8 Things to Look For When Hiring A Software Development Agency


In today’s competitive business market, the ability to evolve quickly is paramount for success. When you encounter a new challenge and need to staff up quickly or find a solution that is outside of your team’s typical wheelhouse, hiring a software development company like Grio can be the perfect solution.

Hiring a software agency can save you time, money, and headaches and set your company up for long-term success. But, before you invest in your newest venture, how do you ensure that the team you’re hiring is the best one for the job?

Benefits of Hiring a Software Development Agency

Whether it’s a sleek new website, a killer MVP app, or enterprise software, innovative solutions can invigorate and improve an organization. When you hire a software development agency, your company will benefit from the expertise, knowledge base, and hard work of not just one employee, but an entire team of carefully selected individuals. 

Before You Hire a Software Development Agency

Once your company has decided to invest in new software for your organization, it can be tempting to immediately start contacting software development agencies. However, to keep the process running smoothly, there are several things you should decide before picking up the phone:

Define Your Objectives and Goals

Before you contact software development agencies, figure out exactly what it is you want them to accomplish. Identify your overarching objective for this software solution, as well as any secondary goals that it should accomplish. 

Begin outlining how you expect it to look. Whether it’s a mind map, wireframes, or an outline of the software’s tasks, having a team-wide understanding of your product will help you more clearly describe your needs to the software agencies you eventually contact.

Confirm Your Timeframe and Budget

When you enter negotiations without firm deadlines and price caps in mind, it can be easy to be swayed. Make sure you understand your budget for the project and when you expect it to be completed. It’s important to also understand what you can generally expect to get for your proposed budget so that you have realistic expectations when speaking to potential agencies. 

Define The Agency’s Role

Brainstorm exactly what you expect the agency’s role to be throughout the process. Will you be hiring a few key employees to fill out your existing team or will the agency be responsible for the entire project? Will the agency design and build the software and then hand off ongoing maintenance to an internal team, or will they be responsible for ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting? The more you are able to define the role you see the agency playing in this venture, the more specific they can be about the solution they will provide.  

Find Companies

Once you’ve fleshed out your project, then it’s time to contact agencies. Google searches, word-of-mouth recommendations, or contacting organizations that have software you love are all great ways to find potential software development agencies to work with. Find several agencies with potential, and then use the considerations below to narrow your search to the perfect one.

8 Considerations When Choosing a Software Development Agency

Choosing a software development agency is no small task. Over the next months or even years, you’ll be investing time and money into their work and communicating with them frequently. While there are numerous things to consider when choosing which software development agency you want to hire, the following considerations are some of the most important.

1. Expertise

To start, look at whether the agency you’re considering has expertise in the service that you’re requesting. For example, if all of your software utilizes a specific tech stack, it’s important to hire a company that also specializes in working within that tech stack. If you’re building a mobile app rather than a web app, you want to make sure the agency you’re hiring specializes in mobile app development. 

It’s also important that they were experts not only in the past but also in the present. Technology is changing at an alarming rate, and it’s up to software development agencies to evolve to match the trends. Choose an agency that’s up to date on the latest development innovations and uses the latest technologies.

2. Experience

Make sure you take time to look through a software agency’s portfolio of past projects. While it’s not essential for an agency to have experience within your field, experience on similar projects is certainly an asset. For projects that are similar to your own, look in greater detail at their case studies. Are the solutions they are using ones that would work well for your own project?

You can also gain an understanding of an agency’s experience by reading client reviews and testimonials. While looking through the reviews the agency provides on its website is important, make sure you also search for additional testimonials, either by word of mouth or on the web. These will give you a feel not only for the company’s development prowess but also for whether it will be a pleasant company to work with.

3. Timeline

When speaking to agencies, discuss whether they have the time and manpower to meet your deadline. If obstacles arise, are they able to add more members to the team to stay on task? If you have a hard deadline, like the launch of a new product, hiring a software development agency with the resources and commitment to meet your deadline is essential.

4. Value Per Dollar

When comparing agency proposals, look past the bottom line to the value that the bottom line provides. Agencies may underbid or cut corners in an attempt to keep their prices low, rather than finding innovative ways to get you a great product within your budget.  

If multiple agencies come in below your budget, consider what you’ll be receiving for each of their proposals. It may be worth investing slightly more for a more scalable product or one that sets you up for greater long term success.

Consider their pricing structures as well. While one company may come in cheaper with a lump sum payment, if your time-and-materials company over-estimated, they may actually be cheaper in the long run.

5. Communication

We can all agree that efficient communication is important. However, when interviewing agencies, it’s important to ask questions about multiple aspects of the communication process, including:

  • What will our partnership look like?
  • How much transparency will you have in your process? What communication structure do you have in place to keep us apprised of every step in the development lifecycle?
  • What is your organizational structure? Will there be a single point of contact for our questions and concerns?
  • What type of communication technology do you use? Is it consistent with our own internal communication methods?

6. Value and Vibes

Your software development project will require frequent collaboration with whichever agency you hire. These conversations can be hindered or helped by several key factors:

  • Geography: Even with remote work the norm, if frequent collaboration between your team and the agency is required for the success of the project, hiring an agency on the other side of the world may prove to be too challenging. Having a company in a similar time zone will give you plenty of overlap throughout the business day for meetings and messages.
  • Culture and Values: Review the agency’s published mission and ask about its culture and values. Consider whether the agency’s work ethic, priorities, and goals are aligned with yours.
  • Development Methodologies: What does the agency’s typical workflow look like? Identify their development methodologies and determine whether their unique style of producing software will work well with your team. Do you both use Scrum or Agile methodologies? Are you both passionate about continuous iteration/continuous deployment (CI/CD)? If your project lifecycle workflows are similar, collaboration will be much easier.

7. Security

If you are giving your software development agency sensitive information about your company or your clients, it’s imperative that they keep it safe. Speak to the agencies about how they protect data, whether they’ve had data leaks in the past, and whether they have secure servers for their work.

8. Future Focus

Finally, speak to your potential software development agencies about life after release. All software, no matter how flawless, requires eventual maintenance and updates. Are these tasks that the software development company can and will perform?

Speak to them as well about scalability and future support. Can they provide a solution that is easily scaled as your company shrinks or grows? Is their proposed solution one that can be improved and upscaled as technology continues to advance?

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right software development agency is important. That’s why Grio offers free consultations for all of our current and potential clients. Whether you want a simple website or a complex application, Grio has the experience and expertise to make your vision a reality. Contact us today for more information.

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