What, Exactly, Should You Expect to Contribute to Your Custom Software Work?

For anyone who isn’t an expert in developing custom software, gain confidence in your role as subject-matter-expert, and how you’ll collaborate with the technical experts you hire.

Read on for part 5 of our series: 10 Questions to ask any Custom Software Development Team Before you Sign the Dotted Line.

Unless you have experience with developing software, you probably aren’t too confident in vetting either the companies or their proposed solutions and services. How can you ensure the dollars and time you invest will return real value? What is the right approach to shopping for such a highly technical service?

We created a bank of non-technical questions you should ask every custom software development company you are considering. These questions will help you determine if the providers you are considering have the right experience, philosophy, and approach to deliver real success for your project. Today’s question is:  

What do You Expect from Me? 

Why is This Important? It can be intimidating to be involved in a custom software development project, especially if you have never done it before. It is vital to understand how much time and availability will be required of you and your team. The right firm will spell this out in non-technical terms, making it clear how you can and will contribute. The right team will be able to tell you their process, show you where you fit into their process, and demonstrate to you the importance your role will play in the design, implementation, and delivery of your software solution.

What to Listen For: First, you should hear that you are a critical part of the process, and specifically that you and your team are expected to be the subject matter experts (SME) the firm needs to design and create the correct solution. Without you and your team’s involvement, how could any custom software firm deliver what you need to solve your problem? Next, you want to hear that while you are expected to be the SME, you are not expected to be the technical expert, nor the software designer. You should not need to have all your knowledge buttoned up and ready to present in the format and structure needed for software development. Your team should meet you on your grounds, learn your language, and join your team. Finally, your team should have frequent touch points throughout the process. Regardless of how smart they are, no software team can absorb everything there is to know in one meeting. If that’s the assumption, keep looking.

For more, check out our other posts in this series with the tag “10Questions”

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