Don’t Become The Next Software Development Horror Story
Every business owner’s worst nightmare: the company they hired to build their custom software solution turns out to be a disaster. Between missed deadlines, shoddy workmanship, and astronomical bills that seem to increase with each passing day, it can feel like you’re stuck in a nightmare from which there is no escape.
As a custom software development agency, we’ve helped many clients dig themselves out of some terrible situations. From mediocre builds and the oh-my-gosh-we-can’t-believe-you-paid-for-this projects, we have seen it all. While there are ways to avoid these situations altogether, sometimes you don’t realize how bad it can get until you are in the thick of it.
To help you avoid these nightmarish situations, we have put together some tips you can follow to avoid working with less-than-stellar agencies from the start. If you’re already tangled with a bad agency, check out some of our recommendations on how to gracefully bow out if you see that your project is starting to take a turn for the worse.
5 Areas You Should Double-Check
When you vet custom software development agencies, there are a few key indicators that can help you determine whether or not they will be a good fit for your project.
Check Out Their Portfolio
A reputable agency should have an extensive portfolio of custom software projects that they have worked on in the past. This will give you a good idea of their skill set and ability to deliver on complex projects.
While they may have a portfolio available on their website, you should also call the company and speak directly with an account or project manager. Get someone on the phone and request additional assets, projects, case studies or even references to call. A professional agency with nothing to hide will provide these assets and more.
Confirm Industry Experience
Another indicator of a suitable custom software development agency is whether or not they have experience in your industry. If they’ve built similar solutions for other businesses in your industry, they will likely have a good understanding of the unique challenges and complexities that come with building a custom software solution for your business.
Another tip that goes along with this one is to find a referral within your industry. Peers who have used this agency before will be a good indicator of if they are legitimate or not. See if you have friends or peers who have used this agency before and ask them for their opinions – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Peruse Their Team
How many people do they have on their team? Will you have your own point of contact or your own group of developers who will work on your project? A good custom software development agency will have a team of experienced developers, designers, and project managers who are experts in their respective fields. This ensures that your project will be handled by a group of professionals who know what they’re doing and can provide you with the best possible outcome.
Confirm The Developers Locations
When you’re vetting custom software development agencies, make sure to ask them where their employees are located. With so much of the world moving to remote work, agencies are hiring employees worldwide. If they have a team of developers in different parts of the world, that’s not necessarily bad. But if they outsource all of their projects to another country, that might be something you want to avoid. Offshore developers can be challenging regarding language barriers, delivery dates, and workmanship.
Don’t Go It Alone
If this is your first time building out an app, website, or even if you have been in the game for a while, always get a second opinion. Always consult with an expert who has undergone the process before or specializes in custom software development. Bring in a consultant or a mentor to help you and your business along the way to ensure that you’re making the best decisions for your custom software project.
What To Do If You’re In A Nightmare Situation
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of working with a custom software development agency that is less than stellar, there are some steps you can take to try and salvage the situation.
Your first step is to open up communication with the agency. Then, if there are issues with the project, immediately bring them to light so they can be addressed. Often, custom software development agencies are willing to work with their clients to resolve any issues. While this can be expensive, you can take another step to bring in an outside consultant.
If you’re working with an agency that is completely unresponsive or doesn’t seem to understand your needs, bringing in a third-party consultant or mentor into the mix can help shed some light on the situation and provide unbiased advice. In addition, a consultant might be able to get answers where you could not make any headway.
Finally, if all else fails, you can always walk away from the project. While it may be challenging to do (both financially and contractually), sometimes it’s necessary to protect your business. If a custom software development agency is not meeting your needs or delivering on its promises, it might be the best action to cut your losses and move on. If you find yourself in this situation, contact us at Flint Hills Group. We have helped many companies in your same position get back on track!
Julie Simpson is a freelance writer, SEO consultant and technology enthusiast from Lucedale, Mississippi. When not writing articles and updating websites, she can be found working on her 7-acre farm with her husband, daughters, and assortment of plants, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep.
Julie Simpson Technology Enthusiast
Julie Simpson is a freelance writer. SEO consultant and technology enthusiast from Lucedale, Mississippi. When not writing articles and updating websites, she can be found working on her 7-acre farm with her husband, daughters, and assortment of plants, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep.