Companies need to hire vendors. It might be to quickly scale up their team, fill a temporary gap, build something quicker than they can in-house, or bring new ideas to the table.
At Broadway Lab, we find that customers are looking to hire us for the latter two. They want to be innovative, and they want to move at a faster pace than they would with their existing team.
If you’re looking for a software consulting company that supplies those skills, we believe the points below are some of the key characteristics you should look for when making the purchasing decision. These traits are designed to help the client get the best results they can. As soon as possible.
Knowing what a company’s goals are at the beginning of the project is essential for success. If we’re not starting with the end in mind, there’s a chance that we get off course and don’t give the proper product guidance.
To avoid this, we’ve created a vision document that we complete with the client to create a clear direction. This allows us to identify what the client’s goals are and what success is for the product. We share the document with our team internally and it becomes our guiding light towards building the client’s product.
Too often, a vendor is a black box of an organization. The client doesn’t know who’s working on the software. If the client has communication with a representative from the vendor, but doesn’t talk to the developers, too much gets lost in translation. Clients shouldn’t have to beg for access to the people doing the work.
It’s difficult to build something great if there are too many layers of communication between the stakeholders and the people building the product.
In order to be more transparent, we offer weekly time reports, direct access to our development and design team, weekly burndown reports, and collaboration between email and slack.
Lack of transparency hurts the speed of product development. If the software consulting company is not showing the client updated work on a regular basis, then they’re likely building the wrong thing.
Business is changing more on a day to day basis. Sticking to our agile principles and our development process allows us to be flexible and to make changes when necessary.
It’s not uncommon for a client to have a meeting with a team and then need to change direction. Sometimes the change is minor. Other times, it’s a major decision.
Either way, having a flexible agreement between the client and the vendor is critical for being able to tackle changes and work on the highest priority tasks for the project.
Your business runs on systems. A lack of systems is likely to lead to a lapse in product quality, a missed feature requirement, or a critical bug that ships into production.
When you begin working with a software vendor, look for the following systems:
Are your meetings structured, and do they have a purpose? Or, are they random, fly-by-night check-ins?
Do you receive reporting on who does what throughout the week?
Are legal & finance departments clean and simple, or is it a hassle to get payment information, contracts, W-9, and other necessary documentation?
A Smooth Onboarding Process
Did you receive an onboarding document with information about the team and how you’ll be working together.
Getting started on the right foot is critical for your project. If a vendor fails to deliver early on, it will bring up caution flags as to what they’re capable of down the road.
Onboarding is a critical component of helping the client understand what to expect. Ideally, this is clearly communicated and articulated before the companies start working together.
Ultimately, a software vendor and client are aligned in goals. The vendor wants to exceed the value the client is paying for. And the client wants to get results that they may not be able to easily attain with their existing team. That’s the perfect partnership.