When you start looking for an agency to help you with a software project, the number of potential candidates might be overwhelming. You ask five friends for recommendations and get ten different answers. Of course, you may be able to narrow it down a little, but how to finally choose the right one?

If you found yourself in that predicament, we should be able to help you. Let’s talk about finding the best possible software house for a project.

1.Make a list of requirements

First and foremost, nothing beats good research. However, before you start browsing software development agencies, do your own homework. Make sure you know exactly what you expect from your next partner in a broader sense, not only technical expertise. Let’s go through some of the key aspects you should consider while creating your “ideal software house” profile.

2. Industry experience

I don’t think we need to convince anyone that an agency’s portfolio should play a major role, but just having experience doesn’t always mean it can be utilized in your particular case.

An agency might have an extensive portfolio of impressive projects, but none of them actually resemble anything you’re trying to do. On the other hand, an agency that worked with projects similar to yours can not only execute faster and avoid industry-specific mistakes but even make your software better.

Of course, don’t just look at logos and case studies on the website. They may be a bit misleading. Instead, if it’s possible, check if platforms, apps, or websites that the agency developed are still running, see how they perform. And if they’re ongoing projects, check how long they are responsible for them. Good software houses are known for building durable and stable relationships.

3. Social proof

From generic testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations to rating platforms, there are multiple methods of socially verifying an agency’s credibilities. Perhaps the most popular and trustworthy way nowadays is Clutch. This platform allows users to browse through agencies using specific filters and read extensive reviews of agencies that fit your profile. Another one that’s worth checking out is Capterra.

However, there’s another method that is often undervalued or simply forgotten. You can ask the agency to arrange a quick call with one of their clients. What’s better than a direct opinion from someone who works with them on a daily basis?

And if the agency doesn’t agree, well, maybe they don’t have such a good relationship with their clients.

4. Technical expertise

If your project requires high expertise in a specific programming language or technology, it’s only natural to look for a team with experience in that area. For example, as a team with extensive experience in the Internet of Things (IoT), we’ll have a much better understanding of such projects from the get-go. It saves a lot of time and money and vastly improves the flow of information between all participants.

To sum up, setting technical requirements may drastically narrow down the number of potential agencies to choose from.

On the other hand, if you’re not sure what technology would be correct for your project, it’s the agency’s responsibility to suggest one and explain why exactly it fits your requirements. In that case, make sure the answer makes technological sense on every level. The choice shouldn’t be based just on the agency’s preference but on what’s actually best for the project.

5. Size and location of the company

Obviously, the bigger your project is, the bigger software house you need, but don’t overlook the structural aspect of the issue. Smaller companies usually are more flexible due to a lack of corporate regulations extended chain of command. If you’re a startup or have a trailblazing project to create, you may consider choosing a small to mid-size agency.

The location aspect plays a role on a few levels. The most obvious is the time zone difference, but over the last few years, companies developed tools and procedures to limit its negative effects. There’s also a cultural side to that. Having a similar cultural background and sharing core values facilitates communication, workflow, and ensures a much better overall understanding.

6. Transparency

The best relationships are built on trust and transparency, which in terms of software development applies to pricing, work progress, and communication. You should be able to know exactly what’s the current project burndown, what exactly developers are working on, and how much it will cost. The best way to achieve that is working is to work in Scrum and Time & Material pricing model.

You can read more about pricing models in the article Benefits of Time&Materials (T&M) pricing model for software development.

7. Smooth and efficient communication

The communication aspect is rarely prioritized because clients often forget how fundamental it is for everyday relations. It’s not just how well-matched you are on a cultural level. In large part, the level of communication will reflect many other aspects of the partnership. If you don’t feel like the agency provides you enough information at the beginning, how can you expect it will change during the development process? Therefore, make sure you don’t overlook this aspect. Pay attention to how quick, efficient, and effortless is communication with an agency. The smoother it is, the better for the whole project.

Additionally, remember that in most cases, you’re trying to build a happy, long-lasting relationship. Software projects usually are not entirely finished with the delivery. They require maintenance and ongoing updates. The agency you pick will almost certainly be a significant part of your professional life for months at least, and very often years. In this context, communication is the backbone of a healthy relationship.

The challenge of finding the perfect software house

Putting together a profile of a “perfect software house” for your project is not a straightforward task, let alone finding one. However, we hope our guide helped you shape a pretty detailed picture of the right one. And maybe it’s us in that picture. Who knows.

There’s only one way to find out. That big button below.
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