How to choose a right partner for developing an app, what to look at
04 June 2016
When you want to penetrate the market of mobile app development as a business, you must locate the right developer. App development is a rewarding and lucrative business. The world is packed with capable developers that lack the means to support marketing and monetizing.
Perhaps you are a capable developer yourself equipped with the technical knowledge and skills to create the perfect app, in which case you are looking for an app development partnership to take your ideas of developing an app and turn them into a profitable business.
There is no perfect recipe for finding an app partner either as a business or as a developer. Potential app development partners are usually looking at two aspects of development companies/individuals: skills and expertise and execution time, both of which are essential.
As far as expertise goes, potential app partners may look for specialized skills that match their internal system or for a completely new skills’ set, depending on each case. Execution time, another focal point, is as key to a successful app development partnership as is expertise.
Where to find app development partners? More importantly, is there a framework that allows you to find the perfect partner for developing an app that is well released onto the market? Yes, there is! Here are 6 criteria to consider that will help you pick your ideal app partner:
1. Define Your Needs Clearly
The first step when developing an app with a partner is defining your needs and expectations, and the first question is: what do you want? Are looking for a cross-platform app that can run on as many as all existing platforms, or on as few as two platforms?
Do you need a multi-architecture app that is compatible with native, web, and hybrid mobile apps? Are you looking for offline support for mobile apps, i.e., the ability that allows the app to react in style to the lack of connectivity?
Perhaps, you are looking for support across the lifespan of an app or for integrating the app into your company’s backend systems? When you decide what you need, you must fully comprehend how your resolution will affect the end-product as far as feel, look, functionality.
As you answer these questions, you get to decide whether you need a mobile website or a mobile app. Developing an app is not as simple as it may seem at first glance, but it’s not the most challenging thing in the world either. You need to look in detail at the whole picture.
And that is not all. You may need to consider RMAD tools to be used by the team, standards used for app development, i.e., CSS3, HTML5, etc., cloud services for data analysis, notifications, etc. There are many aspects to consider, and none should be neglected.
Other things to pay heed to the way your app partner interacts with other participants in the app development arena and market. Solid connections to third-party organizations may boost the capabilities of an app and are always considered an asset.
With your list of requirements all figured out, you can proceed to the next step. You can keep the list to yourself and refer to it as you are looking for a partner or you can share it, and potential partners can see for themselves if they can meet your requirements.
2. Check References and Track Record
It is imperative that you check the track record of your potential app partner. They may say they have what it takes to do what you need to be done, but can they prove it? So, yes, you can’t skip the step of reference checking. If they say they can do it, it doesn’t mean they can.
Experience in the field is also essential, but it may not be as relevant when you are looking at developing an app that is revolutionizing in every respect. What could you use as a reference if it hasn’t been done before? Sector experience is important, but only for typical projects.
However, an app partner who boasts a record of managing projects as complex or as large as yours is indeed a partner to be taken seriously. It is here that you are allowed to dig as deep as you feel you need to dig until you find what you are looking for.
3. Investigate People and Set of Skills
People are at the core of any project that involves developing an app. You can’t do without a harmonious team that has the right skills and works well together. So, yes, explore the skills and expertise of the people who will work with your app development team and make sure they do have the knowledge and skills they boast to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Skills to pay attention to include user experience design skills, ability to synchronize large data quantities safely, ability to work well with the rest of the team, ability to communicate clearly, and focus on talent acquisition and the latest devices, operating systems, and toolsets.
4. Their Vision is Your Vision
Unfortunately, you can’t use evidence-based solutions to check whether your potential app partners share the same vision. It’s not like cross-checking references or digging into their track record. You may have to trust your instinct with that.
However, you can still assess your potential partner’s ability to challenge you and thus improve the outcomes. The ideal partner should offer more than a nicely packed set of skills and knowledge and should visualize your idea based on the desired results.
5. Agile on All Fronts
You should be looking for Agile product development partners who can deliver fast results through a team comprising of flexible, adaptable members that respond quickly to change, i.e., your evolving needs and requirements as the project moves forward.
You don’t need an app partner with a mass-production style. You need to be developing an app alongside a team that understands the concept of customization with the aim to align the new app with your technological capacities, business objectives, and market conditions.
Another aspect where the agility of your potential partner is crucial is their ability to focus on developing an app that can adapt quickly to the fast-paced, fluctuating mobile era. A smart mobile app will take advantage of sudden changes and not collapse under pressure.
Agility matters when it comes to delivering solutions in a rapid sequence, whether it involves drawing visuals, coding in short sprints, and prototyping across different stages of product development, which will allocate time for the app to be honed to perfection.
6. Strategy Complements Expertise
The most valued partners when developing an app in the fast-paced mobile ecosystem are great strategic planners. Strategy governs their design and technological decisions as they understand that an app is an investment that needs to generate income, directly or indirectly.
You need for your ideal app partner to focus on fully understanding your needs to develop an app that is in line with your business goals. They need to discover what you want and strategically plan the development of an app that best reflects what you want and what you need.
Such an app partner will even challenge you on critical features with the whole purpose of improving the results, brainstorming, planning, and applying the best ideas as the product development process moves from one stage to another and ultimately reaches the end.
Armed with the information presented here, you can outline a clearer picture of what you want and what you need from a project that entails developing an app. It is now time to take the next step and identify the developer or developer team that you need. Here are three places to start your search:
1. Online. The virtual world is a limitless source of inspiration and information, and you can probably find the ideal app partner for your needs there. There are some reliable resources that you can use, include FounderDating or CoFounderslab.
2. Friends. Your friends and acquaintances may work in the field themselves or may know someone who knows someone who is a developer. However, a team can grant access to more specialists as opposed to an individual developer.
3. IT Community. Attending meetings and workshops in the IT community may also reveal sources that you haven’t considered. It can help you learn more about the field and also build relationships that can yield reliable information and help you find the right developer.