Four Questions You Should be Asking your New Software Development Team

Category: software development

Written by: Leisa Redmon

Posted on: June 24, 2019

The blinders are on and you’ve developed an almost supernatural ability to block out any noise that doesn’t pertain to your company’s north star. Your business is officially running its own race: quality content has found an organic and consistent cadence, your sales team is nurturing leads and delighting customers, and your company’s culture has found a natural groove. However, we’ve seen this before and we’re sure to see it again. While the air might seem crisp and hands might be steady, there is generally always something bubbling beneath the surface. And for a lot of small and large companies alike, the devil is in the details of their software technology.

The case for investing in technology within your business is a fairly evident argument, especially as we near the last half of 2019. With over 20 different suggested software and cloud-based platforms available for businesses, it can definitely be a game of pitting the overwhelming against the overwhelming. While it’s incredible to see so many different programs, it’s no less a chore to have to sift through each one to determine which platform meets most of your needs. However, with a custom software suite, you can minimize the headache that comes with the unknown and speak directly with a team to narrow down your focus and expand your reach.

Here are our top four questions you should ask when searching for the best software development team for your company.

1. Can you tell me more about your company and the specific team I’ll be working with?

  1. This might be a loaded question and one that a lot of individuals are expecting to answer. It’s akin to the “tell me about yourself” question we’ve all undoubtedly been on the receiving end of within an interview. But actively listening for a few key takeaways will really enhance the information you’re receiving from your new potential software team. Are they telling you how long they’ve been in business and/or their areas of expertise? This will determine if they’ve learned both the hard and soft skills that come with a more seasoned business, as well as might allude to whether or not they have worked on projects similar to yours. By providing you information as to how many individuals will be working on your project, you’ll gain a better understanding of the bandwidth necessary to carry out the task you’re presenting. This helps in equalizing expectations for both parties, across the board.
2. How can I be sure your team understands my requirements and objectives?
  1. Too many partnerships have been muddied by a lack of clarity on requirements and anticipated business objectives. In order to fill in this gap, it’s important for your company to command ownership of your own expectations, and to communicate them to your potential team. Listen for clarification questions as well as keywords such as Minimum Viable Product (MVP), budget, and timeline, to name a few. These markers within your conversation will inevitably create a dialogue that reinforces you and your team are on the same page, and eager to work symbiotically towards your goals.

3. Do you have a tried-and-true process that works for your team? If so, what is it?Do-you-have-a-tried-and-true-process-that-works-for-your-team

  1. Most software teams adopt project management methodologies that streamline their software development processes. Choosing between Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall, Lean, or anything else is not only telling of leadership and organization within the development team but also a hint at the company-wide culture.

    When working on a project of high magnitude, scope, and possible price it’s important to avoid surrounding yourself with “yes men” and women. Unfortunately, the words “we have it all under control” isn’t a golden ticket scenario. Jeff Bezos once stated the importance of being “stubborn on vision” but “flexible on details.” and as such, you should expect to be involved in consistent communication with your team. Agile processes, for example, take great care and joy in prioritizing the needs of the client versus the contract; being flexible with the stakeholder, undergoing constant research, testing and retesting, and developing iteration after iteration until the client is happy with the product.

4. What’s your post-delivery game plan?

  1. Your new software development team should never leave you high and dry. In fact, it shouldn’t even be an option on their radar. Why? Because ALL new software implementations need post-launch support. The team being vetted in front of you is a team looking to be involved in a process, 100% of the way. Their collective knowledge on your project is more heavily intertwined and detailed than, perhaps, any other individual within your company. Questions will undoubtedly arise that are accompanied by mistakes, troubleshooting, and even requests for different functions – it’s the name of the new software implementation game. Be on the lookout for proactive phrases that allude to ongoing support in order to identify a team that guarantees success on your terms.

An astounding number of SaaS and cloud-based companies out there are all claiming to be the holy grail of HTML5, applications, full-service stacks, and more. And, get this...they’re all seeking your company’s business. While deciphering the best platform could be a bit of a journey, do yourself a favor by staying active in a conversation with potential software development teams, and by keeping one question close to your vest: “Is this team the right fit for me?”

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