How to engage a software development company – Part 1 – Introduction

If there’s one thing that rings true for most organisations investigating custom software development, it’s that engaging with vendors can be a daunting process – you’re committed to your project and want the best possible outcome, so how do you select a vendor that understands your needs and that you will have confidence in to deliver? I’d like to share a couple of guidelines that will assist you in answering these questions and achieving successful outcomes.  The guidelines I’m presenting in this mini-series are designed to give you an insight into the ‘how, when and what’ to ask of vendors to ensure you have consistent, relevant information to compare so you can make an informed choice.

Topics I’ll cover over the coming weeks include:

  1. Being ready to go to market
  2. Selecting suppliers that play in your ballpark
  3. Understanding the software suppliers process
  4. How to specify requirements

In covering the above I’m making an assumption that you’re going to approach a number of suppliers in order to get an idea of their capability and experience in achieving your goal, an idea of what your project will cost to realise, and the timeframe within which it can be achieved.

If you:

  • Are tasked with sourcing a software solution for your business or;
  • Have an idea for a software application, but don’t know where to start or;
  • Are writing an expression of interest (EOI), request for tender (RFT) or any variant of these that involves a formal, structured invitation to suppliers

Then these guidelines will help, and are relevant to you.

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