The fun of Entrepreneurship is in the journey we endure.
I have been in the IT industry for quite some time now and have worked with more than a dozen of IT companies. Hence, I had the privilege to watch how things work from the other side of the phone. Consider this article as the magician trying to reveal his tricks. Website and Mobile Application is the necessity in today’s world, however, finding the right tech team could prove to be rather challenging for founders.
I have sent the project complete before time and I have seen the 2-month projects take a year to complete. Trust me, a single-company-fits-all model doesn’t work in IT. For every need, the right fit for the IT company “may” vary. Majorly, because of company’s past experience, current state or because of the founder’s position. Nonetheless, there are ways to help you figure out if the company you are planning to hire is the right for your idea or not.
Below mentioned 5 points are completely non-technical way of finding out if the particular IT company is the right fit for you and your idea or not.
Hire a company based on the person you are interacting with not on the company image that you carry:
It is probably the most important part for you to understand.
Your manager/POC is the person you will be interacting with for the rest of the project so make sure to go ahead only if you like his way of working OR request the higher management for change of manager.
It does not matter how great the company is or what all have they achieved. Your project will be handled by a handful of them, not all. If those handfuls don’t give you the right feel then chances are high that you will end up being unsatisfied.
Filtering the companies on the basis of their reputation may be a good initial filter. Nonetheless, in order to finalize the company from a list of final 5 filtered IT companies you have to focus more on the minute details then the IT company’s reputation.
Does your Manager understands your idea? :
Let’s say you liked your Manager/POC, he is hilarious and connects really well with you BUT does he connects equally well with your project idea?
Do these things intentionally:
- Don’t give the complete detail on the first go:
Give the top level information about your idea to the manager. Over the period of time, you would have definitely spotted some loop-holes. You might even be confused about some technical work-flow of a functionality. And, if the company is the right fit for you, your manager should be able to solve it for you. BUT, you need not tell him about your research. Let your manager figure out what is missing and come back to you. It will show how experienced he is and how well does he understand your idea.
- Hide the critical/tricky points:
The minute technicalities are the crux of any IT project. And every good company would ask you a thousand questions before sending you the quote. There must be some feature with alternate effects or some tricky condition which you might have spotted. Now is the chance for your manager to prove his mettle.
You probably would have to indulge in lot more calls and would have to do multiple explanations of the same point. Just be patient to see if he is able to figure it out, however, if he can’t you better be rethinking your options.
It is better to spend some time making the right decision than to rush into starting the project with the wrong IT partner and then regret the decision after having spent few months and your hard earned money
- His suggestions will be your guiding angel:
One thing that comes naturally with experience to project manager is the market visibility for the latest trend. The sign to see if the company takes your startup as their own baby or not is the number of questions they ask and the suggestions they come up with. A good company would ask for a reason behind every functionality. Moreover, they would even come up with some new features that you wouldn’t have thought of.
Your Manager should pro-actively come up with the innovative trends and features that will enhance your idea’s effectiveness.
What the company has done in past is good but what can they do for you is what really matters.
The first thing any company shares with you is their portfolio (a lot of time, fake and irrelevant). Kudos to the company for doing a good job in the past, then again lot of things matter:
- Maybe that rockstar developer/manager has left,
- Maybe it was long back,
- Maybe the technology was not as good,
Just a “Maybe” who knows what all has changed since the time they did the project in their portfolio. Nonetheless, what matters is what can they do now.
Don’t make your decision be completely based on the past of the company. Try to find their current stage and usefulness. Ask the company to find some reference websites and features that they would like to incorporate into your website. Take at least 2 weeks time before finalizing a deal or making any commitments.
Are they meeting the deadlines for meeting, documentation, reverts?
Timely delivery is a more like a habit rather than a process if they are obedient from day one they will keep their promise and stay true to their words. Intentionally, set more meetings by specifying a particular time. Give then some task and confirm a date by which they would return back to you.
A more concrete way would be to give them a small paid part of your project like documentation, wireframing, designing or any anything else. This would put their claims to a good test. Moreover, you would also be sure of the quality of their work. This will help you in setting up the right expectations.
What tools do they use for Project Management.
Transparency and daily status updates are a very important part of the client to track and manage the projects. And a good company will facilitate its client with ways to easily manage and track the project remotely. Imagine the pain or insecurity of not knowing the current stage of the work or having to do multiple emails to ask your manager about the current stage. </br />
Some good tools for non-techs are BaseCamp, and Zoho
Hope this article helps you in finding the right fit IT partner for your idea. The idea for the founders is like their baby and it deserves to be treated with equal care.
All the best, let’s improve the startup success rate by making more informed decisions