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Build, Buy, Partner…Focusing on the Partner Option

January 3, 2023 • Daren McCormick (PointClear Solutions)

5 Min Read

 

Whether your organization is a start-up or large corporation, a new software development project can be overwhelming and may fall outside the realm of your existing team’s expertise.  This presents a great opportunity for you to consider a software development partner.

A software development partner works closely together with you to understand your overarching business objectives and specific product needs.  From early designs to ultimate launch, a software development partner will leverage the best technologies for your solution and provide the expertise needed to complete the project on time and within budget.

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Why Consider a Development Partner?

Aligning with a partner to help meet your objectives is a viable option and one that often makes sense for businesses trying to tackle a large software development project while remaining focused on current business needs.

A quality development partner extends beyond only technical resources and includes professionals such as analysts, developers, project managers, and others who can add different perspectives and ideas for how to best accomplish your product objectives.  A reliable partner takes care of your software project so you and your team can focus on other mission-critical priorities.

Reasons to consider a development partner:

  • Lack of internal resources
  • Internal resources do not have sufficient experience in the needed technology
  • Do not want to increase internal overhead

Ways a development partner can help:

  • Talent pool exists; already have the expertise, tools, and technical knowledge
  • Provides flexibility for your project, where you can be involved as much or as little as you prefer
  • Helps alleviate costs and other burdens associated with hiring your own team
  • Accelerates getting your project completed

Selecting a Development Partner:

It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a new software development partner.  Selecting the wrong partner can result in significant lost time and money.  If both businesses are not aligned on the overall vision, objectives, scope, priorities, timeline, budget, and other important considerations, it’s likely that both parties will end up frustrated and disappointed with the final result.

At the end of the day, your development partner should:

  • Share your vision
  • Provide the needed expertise
  • Effectively handle project management – scope, timeline, and budget
  • Deliver the solution you want when you want it
  • Be good stewards of available resources – human, financial, and other

An organized and thoughtful decision-making process will improve the likelihood of mutual success with your selected partner.  Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

Pre-selection process:

  • Understand the reason(s) you may need to partner
  • Define scope with clear goals for the final product
  • Determine the timeframe in which you need the product completed
  • Define the budget and what’s available to get the job done
  • Understand the needs from and the impact on your existing team
  • Determine any tech stack preferences
  • Determine any industry or other domain knowledge and experience requirements
  • Determine the type of outsourcing that best fits your needs
    • Staff augmentation (select subject matter experts)
    • Teaming arrangement (Partner team pairs up with and runs in parallel with existing teams)
    • Turnkey project outsourcing (Project is mostly or totally outsourced to the partner)
  • Consider any partner location requirements – onshore, nearshore, offshore, or blended

Selection process:

  • Interview potential partners
  • Request a sampling of relevant, representative work
  • Request 2-3 client references
  • Ensure alignment
    • Does the partner candidate share your vision?
    • Do you feel the partner candidate has a good understanding of objectives and scope?
    • Does the partner candidate have a proven methodology and process for success?
    • Does the partner candidate possess relevant domain knowledge and experience?
    • Can you and your team work well together with the partner candidate?
    • Are you confident you can form collaborative teams with the partner candidate?
    • Do you like the people you’ve interacted with to this point?

Partner vs. Vendor, There’s a Difference

You may have noticed that throughout this blog post, I’ve used the term “partner”.  This is deliberate.  Software applications are never one and done.  These solutions are ever evolving with a natural life cycle to keep up with changing demands and needs.  Your development partner should be able to evolve with you and be there for you as needed for the long haul.

Vendors provide transactional services usually with no true in-depth knowledge or understanding of your business.  Partners become an extension of your business, embedded within your culture and values. Trust is built through a shared comprehension of goals and objectives and delivered results that achieve longer-term successful outcomes.

Want to learn more about the partner option for your next solution? From idea to implementation, our in-house experts can help guide your company’s next successful tech offering. Contact us to learn more.

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Since 2006, PointClear has been a trusted partner for custom design and development in the healthcare industry. We have created innovative solutions for companies ranging from start-ups to well established enterprises.

 

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