Introduction. Choosing the right company to develop your website or back office business software is not easy. . You need to be able select from a group of companies that know much more about development that you need to. . ID: 224617
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How to choose a web / bespoke development companySlide2
Choosing the right company to develop your website or back office business software is not easy.
You need to be able select from a group of companies that know much more about development that you need to.Slide3
Purpose of this Guide
a plain English guide
on how to select a development company.
It will provide you with the some of the questions you should ask. It also suggests a way to separate the wheat from the chaff.Slide4
Does the technology matter?
NoIt will be outsourcedSoftware systems are loosely coupledWe want full service including long term support
YesYou have an in-house teamWe often use contactorsWe need deep integrationWe have a defined technology stack
Experience is important, but not the sort you think.
An outsourced team need experience in:The technology they recommendThe type of problems your project has N.B. these might in a different vertical but that is okSupporting systems as well as building themSolution design not just buildA developer is ok but most systems fail due to poor designBusiness process analysis Information architecture
It’s not my first rodeoSlide7
Not all certifications are
What are the certification requirements?
Pay some moneyQualified developersCustomer feedbackSales of productWhat does certification / partner status provide?A stampAccess to high quality technical supportIncreased turnaround on support issuesTraining
Certification / partnershipsSlide8
How many people are there doing what you need?
Understand the skills you need to deliver the project and which skills they have in-house and which are contracted in.How many developers with 3 years or more experience in your chosen technology?Do they have in-house project managers?Do they have in-house testers?Do they have in-house infrastructure people?
Which is the best methodology for you?
At a high level you are choosing between Waterfall and Agile.
Choose your weapon
The question you need to answer here is this:Can you define your requirements upfront to a very high degree of accuracy?If not then choose Agile with a fixed budget.
Choose your weaponSlide11
How do they walk the walk?
Now you have chosen your methodology you must ensure that your list of suppliers practice it correctly. In Summary:Check their process overviewCheck their document templatesCheck the tools they useCheck who is responsible for what
Can they practice what they preach?Slide12
What to look for in Waterfall
Waterfall is documentation-heavy so look for example documents that go into a great deal of detail. You will need a good business analysis and information architect to understand all the challenges upfront:
Check their example PID for detail
Check their SOW for detail
Check that their test plans match the SOW
Check their project planSlide13
What to look for in Agile
Agile is not an excuse to just make it up as you go along. You need the right tools to make it work
well- the value of
agile is that it forms a basis for learning as you go along:
Check their tools for managing
Corr he’s ugly!
Meet the people that are going to deliver your project. Having a great sales person is no good for delivering work, you need a team of pros. Be wary if you get:people with big titles (don’t do real work)no one that just speaks technical (these are the people that make it happen)no project managers (they get the geeks to do it on time)
Who’s who, who really does the workSlide15
Pretty pictures do not make a software team
If what you are building is a large complex website or other front facing tools, do not choose your development team on:What the design looks likeCreative flair
Tell them what you want
In an RFT you need to be explicit in everything you want. Prerequisites are:Tender structure including all the sections, and an explanation of what each section should containList of consolidated requirementsList of company information
Request for tendersSlide19
Executive SummarySolution OverviewPoint by point response to requirementsProject processIndicative Project planTeam Short bio for each person on the projectCase studies relevant to tenderReferencesCompany InformationLast 2 years of summary accountsInsuranceCertifications
Request for tendersSlide20
Points make prizes
Tune the point scoring matrix to enable you to make an informed decision about which supplier is right for you. The company with the top score might not be the one you pick but it should be one of the top 3.
Please download the free software
developer house scoring
Feedback is really important
Before you invite any companies in for a pitch you need to feedback to them what you felt was missing in their tender document. This provides them with a chance to complete the pitch. Be clear and honest with feedback. If you want a lower price tell them, if need more information tell them. They don’t know what you are thinking!
Interviewing potential suppliersSlide22
Bargaining on what you want- be honest!
If you need a lower price tell them what it isDon’t ask them to lower their price, they will just take a bit off again and again. Cut to the chase!Be careful about pushing them to go low on price- shared risk is a much better approachPushing down the price just means they will need to reduce the costs if you push too much. Defining the objectives and creating incentives for them to deliver is a much better approach
Be honest and transparent
Once the deal is done be honest and transparent; the more honest you are with your supplier the more honest they should be with you. Create a partnership that is true and not one that is adversarial. If they don’t do this sack them and find one that will.
When the deal is doneSlide24
We hope you found this guide useful.
P.S. don’t forget to invite FelineSoft to tender