If you’re looking a software development company to really help your business, it’s likely you will struggle… especially if you have no IT department with previous experience to help you navigate the minefield of unethical providers.
I empathise and understand you are sick of extortionate contracts, poor quality and a general lack of confidence in their ethics and values. Well, unfortunately, a lot of companies are consciously set up in this way to take advantage of you. Below are some of the problems I have experiences in my career thus far to watch out for…
Many companies don’t have your best interests at heart or strive to achieve an end result that will truly benefit your business and actually deliver the changes you want to see. They are too quick to start work on your idea/request without challenging your assumptions and perceived outcomes and considering measures of success and potential problems or challenges along the way.
They have no interest in speaking to the people on the ground who will actually use the solution, which will usually result in a disengaged workforce being forced to use yet another one of a senior members of staffs great ideas without having any perception of what it’s like in their day to day roles.
The most important thing to them is getting granular requirements into a fixed price contract as soon as possible for you to sign, then they know they have you by the goolies!!
Whilst this may seem on the surface like they are trying to be diligent and prove they have comprehensively understood your amazing ideas with some grand plan, they know it is likely to change the moment it’s signed, and without change is unlikely to yield the outcomes your expecting… and they are unlikely to tell you that given that any change will almost certainly lead to increased costs for you!
See the honest thing would be to admit to you that they don’t have enough information at this stage to accurately estimate either the time it will take nor the result you will get at this stage. Nevertheless, they have bills to pay, so would rather gamble with your budget and hope for the best.
Companies don’t spend enough time getting under the skin of your business to understand the outcomes and talk through a realistic measure of success.
A better way…….
They need to have regular, open and honest communication with your end-users throughout the build process – this is where the real magic happens. You will have many changing needs through market demands, and without having a strong open feedback loop in place you will be left disappointed that your finished product doesn’t provide the advantage you were hoping.
Companies using “fixed price” contracts do not have the flexibility necessary to work in collaboration with you to ensure you are receiving value. Whilst this may look appealing for financial forecasting…they are bad for all…and usually only lead to pain and suffering. I beg you, do not put your staff through this nightmare, you have a choice!
A successful working partnership is one that has a flexible agreement to allows a project to breathe & evolve, with as much collaboration as is needed to achieve the desired outcome for all.