As we pointed out in our previous article, it is ok to outsource some of your MVP-related activities, or even almost all of them. Today’s market is extremely competitive. Thus, it is always likely that you are going to lack at least some success factors: be it external market expertise, coding and methodology experience, staffing and hiring capacities, scheduling, promotion, etc. So it may be reasonable to collaborate with an IT vendor, beyond any doubt.
Indeed, involving a contractor can save your time and effort. Having a source of fresh perspectives and matured experience will greatly streamline the entire process. You may argue that such a partnership incurs unnecessary costs. Well, the work costs money for sure. At the same time, one also should consider the following two factors:
– First of all, the market of IT vendors is highly competitive which means your potential contractors have no opportunity to overcharge.
– Second, if you compare their price tags with the expenses you will have to cover with exclusively in-house development processes, you will see that the first option is more cost-effective. All it takes is just doing the math: well-established vendors can offer streamlined business processes, tested methodologies, trained specialists accustomed to your tasks, and networking opportunities. You will have to pay for it. But the price will still be cheaper than making it all on your own by trial and error.
How to Choose a Vendor: Selection Criteria
The fact that you can easily outsource some portions of your work does not mean that it is easy to select a contractor. Quite the contrary: the market is incredibly dense, with numerous companies competing with each other. Correspondingly, you may be perplexed by this choice overload.
The decision you make will determine the outcome of your entire venture. And you need to take it seriously. Below, we are going to provide you with an approximate list of applicable criteria. If your prospective candidate matches them, this company can be deemed to be sufficiently reliable.
Let us be clear: the Evercode Lab team is one of these candidates. We know what we are talking about. We constantly evaluate ourselves against these very standards. Moreover, we are well-aware of the fact that our customers and leads ‘grade’ us in accordance with them too. That is why this list was put together based on our successful partnerships.
1. To begin with, examine the web-presence of a company you want to work with. Yes, it sounds like a cliche. But you will be surprised how many potential contractors fail to develop a proper website. If it looks too outdated, lacks important references and data (such must-haves as a legal name, registered address, references, and portfolio), and looks ‘messy’, your best course of action is to abandon it.
2. The second stage is all about examining vendors’ backgrounds and portfolios. Normally, if this or that company has anything to be proud of, it would readily publish a special website section specifying successful projects. The key elements to verify in this respect include:
– client name
– client representatives
If you do not find anything like that, it is a red flag and you should be cautious.
3. After that it is time to ‘scan’ clients’ reviews. There is no shortage of sites offering a chance to publish one. Also, there are two more indicators to pay attention to:
– First, it is good if you manage to find presentations delivered at meetups as well as digital footprints left by your vendors at exhibitions, conferences, and other industry events.
– Second, you should try to look at the profiles of your vendors’ employees’ on LinkedIn. A single glance at such pages can speak volumes.
4. Once you have contacted them, two more points start to be crucial. Ask them whether they are ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement with you. If they are, hurry not to start the project.
Another document of importance is a clear roadmap of project development with reasonable deadlines and goals. Remember: the good old SMART approach is never out of season. It means that all the objectives you plan need to be:
5. Your final step is to assess the transparency of their pricing policies. Learn as much as you can about the following issues:
– Their time tracking
– Their attitude to iterations and dispute resolution
– Their understanding of compelling circumstances and force majeure events
Finally, you need to answer whether you like their methodology or not. None of the modern methodologies is bad per se: be it Waterfall, Agile, Kanban, etc. However, if you and your colleagues are personally accustomed to Agile, you probably need to find a vendor with similar values.
As for us, we are always ready to share the required info with our potential customers. We know how important it is to be honest and transparent with them to secure future projects. That is why do not hesitate to look at our:
Of course, you will have many more questions to ask before starting to cooperate with us. Please, feel free to contact our team to learn more!