An external development partner for creating software
You have chosen to work with an external development partner for your next software project instead of hiring an in-house team. It’s an important choice to make. One that will become increasingly crucial as software projects become more and more part of your core business. Working together with an external partner is not always obvious. And you really need to find a good fit for the project to work out well. A number of success factors are important for the cooperation to succeed. Communication, trust and a common goal are three of the most significant factors to build a successful long-term relationship. But apart from that, the composition of the project team is very important as well.
Your development partner as part of your team
Generally, a project team is composed of profiles from both your partner's employees and your in-house employees. If your company has its own technical team, development will normally be carried out in close collaboration with your partner's developers. In addition, a mixed project team consists of project managers (or in our case customer success managers) or product owners from both your company and the software company.
It is sometimes thought that when you hire an external development partner to develop software, your company is no longer involved. On the contrary, that is not the case, especially when it’s a custom product that needs to be developed. Moreover, a mix of internal and external people brings many advantages. One of them is the direct involvement of the requesting party on a daily basis.
The importance and benefits of a mixed project team
As a software company, it is important to be a trustworthy and righteous partner for the customer. This way we create partnerships that lead to successful long-term results and, ideally, to further cooperation. But when you want to develop a product for another company it is important to form a team with the customer. There are numbers of wonderful and indispensable advantages attached to this. The most important one is that a mixed team ensures the end result will look and work the way the customer intended.
Regular contact moments
When the customer is highly involved in the project, we have ‘access’ to early feedback on the product. When you proceed with a certain idea without regular discussion, there is a great risk that the idea will deviate from what the customer originally wanted. We work the agile way, in small sprints, so we regularly check new developments with the client. This way it’s possible to intervene more quickly if one of the two parties has misunderstood something.
The big advantage here is that you’re able to deliver exactly what the customer wants. In addition, it’s often the case that the client himself is not 100% sure what the end solution needs to look like. Through close contact, we can work together towards that 100% and make adjustments during the building phase if necessary. Therefore, it is necessary that our customer succes manager is in daily contact with the customer's product owner. Good cooperation ensures excellent results.
The unique knowledge of the external development partner
As a digital innovator, we are constantly looking for the latest trends in the software sector. We learn every day. We take this knowledge with us to projects for our clients. Often, this involves specific technical skills that are not present in the customer's team. By placing our employees in a team together with the customer's employees, we can come to solutions together that would otherwise not be possible.
Mutual learning: from client to development partner
Next to this, it’s important for the client to be involved to connect the functional and professional knowledge to the technical solution. This is because the customer himself has more knowledge and experience with the sector and its specific processes. Without that context, the software solution will always miss its target and won’t be user-friendly or logical. For example, for one of our long-term customers “Brandweerzone Centrum”, we created a tablet app. Of course, we know roughly what a fire brigade does but we do not know the details of an intervention, for example. In cooperation with the fire brigade, we learned what is important here and what the needs of the brigadiers are. Therefore, the customer can always give input on what useful functionalities are, and how we can help them with a specific UI design.
Software as part of the bigger picture
Nowadays, every company uses software for their processes and systems. New software must be fitted in the right way. It is essential to keep in contact not only with the product owners but also with all other stakeholders. These stakeholders must also be part of the mixed team. From project kick-off to the end result. In order to successfully implement the software in the existing processes and systems. Even after the end result, it is important to coordinate the further course of the project. Through reports and contacts with these stakeholders, further updates are determined and a roadmap for the future is created. This roadmap determines further improvements and optimisations of the software.
These advantages provide enormous time and cost savings. For us as well as for the customer. Intensive cooperation ensures the project runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Working with an external development partner is a good way to combine and strengthen each party's capabilities. And it makes sure that the project is well-defined. This way both parties have a clear view of the agreed responsibilities and deadlines. Next to this, partnership reduces the dangerous risk of rigidity. Flexibility is very important during software development. And when you have ideas and perspectives from two parties, it is easier to pivot.
In need of an external development partner?
As you can see an a mixed project team really has some indispensable advantages attached. This summary is also far from exhaustive. When you go into business with us to develop a great software product, you can be sure that you will be involved as much as possible. Are you curious about what we as a partner have been able to do? Then be sure to read some of our projects pages!
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