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When is it Time to Find a New Mobile App Development Partner: A Guide for Enterprises
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There are, on occasion, situations that force you to reconsider your mobile app development partner. Maybe your previous partner was unable to continue working on the partner due to internal forces. Maybe you’ve discovered you prefer the approach a different company uses and you like to change things. Or, just maybe, half-way through development it turned out you need to use different technology or techniques or need to bring in new features.

When situations like these crop up, how should you go about choosing a new mobile app development partner?

In this post we’ll explore not only when it’s time for a change, but how to choose the best mobile app development partner for your project.

Mobile App Minimum Viable Product Content Download

Why You Might Need to Change Mobile App Development Partners

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why your enterprise may be on the lookout for a new mobile app development partner.

Cost is Too High

One of the most common reasons companies seek to change their app development partner comes down to the cost. The interesting, or perhaps confusing, thing about what an app developer charges, especially per hour, is that it doesn’t always determine the overall cost of the project in the end. The fact is, that although the rates of specialists of the same level can vary wildly from company to company, the productivity and approach to completing the work can be equally different.

Let’s take a look at an example to better illustrate this point.

Imagine you’re looking into two companies as potential partners; Company 1 and Company 2. Imagine that the developer’s hourly rate at Company 1 is $45/hour, and $25/hour at Company 2. Next, imagine that a fair amount of the work—like consultation, gathering project requirements, maintenance, user support, etc—must be done onsite at your offices. Onsite experts at Company 1 charge an hourly rate of $75/hour, while Company 2 charges $130. What’s more, Company 2 likes to spend more time onsite than Company 1 does. In this situation, when all is said and done, Company 2 may end up being the more expensive partner.

Remember, higher rates don’t necessarily mean higher project costs. Other factors, like expertise, play an important role and should be considered.

Current Partner Fails to Meet Budgets or Deadlines

Staying within budget is, obviously, critical for any business. Having deliverable completed on time is equally important, especially when releases are tied to business events. If your mobile app development partner is failing on either of these points—or worse, both—it could become an actual threat to your success.

Work Quality is Unsatisfactory

When a product or deliverable doesn’t work as designed, that’s a problem, but these sorts of things happen from time to time. When it becomes a pattern and happens systematically, it’s time to find a new development partner.

Insufficient Skills or Competence

Business requirements have a habit of changing. That often means that your existing solutions should adapt along with those changes. Sometimes those adaptations require new technological tools or techniques to meet the need. When those changes move the project outside the scope and abilities of your partner, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship.

Vanishing Partner

The most unwanted, and hopefully unlikely, scenario is that your app development partner may simply stop replying to you.

How to Find the Right Mobile App Development Partner

In today’s increasingly digital-first world, the number of mobile app developers has skyrocketed. Choosing the right partner can be a difficult task for even the most experienced business leader. Finding the best app development partner involves a lot of research and analysis. It isn’t simply a question of one company being better than the rest; rather, it comes down to which company most perfectly fits your unique business needs.

Before you wade into searching for that perfect partner there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • The type of mobile apps you want to create.
  • Your key business goals and requirements for app development services.
  • The features you have in mind for your digital solutions.
  • The kind of software development technology you might need for your solution.
  • A rough idea of your project budget.
  • And other unique requirements your partner may need, such as familiarity with a certain niche or vertical.

When you already know what you want your app to do and what you expect from your mobile app development partner, finding the right company becomes much easier.

Let’s dive into how you now go about choosing the right partner.

Research

It all starts off with exhaustive research. A good starting point is to check out some of the highest reviewed mobile app developers. But as you look over these companies, it’s important to remember that:

  • You don’t have to pick someone geographically close to your company. Today, the entire process can be completed remotely. Partners can now work from different countries—even half a world away—and still plan and manage projects effectively.
  • Make sure you browse each potential partner’s case studies. Perhaps there are some that have done work similar in scope to your project. This can help you speed up the process, as the most important thing for you to verify is that the company has the experience you need.
  • Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. If your last partner was disappointing, make sure the next one won’t be. Reaching out to various companies is a great idea, and is in no way binding. If you don’t like the things you hear in an initial conversation it’s okay to move on to another option.

Similar Strategic Vision

One of the main characteristics to look for in a new mobile app partner is their strategic vision. The best app development company for you should act as a sort of extension of your own company, at least so far as the relationship is concerned with business objectives. In other words, not only should they be able to help guide you through the process of developing a mobile app, but they should also be able to provide insights based on their experience with similar apps and their understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Finding a reliable business partner is somewhat like finding a romantic partner that sees things the same as you and is willing to move in the same direction. If you and your partner look at the app development process differently, this will almost inevitably lead to issues and potentially conflicts later on.

It’s much better to make sure you’re on the same page and moving in the same direction before you begin a new project.

The Right Skill Set

Developing a mobile app is very specific work, and it requires skilled developers with knowledge of each necessary programming language, software development kits (SDKs), and the ability to work with the advantages of various mobile devices (like Apple and Android). Your mobile app development partner should understand your project and its overall goal.

Perhaps the best way to evaluate a potential partner’s expertise is to look into their portfolio from across various platforms. Check out the previous apps they’ve developed. Some of the most important criteria to consider may include app interfaces, ease of use, and reviews of apps they’ve created in app stores. The best development companies have a deep understanding of each platform’s guidelines to ensure they deliver the best digital product to meet your business objectives.

Cost

Pricing is, of course, one of the more important factors when selecting a new app development partner. However, as is often the case, the least expensive usually isn’t the best option. You’ll need to keep the bigger p[icture in mind as you go through the selection process. Never choose a partner based solely on their rate. Instead, study the approach they used to arrive at their overall pricing.

The most effective way of determining this is to review some of their proposals with a detailed breakdown of their work. From here, you can easily compare project plans and time estimates. Pay special attention to the number of hours and resources each potential partner proposes, and compare that to their total cost. Payments made in line with delivery milestones helps to make sure you and the development team are well aligned, and moving to deliver the project on time and within budget.

Best Practices

One of the major threats to any project is a gap in the understanding of the requirements. To fight against this, mobile app development companies need to follow best industry practices when it comes to communication, execution, documentation, budgeting, quality assurance, security, and more.

Project management techniques vary wildly between companies, but to ensure a successful relationship it’s critical that they follow a process that is consistent, organized, and underpins quality control. This is especially true if you choose a partner far from your geographic location. In these instances, communication is paramount for coordinating a smooth and timely project.

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The Bottom Line

A strong relationship with your mobile app development partner is essential for success in today’s increasingly digital-first world. And finding that right partner is a relentless search, filled with pitfalls and compromise.

Let’s recap:

  • Start out expecting to do extensive research into each prospective partner’s work history.
  • Look for a company that shares your strategic vision.
  • Find a team with the right skill set for what you hope to accomplish.
  • Make sure the price is right, but don’t let it be the deciding factor.
  • Get a sense of each potential partner’s use of best practices in regard to communication, execution, documentation, and more.

The good news is, when you find the perfect partner that shares your strategic vision and has the right set of skills, the results can be explosive!

Now that you know how to go about finding the right team, you’ll be collaborating with the perfect partner for your next mobile app development project in no time.