There is a wide range of options available to someone looking to work with a software professional. Experts in this field are not a "one size fits all" solution. It's crucial to do research beforehand to ensure that the company or individual chosen to work on a project is the best possible company decision. Also, keep in mind that these working relationships can be highly flexible, depending on the project's needs and scope.
The ultimate decision is up to the individual. However, some initial choices will shape how this process is approached. Largely, will this team be procured as an in-house asset or as an outsourced and contracted team? There are benefits and drawbacks to each; deciding on which is most appropriate depends entirely on the project's specifics and the preferences of the project owner.
However, the most important step to consider when procuring software services is defining the project scope as much as possible. Taking the time to develop a clear idea of goals and achievements helps narrow the search for the perfect team. There are many software companies and professionals in Edmonton, and that number only increases as the search is widened to include a broader geographical limit. Having a solidified concept when beginning the search will ensure that the individuals or companies being researched align with project scope goals and expectations.
Of course, it isn't always possible to have a completely concrete idea of a project scope before talking to a software expert. Having a basic understanding of project goals and outcomes will help determine which companies are a better fit for the project.
Once the decision is made regarding who will be working on the project, they can discuss the rest of the details to clarify these milestones and end goals.
Outsourcing VS In-HouseOnce general goals and achievements have been decided, the next step in ensuring a project's success is actively searching for the right team. As mentioned above, there are two main methods of procuring these services: In-House or Outsourcing.
In-House: In this method, software professionals are hired into the company
- High level of control regarding team operations
- Each individual working on the project is there based on the project owner approval
- Confirmation that each hired professional has appropriate experience
- High expense in money and time due to the hiring process
- Potential difficulty knowing what to look for during the hiring process
- Long-term raised expenses (Office supplies, payroll, benefits, etc.)
- Potential talent pool may be smaller due to hiring in immediate geographical location
Outsourcing: In this method, an individual or company outside of the business is hired to handle some or all the software project workload
- Potential for a larger team with more varied and robust experience
- Larger talent pool since geographical location isn't as important
- Less time and money spent on management and hiring of the team
- Less direct control over the team and project processes
One of the largest influences of this section is cost. Cost plays a vital role in any business decisions. Still, for small businesses, the financial and time contribution of hiring an in-house team may seem exorbitant compared to their budget. Although, for other companies, having the ability to be intimately and directly involved in the project is crucial. It completely depends on what each individual is looking for.
In-house hiring is a tried-and-true method of procuring software experts for any project. However, in recent years, outsourcing software projects have become increasingly popular due to the lower costs. With an appropriate amount of research and scouting, outsourcing can result in just as amazing results without the big hit to the bottom line.
Hiring the Right Software ExpertThis section came almost directly from one of our sources and was so well done that we felt it was a great resource to share. Check out Seagmen: Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Software Development Company to see the complete essay.
1. Create a List of Potential Companies
As with most research, the internet is a great place to start. Pay attention to reviews and see what their clients are saying about working with them and the work itself. While the internet is a great tool, personal networks are also an amazing source of information. Not only can they provide recommendations based on experience, but they can also give reviews of the work done. This includes working with the company, the outcome, and the longevity of the service provided. At this stage, aim to compile a list of 15-20 companies.
2. Assess and Shorten the List
With the initial list created, it's time to take a closer look at each of the companies and find those who would be a better fit. Consider these questions when assessing the list:
- Do they showcase their skills in their own day-to-day activities?
- Is their website functional and useful?
- Do their past projects lend themselves to the project?
During this phase, it is important to consider that the considered companies should have professional experience in what the project is trying to achieve. Their website is a great source of information and gives an initial glimpse of their work's quality and scope. Here are some things to keep in mind when researching company websites:
- Work: The quality, depth, size of their projects they've worked on
- Quality: Do they pay attention to details?
- Experience: Who do they employ? What kind of experience do they have?
- Social: What kind of company culture do they have? Are they passionate about outstanding work?
- Blog: Do they produce quality content? Are they leaders in their field?
3. Contacting the Software Companies
After completing step two, choose the top 3 – 5 companies; these will make up the shortlist of businesses that best align with the project scope and goals. At this stage, it's time to contact each of these companies to finalize who will be working on the project. These are some important aspects to remember when reaching out directly to companies:
- Have a clear idea of project details and pass along this information to the companies
- Ask them if they can prepare a bid for the project that includes the timing and team details
- Plan for proposal presentations – ensure to ask clarifying questions
It is easy to get caught up in chasing the lowest price, but this shouldn't be the only important aspect of decision making. It is inadvisable to choose the cheapest option for several reasons. The lowest-priced company may not be the best fit for the project or work preferences. Throughout the whole research process, so much data has been gathered that provides significant information about who the company is, their work, and how they do it. Use this information to ensure that whichever company is hired is the best for the project.
Software Integration with Switch EngineeringAt Switch Engineering, our software team has a broad range of experience and has worked on various projects in Software Development, SCADA/BMS, Controls, Cloud Services, and loT. Many of our software clients were initially our clients for engineering services, and we are proud to apply the same meticulous expertise on each project we work on.
We would love to discuss how our experience lends itself to your project. Contact us today!