How to cooperate with a software house?
To make an IT project successful, it is necessary to act adequately from the very beginning – starting from the selection of the contractor, through decisions to implement specific features, to the final implementation.
At the beginning, it’s necessary to mention that a direct cooperation between the client and the contractor will always be necessary. You have no knowledge or experience in IT? You don’t want to think about implementation, only get a finished product? You have to cooperate at least a little. Why is that, you may ask? Without cooperation, there is a high risk that the final product will simply not meet your expectations – for example, it may not have many features that are important to you, but it may have a lot of redundant ones instead. After all, this is going to be your program. Nobody knows your company’s needs, goals and day-to-day challenges better than you and your employees.
However, if you want to minimize your contribution to the creation or repair of your IT system, remember two important things:
- Choose an employee to closely cooperate with the contractor. If this is a person who has no IT knowledge or experience, it would be best if they spend as much time on the project as possible. Let them return to their standard duties after completing the implementation. If you have a man on board who knows a bit more about technology and knows the company well, they may devote only part of their work time to activities related to cooperation with the software house and have time to take care of their other duties. It will probably also be necessary to involve managers of specific departments in the process of IT systems development. Do you improve logistics through IT? The warehouse manager may prove to be an indispensable part of this process.
- Choose a contractor who understands your point of view and takes on the responsibility to ensure good communication and efficient project management. It has to be a company that understands business, not just technology.
Your company should be ready to indicate certain aspects more precisely during the work, for example:
- Key success factors in existing processes that are to be digitized.
- The essence of technical errors that must be corrected.
- The vision of the new program – what specific goals are to be achieved through IT improvements.
A software house representative should ask the right person or people from your company about many different things – about mundane operational issues, long-term needs and goals related to working with your new or refreshed IT systems. You will need to give some information here or explain briefly the essence of the matter. But please remember one thing – it doesn’t necessarily have to be secret information. If it is, you should sign a NDA agreement – this is a standard procedure in the IT industry.
Remember that establishing the scope of work and the schedule of the project is crucial. It should be created by a software house during project talks with your company. Remember that the representative of the IT company is your guide here and they should make sure that the appropriate plan is created. Both parties must jointly agree on the details stated in the document.
During the course of the project, certain assumptions often change, new ideas come up – that’s normal. More and more IT projects are carried out according to the Agile methodology, which allows to easily adjust requirements on an ongoing basis during programming works. Two-way communication is also important here. You won’t need to worry – in a properly run project your ideas will be put into practice, even if they came to your mind quite late. Of course, the sooner you hit on them, the better.
A lot depends on cooperation between the software house and the client. A properly conducted project of implementation or repair of IT systems will save time and money, and at the same time, thanks to the new technology, the potential of your company will be better used. It really pays off to seriously consider efficient cooperation.