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5 Costly Mistakes When Hiring the Wrong Software Development Company

In 2022, even the biggest companies, such as General Motors, are switching to a software-enabled operations. In September 2021, GM announced Ultifi, an end-to-end software platform designed to unlock new vehicle experiences and connect customers’ digital lives. There isn’t any place to go other than digital through software development.

Not all businesses have the financial resources like GM to build an IT team from the ground up. Nonetheless, smaller enterprises can always outsource their software needs to a software development company. 

But before you embark on the hiring process, please know that it is not a walk in the park一if things go wrong, they will. So to save you time, effort, and money, avoid these costly mistakes when hiring a software development firm.

Costly mistakes when hiring the wrong software development company

Mistake #1 – Inaccurate time estimates

When it comes to software application development, time estimates impact the budget. That’s why estimates need to be as accurate as possible, more so that any inaccuracies would break already-tight deadlines, compromise milestones, fail scheduled launch, and generally, lose money.

Lack of proficiency usually leads to bad project estimates. So it is your responsibility to ensure that the company has a competent team who can estimate time and cost-effectively. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a project that keeps on being delayed. A project delay translates into more costs out of your digital marketing budget, whether one day or one week.

Things to ask the project team:

  • How proficient are you at estimating project time and cost?
  • What factors affect the failure to meet project deadlines?
  • Which factors contribute to the success of a project time-wise?
  • What happens if changes are introduced mid-development?
  • Will there be a specific contact person?

Mistake #2 – Neglecting user inputs

Software products are launched as an MVP or a minimum viable product, which means a mobile app, for instance, has all the basic features and functionalities. Nonetheless, conducting a usability test before launching such a product would be wise. Most software development companies have in-house testers to ensure that the product is in optimal condition. 

If not a tester (in-house, freelancer, or outsourced), another advisable tactic that ensures that the intended user will download the software is implementing user testing. User feedback can inform the friendliness of the app and help developers improve where necessary. If the developers failed to do a QA test or chose not to push for user testing, don’t expect the users to download and keep using the software.

Things to ask the project team:

  • When should QA testing start within the software development life cycle?
  • Do you have an in-house QA (quality assurance) tester?
  • Do you conduct usability and user testing?
  • How do you integrate user inputs into the final software product?

Mistake #3 – Non-verification of credentials and portfolios

Technically all software development companies would give you a list of successful projects (unless they are a start-up looking for their first project). You may easily see the list on the company website because these are understandably something they are proud of.

Such information is there for further verification. This should come easy because you can do a quick app store search for developed mobile applications and see for yourself. Your goal is to check the portfolio to ascertain their claims.

Things to ask the project team:

  • What is the edge of your software development team over other teams?
  • Which software development project are you most proud of and why?
  • What does a good portfolio look like?

Mistake #4 – Absence of documentation 

Documentation is crucial to ensure that both parties (company and client) are on the same page, whereby everyone knows the responsibilities and expectations. Oral and electronic communications are great until a major feature, function, or milestone is missed, especially when not included in the project specification. 

Furthermore, putting everything into writing helps the project owner, manager, and IT team determine worst-case scenarios. That’s while proactively preventing any mistakes that would definitely result in an additional cost for revisions or edits. 

Things to ask the project team:

  • How do you document the project?
  • What should be included in software development documentation?
  • Do you use any tools in project documentation?
  • Will we have access to these project documents?
  • Who owns the document?

Mistake #5 – Non-considering NDAs and privacy policies

A software development project involves three or more parties bound by an agreement through a contract. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are a staple in the software industry. Why not? A software application is both an intellectual property and a competitive asset. Thus, companies need to protect them at all costs.

As the client, you want to make sure that your business data will never be leaked to the public nor compromised in any way, especially given the volatile nature of the IT business. Agreements must be legally documented. 

Things to ask the project team:

  • How do you treat the confidentiality of any development project that you tackle?
  • How do you protect your client’s data? 
  • What happens if a breach of the NDA occurs? 
  • What steps are taken when there’s a violation?

Then there’s the classic mistake of considering only the development project’s cost, which is costly in itself. Why? It’s because you are already shortchanging the entire project before anything else.

These mistakes will entail financial ramifications and may risk the company’s reputation. You don’t want that to happen. You want to find a dedicated development company to see you through requirements analysis to deployment. The right company will not rip you off. 

Let the above questions guide you in choosing the right company without losing hundreds to thousands of dollars due to hiring the wrong company and people.

We, at Optimind, don’t want that to happen either. Optimind has been a software development company in the business for almost two decades now. We are open to questions, giving you the most honest and transparent answers we can provide. Talk to one of our experts today about your software development needs.

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