Developing Developer Relationships
Just as “it takes a village to raise a child,” it takes a team to develop an application. Talented designers often depend on highly talented coders to help realize their vision. If the application is large enough, many portions of it may be developed simultaneously by multiple groups of coders. This requires expert project managers to keep everyone in sync so the various modules reach a ready state as close to each other as possible for compilation.
Time to market
The typical gestation time for app development has become incredibly compressed by market forces. For example, once Uber redefined the private car service industry with new levels of simplicity and efficiency in requesting service — and lower prices to consumers — the rush was on for all substantial car services to meet the competition with their own custom apps.
Every day Uber remained alone in the mobile device automated car service market, it increased its foothold and the amount of revenue it redirected from traditional taxi services. The taxi service companies had literally no time to waste. Their time-to-market demand became immediate. This resulted in some very creative approaches to rapid application development and deployment.
Almost every one of these creative approaches involved some kind of outsourcing or partnering to obtain needed resources. In a professional job market where demand far exceeds supply, the prospect of hiring more skilled programmers was as illogical and inefficient as ordering and installing more server and storage hardware to enable rapid scaling — instead of simply scaling out into a cloud provider’s existing infrastructure. Better and faster to access and use someone else’s resources than to start building more of your own.
When is the worst possible time to start looking for a partner?
When you have an opportunity at hand. Once you have an opportunity, or a market challenge, you’re under pressure. You need to move quickly, and fast is often the enemy of careful and effective. You feel pressed to make a decision, to find the resources you need. This may encourage you to lower your standards and become less demanding at a time when you need to be most demanding.
Vetting potential partners
The important message: Vet potential partners early and often, whenever you can. Then, when an opportunity arises, you’ll be prepared to scale out as needed.
Trust is the key to any successful partnership. Be relentless and thorough in your vetting of potential partners who may participate in your development projects. Reliability is more than just being responsive and sensitive to schedules. It includes being financially stable enough to assure continuity throughout the duration of the project and beyond.
Look at the potential partner’s track record, past projects, and adherence to schedule and budget. Spend time with the principals of the partner firm. Get to know them personally. Although your company may engage the partner company, people partner with people. Get a feel for their leadership. Make sure you’re comfortable with them, their business practices and their personal interactions.
Selection is the first key to success in rapid app development and deployment projects. Get that wrong, and it won’t matter how right you are in anything else you do. The wrong partner will almost always assure disaster.
The greatest advantage in working with a large, nationally known partner is that you start off with many of the vetting checklist items already checked off. Financial stability, track record of success and deep resources all come with substantial growth, and contribute to it. Talk to Insight about our rapid application development resources and the many ways we can help your development efforts respond to immediate market challenges.