App development partner – Let’s imagine that you have a new idea which is going to hit the market so hard. The business model you are thinking about is unique and the numbers are going to grow. Or, you have a business which has already consumed the local market. And now, you want to expand your wings in other territories by making your product available to masses. In any of the above cases, what’s the plan? A mobile app? Or a web app? If you are thinking the same, then I must congratulate you because you are going in the right direction.
“But I don’t have any idea about the technical aspect of app development”, the hesitation behind this statement may have been killing so many business ideas every day. Many people don’t even try to explore their options for app development. But if you believe in your will, then this article can show you the way. There are so many freelance app developers and app development companies ready to serve you on a phone call. They will create, design and code your idea and convert it into an app.
Before you get all serious about executing your idea and moving forward to find a good app development partner, you should keep in mind the following checkpoints, which are definitely going to help you in selecting your ideal app development partner:
App development partner previous projects
Past-experience is the most obvious and a very important parameter on which you should judge a developer. You have to look at their client portfolio and the projects they have completed. Make sure they have done similar jobs to your requirements in the past successfully.
Get in touch with their previous customers and get a review on their performance. Ask them if their service was good enough or below expectations. Do not think twice before calling up anyone who will help you in finding out the viability of the vendor. After all, you will be investing your hard-earned money into the app development.
Tip: Select only those developers who have solved similar problems like yours in the past.
Effective Communication with App development partner
Effective communication is a must for so many jobs. It’s because of the clear exchange of thoughts and ideas is not possible without conversations. Since it is highly possible that you will be engaged with an offshore development company, communication becomes all the way more important. There may be language barriers, accent problems or sometimes, cultural issues.
You should hire only those developers who can understand your idea and at the same time can make you understand their thought process. We suggest you talk to the lead of the programming team with whom you are going to work actually for a longer period of time. It will demystify the whole scenario and will reduce your fear regarding miscommunications.
Tip: Try to talk to the developers directly. Choose them only if they can communicate effectively.
App development partner Technological Capability
There are many development firms and agencies, which can provide you with solutions only with the use of certain particular technologies. For example, they have expertise in android app development but do not have any idea about iOS apps. Or maybe they are great in the development of web apps but lack exposure in mobile app development.
You may find such companies useful because they will help you start your journey. But once you will start to grow and the opportunities will increase, then you will need more professional development partners. Therefore, you should select developers who have all-around capabilities, who can scale up your business using different platforms and technologies whenever required.
Tip: Choose an all-rounder. The specific technological capability will fix difficult issues that might appear.
There are different types of the methodology followed by different developers. The style of work-flow determines the kind of service you will get from them. When one starts with app development, one never has a 100% clear picture of the final product in mind. In such situations, if you want to change the direction of development midway, it becomes very difficult if the methodology is not flexible.
Basically, this differentiates the agile methodology and traditional waterfall technology. In Waterfall methodology, the development takes place in fractions to ultimately give the final product, whereas Agile methodology leads to development in phases. You can propose new ideas and modifications in every phase. Developed MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in the early phases also tells you where the development is leading.
Tip: Prefer Agile methodology over Waterfall. It gives you more control over the development process.
Work Timings and Time Zones
Working in different time zones has become a necessity in this era of globalization. You have to work with offshore professionals because they are giving you a financial benefit. Or they are really good at what they do. Or maybe both. In such cases, you should look out for the maximum overlap of working hours between your company and theirs.
If this does not happen then it will create difficulties for you. You will neither have enough time to discuss the progress. Nor will you be able to supervise the whole process. And if in your company you are the one who is in charge of the app development, then be prepared to stretch your working hours every day. So that you can make sure that the development is moving in the right direction.
Tip: Choose a company with suitable time zone and with a maximum overlap in working shifts.
Till now we have covered all the primary checks which you should do before shortlisting an app development partner. But before selecting the right partner, it is also important to set all the terms and conditions with them for the undisputed working relationship. Therefore, choose a company as your partner only if agreements on the following points have been established between you two:
NDA stands for Non-Disclosure Agreement. The biggest asset with you right from the start of your app development process is your idea. And the secrecy of this idea should be of utmost importance to you. Your development partner will know in and out of your brainchild. And do not forget, it is risky. Your idea can get leaked or can be stolen by anybody for their own benefit.
To prevent this you must sign an NDA with your partner, which would bound them to keep your idea safe and secure. The terms corresponding to the maintenance of exclusivity of your app should be clearly mentioned in the agreement. You should describe the suitable actions when the guidelines of the agreement will be violated.
Tip: Sign an NDA before proceeding with the app development process.
Budget, cost, engagement model, mode of payment, taxes, etc. All these things should be made clear upfront and on-paper. There should not be even a single point of confusion when you talk about the money with your partner. To decide on the engagement model, you first have to study your app idea thoroughly. It will make you decide whether you should go with a fixed price model or the time and price model.
You should follow a fixed price model when you are completely clear about the scope of work. In this model, you decide on a Lump Sum payment, which is a project cost. But if you are not certain about the scope, and you think that work can increase or decrease later as compared to initial estimation, then go for time and price model. It gives you flexibility in the development process and makes you pay per unit time of work.
Tip: Do in-depth research on your idea and budget. Follow a suitable engagement model.
Scope of Work
Since we talked about the scope of work in the previous paragraph, let me tell you that this is the most common reason for disputes between any client and service provider. Before you move forward with the app development with your partner, the scope of work should be clear in your mind. The second step is communication.
Your app development process should not become a going concern. It has limitations of time and budget. Therefore, discuss with your partner and set up milestones for the project roadmap to make things legit on the amount of work expected before reaching each milestone.
If in the middle of the development process, you wish to change the scope of work, then you should mention the conditions for this situation. Hence, the papers will guide you both for a smooth partnership.
Tip: Sign Requirement Understanding Document (RUD) with a clear description of the scope of work.
Ownership of Code
When it is your idea and you are paying for development, it is your right to ask for 100% ownership of the code. Unfortunately, there are many companies, which do not have a clear policy on transferring 100% ownership of the source code to the client. Here things can go clumsy if you don’t have complete ownership of the code. You will not have full rights to get the code modified, deleted or sold. Hence, it is wise to clear this right in the beginning.
Tip: Complete ownership is a must. Do not compromise with your rights even if it is cheaper.
Last, but definitely not the least, the legal requirement is your agreement on maintenance of the app. It is possible that the development company has tested your app rigorously and has given you confidence that it works perfectly fine. But you never know about the future.
You can’t be sure that the app will remain bug-free or will not crash when millions of people will start using it. Therefore, to be absolutely covered in such cases, you should opt for maintenance and support for a minimum period of time from the development partner.
Tip: You should discuss and mention the conditions on the maintenance of the app in details while preparing the contract.
Summary and Conclusion
We divided this article into majorly two parts. First was more related to the compatibility of the two parties and the second was related to the legal understanding between them. If you are not careful in choosing your development partner, you will face a lot of difficulties. If you get stuck with a wrong partner, either the app will not turn out to be similar to your idea or you will have to suffer a lot during the development process to get the desired product. Hence, do not hesitate from being very selective with your app development partner.