May 14, 2019
Alexandra Bohigian

Enola Labs creates custom strategy and products for mobile and web.

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In the early stages of an app development project comes the time to decide on a development partner. There is no shortage of app development companies, and your development partner will ultimately play a huge role in the success, or failure, of your project.

It is important to know the right questions to ask in order to make a decision that will lead to successful outcomes for your project. Below are 5 questions we recommend asking while in the software development company vetting process.

1. Where is your team based?

The location of a software development team will typically be a significant factor in choosing the right company. For example, you might think a team is based in the U.S. since they have an office here, but in reality, they may only leverage offshore developers. It is important to note that when the work gets sent offshore, it is likely there will be significant delays. There may also be fewer quality gates, which could result in a lot of frustration throughout the project. While offshoring is less expensive in the immediate time frame, it is important to consider long term costs if the project is not developed correctly.

If having a U.S. based team is important, ask about the specific timezones the team is able to work in. If you are based on the east coast and in talks with west coast development companies, consider how the time difference may affect communication and bring up those concerns with the companies you speak to. For example, Enola Labs is primarily based in Austin, TX, but we have people from our team in every U.S. timezone to ensure solid communication with clients.

2. What is your development process?

There are several approaches to the development of software, and each company you speak to will most likely take a unique approach. This question is important for a couple of reasons. First off, a company should be able to easily outline their typical development philosophy or methodology. If unable, this may point to inexperience within a development company or lack of organization, which you’ll want to steer clear of.

Secondly, you will want to ensure the development process aligns with your company’s needs. Think about the methodology that works best for your business and how the development company will mesh with the existing processes.

3. Have you worked on similar projects?

While no two projects are exactly the same, experience with a similar platform, mission, tool or audience can all help drive a more successful project. For example, you might look for development companies that have worked with clients in your particular industry. Or, you might be more interested in if they have created a product that will serve a similar need, such as internal applications or a customer facing product.

Ask for a portfolio so that you are able to discern what kind of solutions each development company is able to provide. Keep in mind that most project details within software development companies are confidential so details they are able to provide about a specific project may be slim. However, they should be able to speak about their approach to your specific project—based on experience—with ease.

4. How much do you communicate with clients?

It is an unfortunate reality that long lapses in communication are common in the software industry, leaving a company on edge as to when important pieces of the project will be delivered. Communication throughout a project is vital if successful outcomes are desired. Ask each development company how they communicate with clients. Think about what is important to your business, and look for development companies that are flexible about communication and are interested in a true partnership with your company throughout the project.

5. Do you offer maintenance and support post-development?

This should be a given—but you may be surprised to find out that many development companies offer zero support post product launch. Discuss maintenance and support options with each development company you are vetting to see what will be available to you. Most will offer the option to add maintenance hours to your contract to ensure your business is fully supported.

Got questions?

We have answers. Reach out to our team today to see if Enola Labs is the right fit for your project.