You want to make your dreams come true, turning a product idea into reality. So you need to choose a software development vendor. You selected 3 companies to have a call, and you're wondering how to act during the meetings and what to ask about. I’d like to give you some advice about the talk and provide you a list of necessary questions.
Well-done cost estimation process is actually a successful dialogue between a customer and software development company. Obviously, it also needs a good calculation of work.
My first advice for you—let them talk and let them ask questions at the calls. It allows evaluating how they prepared themselves and how do they understand your needs. It refers to the first discovery call and to the next meetings with more specific cost estimations and more technical aspects. Asking the right questions is a key to understanding specifications and requirements, and your expectations, so let them ask questions and make notes based on your answers. If they don’t do it, there’s one explanation: they don’t know what they’re doing. There’s no chance you have such a special documentation that it doesn’t need any additional explanations. In every case and in every cost estimation process, there’s a need to clarify specifications and requirements. The pricing process is based on collaboration between the software development company and the client. As a representative of the IT company, I can tell: if we research needs, ask questions and get answers, then we can get the final cost estimation & project timeline. There are no exceptions to the rule.
Questions to ask
Now it's your turn to get answers. On the list below, I've outlined questions that can help you to locate the ideal collaboration to make the process simpler.
We created the list, worked out on the basis of JMR’s 12-years experience. Some questions seem obvious, some seem unnecessary. But all the questions are important on different phases of the conversation with a software provider, so keep them in mind.
- How to prepare requirements and specifications?
- What do you do?
- What are your skills?
- What is your tech stack?
- What is your profile?
- What is your experience?
- Have you ever worked on a similar project?
- How do you work?
- What have you done?
- Why should I trust you?
- What do I pay for?
- How is a software development cost calculated?
- When will you send me the cost estimation?
- What is a price?
- Are there any additional costs?
- When did you last put your prices up?
- Can cost estimation change during development?
- In what currency can I pay?
- What is the procedure of signing NDA?
- When can you start?
- How to start a project?
- What are the next steps?
- What type of contract to expect?
- How do you communicate during the project?
- Why initial assumptions usually change during development?
- Are contractors used for any of the work?
- How involved should I be during the whole process lifecycle?
- When do you consider a product to be ready?
- What if you won’t meet the deadline?
- What happens if things change?
- Is there anything to add?
- Are manuals and documentations available for the software?
- Do I own the code?
- What about bug fixing?
- What about a software warranty?
- What about support and maintenance?
In some cases, you won’t get the answer during the meeting, and you need to wait till they consult and prepare the answers. That’s OK!
The article was prepared in cooperation with Andrzej Jaworski, Business Partner at JMR.
Digital Marketing Specialist
I'm a Digital Marketing Specialist at JMR, a custom software development company from Poland. So far, I've run 100 projects, carried out in digital and stationary, among others in Austria, India, Hong Kong, Poland, and the UK. I've created and managed more than 70 campaigns for IT, technology, and cloud industry. I started my career with event production, then I was developing my area of interest into communications, marketing, and sales focusing on event industry, small businesses, innovations, and IT. Hobbies: #exploring, #dancing, #joga and #boxing.