My answer to Who are the best app developers to outsource to?
Answer by Jimmy Humby:
Do you have an app idea but don’t have the time to develop it? The prudent thing to do would be to outsource to an app development company so that you can get to the market quickly while spending the least amount of money possible.
You don’t want to end up with a team of your own developers and designers only to realize that the version one of your mobile app is not as exciting to your customers as it is to you.
While outsourcing may be the judicious thing to do, it does come with its own set of issues and challenges. Sometimes, the biggest challenge is finding the right development partner. The one way to identify the right partner is to look for a company that puts a real effort into understanding your idea before giving a quote and timeline and getting started with development.
Once you’ve identified who you will work with, the following guidelines will help you through an almost seamless and hiccup-free relationship to get your mobile app developed:
1. Make sure they understand your requirements. There is only so much time any company can spend to understand your parameters before they give you a quote. Once the project is awarded, don’t rush to get the development started. Get the company to breakdown the project into detailed specifications, which are documented along with wireframes so that it makes the job of the developer easier.
2. Make it “waterfall,” not “agile.” Technical terms here, but in effect what it means is that the more agile the development, the more your costs go up. It is in the interest of keeping the costs down and maintaining a good relationship with your development company to have absolute clarity on what you want from them. Only start the development with them once you’re sure of all the details.
3. Get timeline breakdowns. The clarity on the project also comes when your development company provides you with a detailed timeline breakdown. Request one right at the beginning and this will ensure your development partner has its entire team involved in the project. This will also help set your expectations before the development begins so that you’re not on edge at all times.
4. Get builds at intervals. Part of effective management of any project, let alone app development, is constant review of the effort to ensure the project is on the right track and is not deviating from your expectation of a completed feature/module. Set specific intervals for reviewing the build to test for the features or modules and give timely feedback so that your development partner always stays on course. Once you reach the beta stage in development, the interactivity with the development company should intensify and you should be reviewing the builds more often. Until this stage, two to three revisions should be fine.
5. Make it collaborative. Involve your development partner in the thinking process. Your partner will have far more experience, having built several apps already, and will have access to and knowledge about the many tools and options available. Your development partner will only be as excited about the app as you are when they’re a part of the product-design discussions.
It takes time to build trust, so once you know you’d like to work with a development partner, go that extra mile and take the first step in trusting them. If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?
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