In my previous article, I briefly talked about how to choose an app development team. Now we’re going to further focus on hiring your very first app development team.
We’ve worked with plenty of entrepreneurs who had little experience in terms of app development and we’ve seen the typical hurdles. Knowing how to avoid them will save a lot of time (and money) both for you and the agencies you’ll talk to.
That being said, here’s our simple, streamlined list of best practices on how to pick an app development team.
1. Write down your vision
Before you go looking for developers, make sure everything is good on your end. While good teams will come with advice and ideas, they have to understand your plan first. Every ambiguity on your part can turn into a problem that needs fixing down the line.
As our associate director puts it:
While working with a dev team, you'll create:
- A very clear statement on your business goals and objectives for the app;
- A thorough list of app features, with technical details;
- Wireframes for every screen on the app;
- User stories and UX strategies;
- Documentation and explanations for everything listed above.
All of these may seem a bit intimidating, but don't panic. The agency will help you with all of them and you'll gain a lot of valuable experience.
The only aspect you need to really think about at this stage is the first bulletpoint. Know what you really want. Then of course, having a budget and a timeframe helps too.
2. Take your time, ask around(25)
We understand you might be in a hurry to stack up a team and get to work, but rushing the decision may well harm the process. There are plenty of good app development teams out there and it takes a bit of window shopping to find the best fit.
Best thing you can do is start a conversation with every team that catches your eye. They’ll be happy to chat with you - after all, you might be their next customer.
To help you get a rough idea of how the call is going to unfold, we created this neat little visual:
The sooner you know more about each aspect, the smoother the process can unfold.
After the initial talk, the agency should teach you the neccessary concepts so that you can work together towards finishing the app. Not all teams will agree to that, though. Since you're new to this whole business, we suggest going with an agency that's patient with first-time appreneurs.
Bonus advice: if possible, try to bypass the marketing & sales 'net'. Chatting with a dev or project manager means that you get to actually know the team you’ll be working with, not the polished sales pitch.
3. Search for business sense, not just programmers
If you know the basics of software development, maybe even did a few projects yourself, more power to you. That knowledge will prove very useful.
Still, the dev team will have a better understanding of how to build a successful mobile app. If not, you should look for better developers or just build the app yourself.
Anyway, look for an agency that’s dedicated to your success, not just to developing an app and getting paid. Essentially, it boils down to how interested they are in your project and how much thought they put into the research phase without you asking them.
Paul, our CEO, said it best:
You might not even know what you want or what you really need as a business owner who’s developing their first mobile app.
Look for an agency that will provide advice from the very first meeting until the app launch and even after that. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck guessing what to do next.
4. Look for quality people, not big teams
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the cause. This applies to just about anything, including mobile app development.
Building an application takes time, as Ioana explained in this article. Hiring more developers won’t necessarily speed up the process, the worst case scenario being an increased cost with little to no benefits.
Instead, you should look for talented coders, those who put in the 20% that brings 80% of the result. So when talking to an agency, don’t ask for all hands on deck. Discuss your needs with the team and try to find the perfect mix for your project.
5. Get an unbiased opinion
While we’re on the topic of sales pitches, do you know who else will give you straight, unbiased answers? The team’s previous clients.
When browsing the above-mentioned websites, carefully read the reviews. They’re a good way to learn how the devs treat their clients. Focus more on interaction, promptitude and how organized they are.
Get in contact with one of these clients so that you can fire your own questions. If the app development team does great (or terrible) work, their clients will be eager to share, maybe even show you the results.
If you're not tech-savvy, get someone who is to look over agencies' portfolios. You might end up having to pay someone to do this, but it sure beats going into the project blindly.
Knowing if you picked the right app development team
Different agencies have different processes, but you, as a customer, should have a positive experience regardless.
In the end, it all boils down to communication. Talking to them should feel easy and rewarding. You provide insight, they provide project updates, everyone’s happy and on the same page. Of course, that means a commitment on your part as well.
In closing, here’s a word of warning from Adi:
Now, being the first time you hire an app development team, you might not know all the finer details that need sorting out. No worries!😃
Get in touch with us and let's iron out the game plan together! Bright minds and bright ideas are what spark our interest, everything else can be arranged.