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How to Define Broad Requirements for Software Development Companies

In the last 10 years, we have spoken to hundreds of founders and business owners who needed to grow their development capabilities. Over and over again, we have heard the same question: How to find the right software development partner?
In this series, we will try to explain where to start when you’re looking for a software development partner and what you really need to look at to make sure you pick the best one for you.

But first thing’s first, before talking to potential providers you need to define your broad requirements and understand your needs. That’s what we are going to help you with in the first episode. 

So let’s start!

#1 Understand your Struggles

The first thing to do isn’t to look at the internet right away, it’s time for introspection. What are you struggling with the most? What made you look into outsourcing in the first place? What challenges do you expect the external provider to help with?

Understanding and identifying your pain points will help you better express your needs. When you talk to providers and increase the chances to receive relevant constructive answers from them right away.
  • Which areas of your business do you expect to improve?
  • Have you been looking for developers for a month without finding the talents you need?
  • Are you struggling to hire good engineers and keep them?
  • Do you want to cut costs?
  • How about technical advice? Is that something you need?
Start formulating your main issues. These pain points indicate where you will need the tech partner to help.
  • Which areas of your business do you expect to improve?
  • Have you been looking for developers for a month without finding the talents you need?
  • Are you struggling to hire good engineers and keep them?
  • Do you want to cut costs?
  • How about technical advice? Is that something you need?
Start formulating your main issues. These pain points indicate where you will need the tech partner to help.

#2 Take A Stand On These Four Criteria

Searching for the right provider can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You know what you’re looking for if you’re properly identifying your pain points as we explained before but the range of options is so vast that you just don’t know where to start.

Luckily, there’s a number of factors that you can and should evaluate to determine where your preferences lie and understand what makes one provider more suitable for your needs than another. So we are just going to give you four general questions here to help you get started and trigger reflection on some important factors to consider.

What collaboration and engagement model do you want?

Not two business partnerships are the same, Outsourcing is a strategic choice not a simple handoff of duties to a third party. Take the time to describe how you envision the collaboration.
Are you looking for a simple staff augmentation company that only provides the strict resources you need or one that does understand the software development industry and can act as a business partner with more substantial involvement in your project?

Are you looking for help on a short term project or do you want to build a solid partnership with a provider who supplies a dedicated team for the long run?

What technologies do you need them to cover?

Make sure you pick professionals who are knowledgeable about the technologies you’re working with, that way you know they have senior engineers who master your particular technology and can help raise the bar on many levels. You also ensure that they’re able to fill in the gap in your team in case someone leaves.

Where do you want your partner to be located?

If you look only at the price tag, well obviously you’ll want to outsource in the cheapest country but believe me that would be a big mistake. The country where you decide to outsource is not just about saving a buck it will also determine:
  • The Time zone: If teams have to work together during the day, overlapping time zones such as Australian companies outsourcing to Vietnam, makes it a lot easier.

  • Cultural accessibility: You need to genuinely understand each other and we are not just talking about speaking the same language here we are talking about clear communication, common values and transparency.
  • The Time zone: If teams have to work together during the day, overlapping time zones such as Australian companies outsourcing to Vietnam, makes it a lot easier.
  • Cultural accessibility: You need to genuinely understand each other and we are not just talking about speaking the same language here we are talking about clear communication, common values and transparency.

What company structure are you targeting and What do you expect from the people behind it?

In most cases, you want to partner with a company that is big enough to accommodate your needs fast with a wide talent pool but small enough to still care about you and guarantee easy access to their top management if ever things don’t go the way you want.

In our opinion, as an entrepreneur, it’s maybe one of the most important things, especially when you want to entrust them with an important part of your business, to be able to get to know the people behind the company, their background and their experience. There’s nothing more painful than being stuck in the maze of hierarchy.
The bottom line is defining the broad requirements and needs is the number one step to take when you’re looking for a software development partner. Take the time to answer these questions for yourself, understand what you truly expect from this relationship is specific and it will be a lot easier going forward.
We will dedicate the next episode to the actual research work and how to make it as effective as possible. Follow us not to miss this article.
We are EZtek. We provide software development, UI/ UX design and testing services to top brands worldwide.
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