Our last article covered part of the pre-workshop phase called “Information gathering", which is the first article in our series that aims to make a software development process more understandable.
If you haven't read it, and you would like to find out how to choose the best app development company, click here.
In this part, we are going to watch closely what type of questions you should expect to hear from app development companies. And even if it sounds quite trivial, trust us that this will help you to look at your potential partner from a different perspective and assess if one can be trusted.
The essence of asking questions by a software development agency
Why should you listen to and analyze questions that you were asked by an app development company in the first place? It is not because you should answer these questions immediately. Moreover, you don't need to know the answers right away. It's not the goal. The goal here is to know if the mobile app development partner knows what one's doing, and even more important if one is willing to really internalize your vision. And they can't manage to do that without asking different kinds of questions concerning your needs, your vision, and the expected outcome of your cooperation.
Let's make it clear. You and your potential partner have different starting blocks. You already have had your vision and expectations. An app development company has yet to discover and understand them.
What type of questions you should hear from an app development company?
Now you know why questions can make such a difference in the development process of your future app. At Score from our experience, we know how an agency's inquisitiveness, can affect communication and the outcome of your project. So to avoid dealing with an unprofessional or inexperienced business partner, we have prepared for you a group of questions that you should hear during the pre-workshop phase. Questions should relate to:
- product itself
- technical aspects of the project
- the business side of the project
Below, we will look closer at each of them, so you could get a better perspective of what to expect.
Product questions should provide your potential partner with all information that they need to better understand your vision. As we mentioned before, you need to internalize your vision, and you can achieve that only by sharing all crucial information about the project. At this point, you can expect questions about your incentives to build an application. Why have you decided to invest in that project? Is it important to your company to increase sales, or do you want to gain a competitive advantage? What is the value proposition for the end-user? How it is different from many other products available on the web or mobile devices? What type of problems will it solve? Who is the end-user of your product? Is it a business client or an individual?
Questions about the product will help the development company to better understand your expectations and internalize your vision, as we mentioned before. And that's the key to creating the app you've been dreaming of.
Technical questions are a tough one for business people, but at the same time essential to enhance your application launch and increase the likelihood of product success. So be prepared that the team will challenge you with some technical queries. And even if you won't be able to answer them in the first place, don't get intimidated because of that. Experienced and mature senior professionals will make you feel comfortable, even if you haven't participated in the application development process yet. You can expect that they will explain to you all the unclear aspects, so you could think them through, and if it's possible to discuss them with your technical advisor.
Questions that you will receive will vary on the specific project you want to realize. Well, at least it should be like that. For example, if you bring to the app development agency an iOS project, then you shouldn't hear questions about Android solutions. And if you do, well that should alert you immediately.
A technical question, at this point, should cover the platform you want to use (mobile or web), operating system (iOS, Android, etc.) where the application is going to run (local server or the cloud), and your preferred technology stack.
An experienced software development agency will get to the business point with you and will ask about your budget first. And even if that sounds harsh at the beginning, it makes a lot of sense for both parties. We know that you don't want to disclose everything because you think it might weaken your negotiation position. But the partner needs to know If you are a match and if it is realistic to build the software within your budget. Think about it from this perspective: if from the beginning it is beyond your reach, you should not spend a dollar before you figure it out.
The truth about the market is that you could develop a brilliant product, but still haven't got many users. Why? Most of the cases because you haven't given them a chance to know it. This is a sad but true reality. And where does this bring us according to software development company cooperation? An experienced partner will be interested in discovering your marketing strategy by asking right questions. For example:
- Who’s your user persona?
- Who is your competition?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your product?
- Which channels are you planning to use to reach potential users?
- Do you have a post-launch marketing plan?
You need to remember that you and your partner have the same goal - a successful product launch on the market. And you can achieve that only by close cooperation in all fields.
In the next part, we will get to the "health check", which is a framework to help you assess if all the prerequisites for a successful workshop are in place.