There are a lot of choices out there when searching for a software development company to handle your company’s project. In a perfect world, choosing the right one would just be a matter of finding the development company whose specialty and expertise most closely matches what you’re looking to accomplish with your software.
Unfortunately, the reality is that there are a lot of developers and development firms out there who aren’t up to the task to handle bigger projects, or who are just looking to score a good contract with a client without planning or knowing how to deliver a strong product. Misleading claims of capability can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.
Here are 5 signs that you’re working with the wrong software development company and it’s time to cut ties.
One of the great things about using a third-party software development company to handle your project is that you, the client, get to decide your level of involvement in the development process. Oftentimes, clients will choose to take a back seat and let the development company’s leadership handle the majority of project oversight. Other clients choose to be more hands-on and schedule frequent regular progress check-ins.
In either situation, when the development company starts to miss check-ins or seems to perpetually want to push back meetings, those are major red flags. Once or twice is fine. Things happen. But when it becomes a regular occurrence, it’s a sign that either they’re not prioritizing your work or they’re simply unprepared to show progress. Both of these things are, of course, less than ideal.
Aside from check-in meetings, a good software development company will make their senior team available to the client to discuss and address concerns by having open communication. Software projects are often large, complex, and dynamic ideas that can change at any point within the development cycle, and lines of communication are necessary to keep the developers up to date on any changes.
If your third-party developer isn’t returning your calls or answering your emails, it’s a sign that something is wrong and that issue should be addressed immediately to save a lot of headaches down the road.
Project Cost Overruns without Approvals
When consulting with a software development company about an upcoming project, the company will usually help you arrive at a realistic budget or budget range that takes into account the scope and goals of the software. If they’re experienced, they’ll usually build in some room for unexpected circumstances that could affect costs.
So when you get the call from the developer that things are costing more than they anticipated due to no change from your end, but because of poor estimation by them early on, that means you’ve probably hired a company that was in over their head when accepting the contract for your project. That, or they’re just trying to squeeze more money out of the job. Either way, it’s a sign that things aren’t going well and, if possible, it might be time to reassess your partnership.
Lack of Portfolio and Testimonials
This is a sign that can be spotted before anybody shakes hands and a contract is decided upon. When shopping for a software development company, keep an eye out for examples of work that resembles your project, or testimonials from companies that are similar to yours.
The reality is that software development is hard work, and successful developers should be proud to show off their accomplishments. If you ask to see examples of past work and you’re met with a blank stare, that means something is amiss and perhaps you should keep shopping for a suitable contractor firm.
If a development company is making promises about your project that seem too good to be true, they almost definitely are. Over-promising is something that companies might do when they’re either too eager to land a contract or they’re overestimating their own abilities. Both of those things are bad for you, the client, because neither one results in the successful work that they’re promising to you.
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