This is it. You have made up your mind. You are going to proceed with your first app. You already have your idea, your business plan, and your budget in mind. Furthermore, you know that this decision can scale your business!
What is also important that it will help you gain a competitive advantage. But there is a single issue. You have never done it before.
You are not the only one. Many of our clients are struggling with their first application development process. Therefore, we want to make it a little easier for you and walk you through the whole process, so you could focus on strategic decisions concerning the project to be.
To make this guide more accessible, we divided it into shorter sections, to allow you to navigate it more efficiently. Article by article, you will learn, based on deductive reasoning, what are the crucial elements in the app development process.
Pre-workshop phase - what is it?
At the very beginning, we want you to focus on the so-called pre-workshop phase. By that name, at Score we mean the entire process of selecting a software development company, that will suit the project and your objectives. In that phase, you need to be prepared to:
- Gather a lot of information
- Ask and answer many questions
- Summarize your impressions and feelings and make a final decision
Herein, we will provide you as well with useful tips, so you could avoid some common pitfalls. Our main goal here is to equip you with the necessary knowledge, so you could determine your expectations from your business partner to be and execute your goals.
How to select app development services - information gathering process
Before you choose the one and only partner among many app development companies, you need to carefully gather lots of information, including your impressions and feelings as well. But is it even possible to detect at the first glance if your potential partner is reliable? Yes, it is. Here in Score, we determined 4 key elements, based on which you can make your selection for your future partner more predictable. Elements you need to be concerned about are
- The quality of communication
- The quality of documents that are being presented and shared with you
- The work ethic and respect
- Internalization of the vision
The quality of communication
Good communication is a milestone. There is no doubt that it will affect your project. We might even venture to say that it could impact whether the app sees the daylight at all. Of course, communication is quite a subjective term. But from our experience, some ground rules can’t be ignored, by no means.
The main aspect of communication you should look at, at this stage, is basically how a potential partner acts in front of you. Software development companies should be able to answer all your questions in a way you can understand. A reliable partner should be, at the same time, proactive and make sure you are comfortable with the number of information that you are receiving.
The other important aspect of communication quality is questions asked by your partner. This is a pretty good indicator for you to see through if the people in the company know what are they doing. Remember, that it is their job to get all necessary information to push the project forward.
If it's about communication we are talking about, we can ignore channels that you were proposed to use. Ask yourself if the company provided you with enough possibilities to choose suitable communication channels? Or do they limit you with the one they are comfortable with?
Last, but not least, is the quality of e-mails and messages you are receiving from your potential partners and timing. If e-mails are written with proper attention, and you get accurate answers, this is a good sign that the company treats you with due respect. The same thing concerns being on time for scheduled meetings and responding promptly. Keep it in your thoughts that all details matter and will hit your project back during the app development process.
How it is done at Score?
- You will get all information and explanations needed. All in accessible language, understandable to all parties.
- We respect you and your time. You can be sure that we will respond to your emails and show up at scheduled meetings, on time.
- You choose suitable communication channels. Slack, Google Meetings - you name it, and we will adjust.
- We always sign NDA, before heading to the workshop phase, so all your interests will be assured.
- We will make you sure that we are passionate about your product and the only thing we care is to deliver the best possible solutions.
The quality of documents
Before we will head to the quality of produced documents, let’s just stop for a moment and discuss an NDA document. The first step, you should do before you share any paper with your potential partner is receiving and signing an NDA. Read the document carefully, and if you are not comfortable with any notations, discuss it with the other party. A software company that has this type of document gives you a signal that it is a reliable partner.
The quality of the received document can give you a better perspective of the incentives that the company has. If documents are consistent and clear, it speaks well for them. Do not hesitate as well to ask your partner to provide you with their case studies, general materials, and links to B2B rating platforms. This will all affect the overall evaluation of the company.
At this point, we should as well mention the workshop phase proposal, which you should receive from your potential partner. What should you pay attention to in the proposal? Notably, it must be understandable, regardless you have or haven’t participated in the software development project yet. Notice, that in the proposal you should find information about cost, starting date, the format of the planned session, and expected deliverables.
The work ethic and respect
Mobile application development is a complex process and success depend on many aspects. That is why we cannot underestimate the work ethic presented by a potential partner. The way people in the organization acts in stressful situations and how they handle conflicts and misunderstandings will give you a great view of their work ethic.
But respect and the ability to handle difficulties is not the only thing you should look out for in your potential partner. During the pre-workshop phase, make sure that people engaged in your project are assertive and can challenge you, to find better solutions and increase your chances to succeed.
Internalization of the vision
This term was tailored by us at Score, and we are devoted to it. What does it mean to internalize your vision? It is to make sure that all parties understand it in the same way. And by all parties, we don’t mean only people involved in the development process, but more importantly the end-user.
At Score, for example, we won't start the project until we understand what our prospect wants to do, the way he expects us to do it, and what is the unique selling proposition behind the project.
So in order, to internalize your vision, you should expect to receive several questions from senior professionals involved in project management, for example, WHAT? WHO? WHEN? WHY? Only that way, you can make sure that your vision is clear to everyone.
To learn more about the pre-workshop phase, read our next article, "Are there any right questions to ask a software development company?" click here.