Here’s the Most Important Thing to Look for in a Web Development Team
If you’re embarking on a new software project, you should know the most important thing to look for in a web development team.
While there’s no definitive answer here, the easiest thing to look for is a team that feels compatible with your goals and vision.
How do you know if a team is compatible? There are a few things to check before signing a contract, and in this blog, we’ll talk about them so that you can feel more confident finding the right team for your software project.
Their Experience Feels Relevant
While a good software developer can handle a variety of complex projects, try to find a web development team with a portfolio that matches the product you’re trying to build.
If you want a sleek blog about food, you should find a team with experience building food blogs, rather than a team whose projects are more formal, such as accounting software.
Take a look at your prospect’s website. Does it feel right to you? Do you like the way they use space and color? Is the copy engaging and readable? Does it show up easily in search rankings? All of these questions are worth asking when finding a team to build your software.
Because it costs a lot of money to redesign a site that was built by the wrong team. Compatibility isn’t just about being able to work together, it’s also about feeling confident in your team’s ability to make simple decisions and promote your success.
Once you find a portfolio you admire, the next step is to get in touch with them and have a conversation. The better your intake call, the better your project will go.
They Have Answers to Your Questions
One well-known problem with software developers is their failure to communicate. Sure, it doesn’t apply to all developers, but many software techs don’t care much about building a customer relationship.
Make sure you can talk to your developer. This relationship will be crucial to your freedom to express how to move the project along, so it is important that you feel safe to speak your mind.
If you choose to go with a full-service software developer, you will have an account or project manager designated to handle all your concerns.
While this is more convenient than speaking with a developer yourself, it can leave room for miscommunication. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign a contract.
With the right team on your side, your questions are not only answered, but the answers give you new understanding and ideas about what to do next.
They Keep Their Promises
A possible tie for the most important thing to look for in a web development team is trust. If you find yourself getting the runaround or having to wait days for them to return your calls, run. Seriously, get out of there.
It’s one thing if a web development team doesn’t pick up the phone right away, but it’s something else entirely when they just don’t want to talk to you. This slows down your project, leads to miscommunication, and could end up forcing you to find a new team to finish what the first team couldn’t.
During your initial call, ask if they will provide you with a firm timeline and sprint roadmaps. These are tools that will keep you informed and hold your web development team accountable to their obligations.
Without something like this, all you have is the assumption that they are working on it—not a great strategy.
A roadmap also gives you a better estimate of when to launch your software and help others find it. It also ensures that your money is well spent.
They Bring New Ideas to the Table
To be sure, a development team that can create exactly what you ask for is great, but a team that collaborates to build an even better project is a partner for life.
There is one story of a product manager who had trouble building a program that would adapt to geographical regions. Because the software couldn’t detect user location, many duplicated or irrelevant fields showed up that confused users (and gave the developers a headache).
Finally, one smart developer suggested they build a landing page where users could select a location, after which the site would configure itself accordingly.
This may not seem like much of a breakthrough, but it ended up saving the company a lot of time and money. Now they could tailor each page to perfectly match a location instead of building a complex website that could adjust to a globe full of different locations.
A great developer does this for you. Their work experience brings the simplest ideas for solutions, and this is a priceless asset. If you have a team of problem solvers, your software can change the world.
During your hunt for a development team, find out how they have tackled problems in the past. If they demonstrate an ability to be creative, consider having them work for you.
Excellent Separation of Duties
You never want to count on one or two people to do the job of many. There are designers, developers, QA analysts, and others who will ensure your project has the right blueprint early on and doesn’t suffer from crazy problems months down the road.
If you try to leave that job to a couple of developers, you might miss something.
This couples with compatibility in that more diverse teams give you more allies throughout the project. Knowing you have a team who can talk among themselves about your project means a better overall result.
Find out who’s on their team. Is it mostly suits and managers, or are there plenty of tech experts who can perform quality control along the way?
Sure, too many cooks spoil the broth, but not enough cooks leave too many important decisions up to one person.
Ranked Highly by Past Clients
It’s never a bad idea to read client reviews about web designers from time to time. Companies sprout up all the time with goals to change the game and make a difference. By finding out how they do things, you may be able to find new ideas and strategies to reach your software goals.
Be careful not to read reviews as proof of your own bias. When you see many positive reviews about a company you like, it’s easy to assume they’re amazing. Do your research. Find what the bad reviews had to say as well.
Chances are if there are enough bad reviews with the same complaint, that company has a lingering problem.
At the very least, knowing what to expect can help you plan how to approach working with your developer. You can gently raise a concern that you don’t want X problem to happen, and you would like to know how they will avoid it.
Reviews tend to say what people feel at their best and at their worst. There is a whole middle of the road that you don’t read about.
You Like Working with Them
Each team member you work with has an impact on your experience with a software developer. If you have positive interactions along the way, you’ll likely have an ally who can clearly explain your situation to others on their team.
If you really like talking to someone and their credentials match up, it’s probably a good fit.
Before beginning any work with them, have a list of questions handy. If they offer helpful answers, that’s a good sign they’ll be easy to work with.
On the other hand, if you feel like you’re an inconvenience to their busy day, it may be difficult to get them to see things from your perspective and make changes as needed.
Trust Your Gut
Make it easy on yourself: gather your top five favorite development teams, shuffle them up, and pick one. Easy, right?
No, wait… something tells you this wasn’t the right team to work with. You wish you had picked that other design studio.
There you go. Pick the development team you wish you had picked.
Did you know that your gut has 500 million neurons transmitting information to your brain (which has 100 billion neurons)? Pay attention to how you feel. Those butterflies in your stomach have a way of telling you things you shouldn’t ignore.
Once you have a loose plan of what to do next, sleep on it, and make a decision. You can always change course later, but you are probably a good judge of the most important thing to look for in a development team.
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David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.