How To: Evaluate Quality When Selecting Development Partners

Finding the perfect software development partner to handle your project is not an easy task. Even using a very thorough RFP only filters out most of your concerns if you’re not careful.

You’ve heard all the stories about projects coming in late or over budget by now. Why is that? Simply put, making valuable, purposeful software products involves more than just technical know-how. It involves using teams that know good project management, are experienced in product development. You look for partners who have great people skills and practice customer-centric behavior.

This now arises the question, how can a business find a firm that possesses these and hopefully more skills? Additionally, how to find a company that understands your industry, is able to work alongside your internal teams and management structure? And will genuinely give your company the support needed down the road?

Regardless of being tasked with a new software development RFP or having to call firms that were recommended to you or digging deep into research for your procurement team, the principles of evaluation remain the same. There is nothing more important than asking the right questions.

Define What You Need First

You can only determine the right partner after defining your own needs first. To start with, you need to evaluate the nature of your business and identify the needs that the software development process should help with to ensure the project’s success.
Knowing this process and being able to communicate it to your potential partner will help them to understand in-depth what exactly you are looking to accomplish. The more information you can share, the better. It doesn’t have to be in granular detail, a broad overview of general needs will help. Be prepared to listen though as the outsourcing partner may have high-quality suggestions that you may wish to consider.

Choosing Your Company

Do Your Research

This is generally your next step. Solid research needs to be done here. Review any material through forums, bios, platforms that would give you some insight into possible outsourcing partners. Look for credible testimonials and B2B companies that have worked with them.

This is your first search so it’s ok to keep it a bit more generic. From this list, you will be able to further filter down those service providers that meet your specific needs.

Company Longevity

You want to pick a solid partner that has a strong business acumen and is going to be in business for many years to come. This is supposed to be a partnership that would help you grow over the years helping with future projects and maintenance if needed.

Years in the business

Looking at both how a business has been run and how much they have grown in the past few years are critical to your decision making process. Knowing their strategic direction gives you a general idea on their focus and provides a good understanding of any possible changes in service offerings over the next five years that may affect your plans and goals.

The Team: Getting to Know the People

It is important to pay attention to two major things right away.

The first – partnering up with generalist style developers who specialize in software product development means working with teams who are more flexible across technologies. This type of developer will make the best use of many tools available for your project.

The second – you want to evaluate or find developers who really care about finding the smart answers and solutions to challenges in product development. This may seem basic, but it is a commitment to the project that defines software developers’ sincere involvement.

Ask about projects that turned out to be successful and each team members’ expertise and involvement in them. Ensure that all software developers assigned by the potential vendor have deep experience with the technologies to be used on your project. Using a combination of generalists and specialists brings the best of both to the project.

Budget Value

In short, cheap is cheap, it is not the best, nor is it the best value to your business. Vendors proudly announcing being the cheapest are not your best option. It is absolutely essential to find a sweet spot between the most expensive and the least expensive bids. You have to base your decision on all the major criteria important to your business and potential outcome. Price is important, but product quality, clearly defined deliverables, timelines, and good understanding of your problem are even more fundamental. Do not get fooled by cheap services and spend what the project is worth using the best value for the budget scope.

Project Specifics

Scalability

This is no longer an option. Your company must adapt when a shift in business strategy is immanent as should your partner during the project lifecycle. Ensure your potential partner can get onboard local talent quickly if/when required to contribute to the project. Having a partner with the ability to scale up or down as needed during critical stages of the project and further on with support cases is a valuable asset in decision-making.

Be open to challenges

Hiring a partner only because they’ve agreed to everything you asked for without any questions should concern you. Be open to companies that may challenge a part of the project or feature request etc. Look for potential partners who proactively point out concerns or alternative solutions to help with your problem.

Code Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance (QA) is a vital part of everything we do for your project solution. This includes End-to-End (E2E) testing on the full functionality of an application, designing and completing UATs (User Acceptance Tests) meeting all FACs (Functional Acceptance Criterias) to meticulously engineering robust API’s (Application Programming Interfaces). Simply put, our QA testing is rigorous, continuous and maintained at a high-quality to exceed the most stringent of industry benchmarks.

Our testing software is automated and completely independent from any of the code in the project software product. A major advantage of our automated testing process is that it can be used for both completed software systems and ongoing software projects in active development.

Ignite’s testing process ensures a faster regression testing phase while developing and releasing new software feature sets. This provides the development team with security and safety, enabling them to enhance and refactor existing code without breaking functionality. Any break would immediately alert the team to an E2E test failure instance.

Our automated testing process enables significantly more agile and compact timeframes between consecutive releases; which in turn, encourages teams to release more often and develop the software product much better incrementally.

Quality Commitment at Ignite

Ignite brings many years of deep technical knowledge and engineering experience. They know and understand excellence in software design and how to ensure your business receives nothing less than high-quality software development.

Ignite uses a clean software architecture design, and globally universal conventions are included.

Each project not only requires standard processes, but also customized processes defined by the project and working in line with your teams’ goals.

Ignite’s engineers maintain high technical standards when completing automated and manual testing. Rigorous code reviews are completed at each stage of the project lifecycle to make immediate adjustments when required.

This includes no code going live prior to a meticulous final code review from a clean code expert, senior developer or the CTO.

Communication is the key to any organization and Ignite proudly walks-the-walk by internally holding frequent knowledge and experience sharing events, called DevTalks. This gives all software engineers of all levels the opportunity to learn, mentor and share experiences designed to educate and motivate the team.

Ignite uses a dedicated Project Coordinator, who alongside the CTO, monitors the process and fulfillment of every project personally. They are committed to seeing project success 100% of the time.

This includes ensuring our teams are balanced and are using the most up to date development best practices, used throughout the project lifecycle, in addition to making sure all Scrum artifacts are in place.

Ignite is committed to growing each new developer from their first day with us. Every new software engineer is supported and mentored by our senior development team; years of experience is handed down over time to help them learn the nuances of real-time projects. By building quality and knowledge from day one, our engineers have proudly excelled in each project deliverable.