial requirements to complete the development. There is nothing wrong with it. Actually, trying to stick with the initial requirements for the sake of costs is not good. You will get clarity in many areas only as you progress and changes in the market conditions, technology trends, etc are some of the other reasons you may want to change your requirements. Don’t avoid change but clearly know how you are going to manage change during the course of development. Ask them how they handle change requests and what is their hourly rate for change requests.
Most service providers give 1 to 3 months of free support to fix any bugs in the website after the site goes live. There are few which provide free support for 1 year. Know what the duration of free support and also know how and at what rate bugs will be handled after the free support ends.
Though there are a few other things like handling ownership of code, copyrights, request response time, etc. ,I think the above 7 points covers all the key things you need to consider before selecting your service provider. Good luck with your next web application development project. If you need more help in choosing the right supplier, defining your project scope or managing your next web application development project, please feel free to check
www.OMate.com.au (or) email : firstname.lastname@example.org