Before you begin a project with an offshore team, go through a few steps to make sure this is the right team for your requirement. Once you start working with them, you begin investing time and funds into the project so it’s best to cover your bases from the get go.
You have to do your research to make sure you know whether you are dealing with a bunch of individuals or freelancers or an actual registered company. Further, make sure these guys know what they are doing, research further to see if they were in the news or if they have received any awards in the tech scene for their work.
Most of the technologies being worked on are way passed their expiration date and will have to be refreshed soon. There are companies that are willing to develop your web portal using native PHP/MySQL and they don’t consider adding a platform like CodeIgnitor or something similar, so be alert. If you are dealing with a reputed company, they would follow the latest UX / UI trends and their development standards would match those of Apple or Google. Further, they would be implementing their web portal or backend using the MEAN stack.
Make sure the companies you are working with have their incorporation certificates which are issued by the local authorities. If you are looking for some high-end, impressive quality work, make sure the company has been around for at least 5 years and they should have about 50 apps that they worked on in that time.
The company you plan on working with needs to have a complete team and each of their members a magnificent background. Other than having developers, they should have project managers, UX designers, and the capacity to implement the apps on site. Further, they need to have quality checks and stress tests that can be executed there as well.
If you are going through work previously done by the company, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:
- How many smartphone apps have been developed by this group and are they in app stores?
- Have any of the apps made it big and received any awards?
- Are their projects relatively simple or do they have experience working with complex apps as well?
- Are they used to working with Startups or do they only work with larger, more established clients
A lot of sites have testimonials and little bits of what their clients said about the work done. Ask the team that you are working with if you can follow through with one of their clients to hear about their experience firsthand. This might not always be possible depending on the circumstance. If the company is as good as they make themselves seem, they should be more than happy to receive feedback from their clients.
Always begin your project with a well-defined minimum feature and make sure you stick to it. Be completely clear with what you want and make sure you are not swayed or tempted to add more to it as you start moving.
UX / UI Design
No matter how good the dev team might be with their development, they need to have some good user experience skills as well. When going through their portfolio, in addition to their apps have good looking interfaces, they should have great development standards too. A majority of your application, about 60%, should be about the way your users interact with it.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Find out if the team you are working with handles test driven development. Ask them the following questions:
- Do they have someone on their team handling QA (quality assurance)?
- When you were provided with the development timelines, was the time to be spent on QA included in that?
- Are the developers and the testers testing the app that they built, on actual devices that it was built for, or do they use simulators?
- Which are the versions or languages that their apps are generally created for?
- How many devices is their app built for?
- Which are the devices that the app has been built for?
If you are talking about the last deliverable being handed over, find out:
- What exactly do they provide you with?
- Do they hand over the source code as well?
- If they do, who is the actual owner of the source code?
There are very few dev shops willing to provide an actual fixed price you can work with. They usually turn to their go to answer that the product or the scope will change. However, you have to push for one since it is the only way to make sure you are within your budget the entire time and don’t go overboard.
Cost and time
When referring to any company with a bunch of developers, you have to realize that they provide a lower quote so they win the project. Once development starts, that’s when companies realize the amounts do not match, so they increase features. Make sure you go for sensible estimates in terms of the time and price and when you hear a time estimate provided, always ask how.