How to Outsource Your Agile ASP.NET Development to a High-Performance Team
The web applications you invest in are supposed to support and empower your employees. They should make it possible for them to work "smarter, not harder" on a daily basis. If you outsource your agile ASP.NET development needs to the wrong team, however, this won't just be difficult. It will largely be impossible.
It's critical for you to understand that not all ASP.NET development companies are created equally. Just as you are likely running a very different organization to even that of your closest competitor, most companies bring something unique to the table - and that won't necessarily be a good fit for what you're trying to accomplish.
Thankfully, the solution to all this isn't nearly as difficult as you may fear. If you truly want to ensure that you're getting the quality you're looking for in your application, there are a few major elements you need to examine before you choose a high-performance web development team to work with.
Finding the Best ASP.NET Development Partner: Breaking Things Down
One of the major factors that you'll need to consider when outsourcing your agile ASP.NET development has to do with the nature of the project itself. If this is a takeover project (meaning the new team is going to take over the project because your team is swamped or you recently lost your ASP.NET developer) you'll obviously be looking for different qualities than you would be if you were starting a new project from scratch.
Regardless, look at the expertise and qualifications of the ASP.NET development team members and have them show you examples of work they have done before on other projects. Pay close attention to the level of complication in their screens and at instances where they demonstrated a clear proficiency.
What does the process flow look like? Does the user interface make sense? Is it easy-to-use, or clunky and not intuitive? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when reviewing any samples you're provided.
Likewise, pay close attention to their communication skills because if they aren't able to communicate well, they're not really in a position to act as the effective partner that you need. Pay particular attention to the quality of the questions they're asking you about what your expectations are. If they ask few or even no questions, they're likely not a good candidate because they're really just making assumptions about what you want. They're making no effort to truly understand your needs and why they're important.
The Processes and Procedures of ASP.NET Development
You'll also want to pay close attention to the processes that the development team uses during the software development project lifecycle. Consider things like:
- Do they use agile development best practices, or waterfall?
- Do they take the time to put together a formal requirements document?
- What process will they use to document your problem to make sure they've actually captured all of your requirements and key priorities?
You should also ask them about their status reporting strategy - meaning, how do they keep you up-to-date about what is going on with the project? How often will you get updates? Also inquire as to which project management tools they use to get a better sense of what their own resources look like.
This is also a great opportunity to determine how the ASP.NET development company in question tracks and reports the time each developer has spent on your project. This will directly relate how this information is conveyed on your invoices, so it's definitely something worth paying attention to. Get them to show you examples of invoices with time logs to make sure you're comfortable with their time tracking process. Lastly, do they track time by the minute like a time clock or do they unnecessarily round up to the nearest 15 minutes or half hour?
You'll also want to learn as much about their estimation process as possible. Some organizations choose to obscure their estimation process, while others provide a detailed breakdown of exactly how that estimate was created for as much accuracy as possible. It's always better to have as many details as you can, as that helps you understand the thought process of this new partner. This will also put you in a better position to break a large project into phases if the estimate ends up coming in much higher than you originally expected.
The Partner You Need When You Need Them the Most
If you've examined all of these factors and are still thinking of going with one particular company, you should also be mindful of their consulting agreement and what it entails.
Consulting agreements should always have clauses in them to protect you the client. Likewise, contracts should never have clauses in them that are overly restrictive. Any contract you're being asked to sign must state that the client - meaning you - owns the intellectual property, *NOT* the consulting firm. Contracts should also allow termination at any time and they should state that the developer agrees to do everything in their power to protect your trade secrets, data, intellectual property, etc..
Any ASP.NET development team that doesn't agree to these very simple terms isn't a true partner - end of story.
With regard to the actual makeup of the team itself, understand that it needs to be composed of different skill sets. There's a reason why finding a single ASP.NET developer to handle your needs feels like an uphill battle - it's very, very unlikely that any one person would possess all of the skills necessary to guarantee the project's success.
Because of that, you want to look for a well-rounded team that includes people in positions like:
- Business analysts.
- Graphic designers.
- User interface designers.
- Database architects.
- Experienced ASP.NET developers.
- Project managers who are skilled in agile development methodologies.
- QA (quality assurance) testing personnel.
Finally, you'll want to learn as much as you can about not only the general availability of any team that you're thinking of working with, but also the timeliness of their responses to emails and requests to perform work as well.
If the team takes days to respond to even a simple email, that's a major red flag that you do not want to ignore. This process needs to be collaborative and for that to happen, the ASP.NET development team you're thinking of working with needs to be responsive and timely whenever possible. Find out more about the team's current availability, as that will play a big role in all of this. Do they have people available for your project, or are they currently at capacity and you'll have to wait? That in and of itself may be a deal breaker given your timeline.
In the end, it's safe to say that there is a lot involved in not only finding but selecting a new high-performing ASP.NET development partner. Hiring the right team is critically important.
When you find the right partner, you'll know it almost immediately based on the early interactions you have with them. As you learn more about their abilities and the other factors outlined above, you'll slowly begin to get that peace-of-mind that only comes with knowing your ASP.NET development needs are about to be taken care of.
To find out more information about our ASP.NET software development outsourcing capabilities, or if you’d like to discuss your ASP.NET needs with Keene Systems CEO, Lance Keene click here to book a call with him. You can also download our great new eBook - Why ASP.NET Development Services Fuels Business Growth - to learn more about this essential topic.