Choosing a provider might be a bit baffling: you are to choose between thousands of providers with very different characteristics.
Step 1. Some of the factors that will help you narrow your search:
location(inc. time zone difference)
language and cultural proximity
NB! Never base your choice on rates only. In the long run, it might turn out to be cheaper to work with a more experienced provider with higher rates, but highly efficient teams.
Step 2. Consider the offering for all the most important positions and choose 5-7 complying companies.
When you have your short list – … (step 3)
Step 3. It’s time to get to know the companies better. Possible ways:
- Visit them in their office
- Conduct a couple of interviews with developers, ask for code samples
- Initiate a small test project. We, for example, offer our customers a free test run
- Ask the provider to provide an offer for your project. Examine the way they break up tasks, incorporate Project Management, Quality Assurance. Other important matters are the warranty period, possibility of further support and maintenance
- Depending on your agreement practices (including confidentiality requirements) it might make sense to look at a typical contract the provider is using. If your legal department has some requests it is good to know in advance whether the provider is able to comply.
Step 4. The decision.
Now that you have all this information, it should be pretty easy to decide which provider will be a good partner for you.
Communication tips for this stage:
- Try to make your requirements as clear as possible. A wide-spread approach is to prepare an RFI document and ask the providers to fill it in – on early stages it will help you to identify the most relevant providers.
The following article will deal with the project planning stage.
Got questions? – E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org