Software development is a challenging business area, full of potential pitfalls and elements to consider before and while working with a vendor. As it turns out, many software development companies can’t manage all of them effectively enough. In this article, we’ll show you five things you should avoid at all costs when talking and working with an external software team. And we’ll use five hypothetical software development companies to explain them.
Working with a software development company can be smooth and effective. Or it can be dreadful and time-consuming. It all depends on the approach, preparation, and expertise on both sides of the project.
Some software development companies tend to approach new projects uniformly, with no research. They seem not to value less lucrative projects, and often, they’re not upfront about potential obstacles and risks. They also don’t try to match developers and their skills to specific projects, let alone verify their work.
Of course, we’re not saying that clients are blameless. But more often than not, a lost project results directly from mistakes made by the software development company. We want to focus specifically on five of them.
So, imagine you’re looking for a trusted software development partner to help you with your IT project. You send out RFPs, and the magic begins! Here’s what typically happens next.
1st company: Uniform approach
The first company that responds seems not to be thrilled about your project. They reply with a generic response that could be sent to anyone. There are no questions (e.g., about your business goals or the target audience), and no request for additional details. And they propose one specific technology (even though you wanted something different), only because that’s something they are good at.
To support their stance, they send links to several blog posts explaining why they are the best, and what their technology stack is. And to top it all off, they urge you to make a decision quickly.
But what decision should you make? There is no clear plan and no analysis! You decide to take your business elsewhere.
2nd company: I’m sorry sir, you’re not important to us
The second company starts talking to you, and they even prepare some materials and ask a few smart questions. But it all falls apart when they discover that the budget is below their expectations.
And it’s not like you want to pay peanuts. Other companies pay even less. As a result, the conversation immediately ends. And as a goodbye, they tell you that you’re on their waitlist, and they might get back to you someday.
Let’s keep looking.
3rd company: We don’t make sales
Well, the third company hasn’t sent anything yet. Maybe they will, after all, it’s only been a month. They have too many projects and leads on their plate. They’re swamped with their current work and can barely keep up, let alone talk to someone new.
Also, there’s a certain probability that the 3rd and 2nd companies have a lot in common, and they decided that you’re just not worth their time. You won’t do any business here.
4th company: We know best!
The fourth company mainly talks. They push you to accept their tech stack and start working on your project. Again, they don’t ask any questions or clear up any doubts.
When you ask about the technology or proposed solutions, they struggle to justify them. That’s just what they’ve been doing for the past five years – what’s to discuss?
Their proposal isn’t tailored to your business goals, and their offer is simply expensive. Well, at least you have one more shot.
5th company: Errors, errors everywhere
The last company on your list makes a lot of mistakes, even during the meeting or presentation. And we’re not talking about typos. We mean substantial errors that could negatively impact the whole project and its final price.
There’s no risk analysis, no justification for their proposal. And they seem to be ignoring that fact. They focus on their alleged expertise and brag about their work. There are no other words: you simply feel put off.
The thing is, all these five hypothetical companies are based on actual software development companies. We described real situations that we witnessed ourselves. So, if at any point you thought, ‘that can’t be real!’ – well, you were wrong. Of course, the list of don’ts can be much longer, but that’s a story for another blog post.
All of that raises a valid question: What should decent software development look like?
The essence of custom software development
The good news is there is a happy ending here. Thankfully, you found the 6th company that showed something different. For starters, this company was truly engaged. They were optimistic about your project and simply curious.
Well, yes, they’re not perfect, but who is? What’s important, they did their best to understand your needs and the scope of your project. Their team could answer your questions, and if they couldn’t–they admitted it. They helped you come up with an optimal work model and considered your ideas and standpoint.
Finally, after initial research, they came up with a well-thought-out presentation and an exciting idea for the entire project. They showed you a detailed roadmap and outlined how the project would be supervised. They sounded reasonable and organized. And what’s especially important, their CTO actively took part in the whole process.
They didn’t agree with everything you said, but their reasoning was logical and justified.
Does it all seem like an idyllic vision that can’t be real? It shouldn’t. It should be the usual way every custom software development company operates.
Thankfully, there are companies like this out there. We know that because… we’re one of them! If you want to experience top-notch service and a thorough approach, drop us a line, and let’s see what we can do together!