Software development partnerships have become a big part of the digital product industry. Companies realize just how important it is to develop relationships with other businesses to enhance their own products, grow their customer base, and stay up-to-date on trends in technology.
But what steps can you take as a digital product brand to get more out of your software development partnership? We're going to discuss that below.
Regular Communication & Accountability
Weekly check-ins and monthly meetings, with feedback on the previous period's accomplishments, as well as goals for the next month, are a great way of staying on top of your software development partnership. Doing this helps ensure that deadlines are met, deliverables meet your expectations, and both parties remain informed during all stages of the process. Once you've established these accountability rituals with your software development partners, it will be easier to get more value out of each of your engagements.
Set Goals & Milestones
It's essential to have a clear vision, measurable timelines, and milestones when building a new software development partnership. This gives both parties a unified understanding of all objectives, how to achieve them, and the accountability they’re associated with.
You should establish regular meetings with goals that are achievable within smaller sprints throughout the year, as well as longer-term objectives. These meeting times will allow both parties an opportunity to share the progress they have made towards each goal or milestone and adjust accordingly if any need arises.
Setting goals and milestones at the outset also ensures that you're both on the same page and defines each of your responsibilities within this partnership. This will help make sure that deadlines are met, deliverables meet the expectations of key stakeholders, and both parties feel a sense of accomplishment throughout all stages of the software development lifecycle.
Regularly Share Resources & Information
Sharing knowledge is the key to getting more out of your software development partnership. Whether you're a blogger or an application developer, engaging in conversations with other professionals will lead to new ideas and innovative collaborations that can help both parties grow.
Additionally, if you work on a project with someone who does something that your company doesn't, it's important to share resources so both of you can learn from one another.
Clearly Outline Budgeting Requirements
It's essential to make sure your budgeting needs are clear from the beginning so that you can stay on top of your cash flow. Are there any extenuating circumstances or substantial financial uncertainties? These are things that should be discussed before starting a project with an outside party and need to be addressed early on for both parties to get the most out of their relationship.
When it comes to software development projects, the scope of work should be outlined from the very beginning so that there are fewer surprises later on. While budgets may, from time to time, need to be stretched, by outlining your budgetary expectations at the start, you'll minimize the need to move outside of your financial comfort zone.
Keep an Open Mind When it Comes to Change
Software development lifecycles can have a certain level of unpredictability. This is why it's essential to remain flexible while you work with an outside development group. Whether monitoring deadlines, budgets, or specific ideas regarding the final execution of a product, keep an open mind when it comes to subtle changes in outcomes. So long as you've chosen the right partner, sometimes, change may lead to much better things.
It may take time before your software development partnership starts bearing fruit and seeing benefits from one another, and you should expect those kinds of fluctuations. Make sure to work together with your software development partner to solve any obstacles that arise and communicate any concerns or issues on both sides of the relationship.
Know Who You Are Partnering With
Before you start a software development partnership, it's essential to know your partner and their values. This will help ensure that both parties have the same expectations for each project.
For example, an application developer might insist on using open source libraries in all projects, while another company may strictly use proprietary code. These values should be aligned appropriately before starting a project to ensure there is a good fit and that both parties can get the most out of their software development partnership.
Identify Your Needs
Every company is different, and your needs for a software development partnership will differ as well.
Certain development companies have different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to understand whether or not the company you're choosing to work with truly understands the space you're in and the vision you have for your digital product. Differing perspectives can actually help to bring more balance to a project, but if both companies are moving in different directions on a project, the final product will suffer – so will the budget. So when identifying what kind of software development partner you want to work with, make sure you're also identifying what sort of partnership your company really needs.
Consider What You Can Bring to the Relationship
Partnerships are, by nature, a two-way street, and you should consider what you can offer in return to the relationship you're establishing.
When entering a new partnership with a software development company, one mistake many businesses make is taking a "hands-off" approach when planning for and launching a successful product. On the contrary, building the right relationship with your software development team takes communication and support. Remember, the more you put into your relationship, the more you will gain.
Pairing up with the right software development company can be one of the best things you do for your business. However, it's not always easy to find someone who you can trust long-term. By following these helpful tips, you'll be sure to get the most out of your software development partnership and ensure your projects are well-executed and within budget.