Software Development Firm for Your Mobile App
Software Development Firm
Software development firm: We meet with a lot of prospective clients who have an idea for an application they want, but are just not ready to engage us yet. We want to have the most productive conversations with our prospective clients, so we thought we’d put together a helpful guide so you can get yourself prepared to meet with us.
Our process begins with a phone conversation where we ask a few key questions about your project. We don’t get into features or dig into scope at this point because a few important things trump functionality in our opinion.
Here are the first questions we will ask:
What is the project? Is there a defined need for the application? Is there a real problem or opportunity the application will address? Who has this problem?
This is extremely important, mostly for our clients. If the application you want to build does not drive business or efficiency in some way, it is unlikely that they will want to invest the time and money into the application long-term. We don’t want anyone to waste their hard-earned dollars on technology that will end up in the digital landfill. The apps we build are designed for daily use, and we want them to be well-used and well-loved. If there is no real business reason for employees or customers to use the application, the project is less likely to be successful.
Who is the product owner? How much time do you have to devote alongside a software development firm?
When we say “develop the application,” we don’t mean just coding. Developing an application takes strategy, design, business, and technical meetings. We prefer our clients to be responsive to our questions, motivated to schedule necessary meetings, quickly gather information we need, and be available to address speed bumps as they come up.
The level at which the client is engaged in the project has much to do with the success of the project. Our clients know their companies and employees well, and we know app development and technology service well. Both sides must be deeply engaged in an app build. It can’t be us pushing on our clients all the time or they’ll just get annoyed and it won’t work. Clients can’t be constantly running down the agency product manager all the time, or that just gets frustrating. Both sides of the partnership must be highly engaged.
What are your budget expectations? Are you able to support the product over the next couple years?
When we discuss budget with our prospective clients, they often don’t have a budget in mind. This tells us they’ve either not researched their idea very much or have not thought through the perceived business value of the application to know what they want to invest.
When a prospective client doesn’t want to discuss budget, it’s an indicator of how serious they are about building the app. It’s also an indicator of how engaged the product owner is. Extremely low budgets indicate a similar problem: they are unaware of the amount of work a software development firm puts in on an app.
Second to the initial budget for the project, we discuss with our prospects the investment that it takes to continue to grow and improve an app over time. Not all applications need monthly updates but some do. Some applications may be able to get by with only a few updates a year. This is a cost that needs to be planned, and we can help you set that budget.
As you evaluate your budget to determine if it is realistic, ask yourself what would it cost to hire the following professionals to build your app:
- Product Strategist
- User Interface Designer
- User Experience Designer
- Software Engineer
- Product Manager
This puts into perspective what it would take to finance the project yourself vs. the $100k you might be quoted for the project.
Next, we typically schedule an appointment for you with one of concept specialists. This helps us to give you a rough cost and timeline estimate. If this sounds right for you, we’ll get you a pinpoint estimate, get contracts together, and put your start date on the calendar.
You know you’re ready to build your app when you have answers to these questions. As a software development firm, we invest a lot of time into the ongoing refining of our agency processes. Our readiness process (as well as our other processes) make it easy for our clients to work with us. It’s easy to tell a great agency from one you probably would not want to work with by their processes. As a client, you should always feel like you are in the middle of a well-planned and well-executed process. Also, you should always know what’s next – even before you engage them.
If you are looking for a focused team of professionals who are in this for the long haul, we should chat. Give us a shout and let’s talk about your next application project.
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Ready to discuss your app idea? Please complete the form below, and a concept specialist will contact you soon to discuss your project. We are looking forward to working with you!