In a world driven by technology, building a mobile app or online store may boost your business. What do you do if you don’t have an internal IT team?

No worries! A software development company such as Rails Agency has extensive experience in working on a variety of software projects.

What should you expect from the software development company you hire for your project? Here are some answers to questions you might have:

Question 1: What is the first step?

Answer: The company will arrange a meeting between you, your staff, and the team that will be dedicated to your project.

During this meeting, the company experts will get to know you, your business, and its history. An in-depth discussion of what you need, your business goals, and strategic plans for growth, gives the team the information they need to create a project plan for you.

Question 2. How are the costs determined?

Answer: After the meeting, the company will send a ballpark proposal to you with an estimate. The proposal will specify the estimated size and duration of the project as one of the following:

  • small (1 month or less)
  • medium (2-4 months)
  • large (4-6 months)
  • extra-large/ongoing project (6+ months)

Estimated costs related to your project are provided, as well as details about milestones. Milestones are tasks that are completed on the way to your completed project.

Question 3. What kind of paperwork is involved?

Answer: After receiving your approval of the estimate, the company will prepare a formal Statement of Work (also known as a SOW). This document is the guide that the developers will follow. The statement of work includes project schedules, deadlines, budgets, and expectations of results.

Question 4. Is there a way to track the project?

Answer: Yes, the company loads information from your project’s statement of work into their development tracking system. Every line of code and task will be tracked and reviewed. Throughout the project you’ll have regular meetings and updates. Tasks (“stories”) will be reviewed and considered complete only after your approved.

Question 5. What kind of communication will I get?

Answer: You can specify your preferred communication schedule and means of communication (email, phone, text messaging). Here are some options:

  • Verbal communication:
  • Daily standups: 5-minute updates via phone
  • Weekly: 1-hour face-to-face meetings or update sessions
  • Written communication:
    • You can receive daily update emails from the company at a time of day convenient for you.
    • You can send an email any time you need clarification, to ask a question, or if you have feedback for the company.

Question 6: How often will I get a written report on the status of my project?

Answer: You’ll receive a written report during each weekly face-to-face meeting. The report is used as a guide for the meeting. It contains updates on:

  • Finished tasks
  • Goals for the next week
  • Challenges related to the development of the project
  • Deadline check-in
  • Your checklist of things to do.

During the weekly update meeting, participants use the report as the agenda for what to discuss. Project tasks are reviewed and you approve the ones that have been completed successfully.

This vitally important meeting will take about an hour. The process of reviewing the project tasks increases development team efficiency and decreases the risk of errors. Areas of concern are identified and addressed well before deadlines.

Question 7: What happens when the project goes live?

Answer: You will be involved in the process when your software project is activated, or released as they say in the software industry. The company will want your input on the timing of the release.

  • Timing options:
    • Larger releases are typically done either on Friday evening or on Saturday morning.
    • Smaller releases can be done on any day, preferably in the evening between 8-10PM.
  • Expectations: You’ll receive a detailed description of the process for when your new software is activated.

  • What the company will need from you:
    • You’ll be informed in advance if you, or one of your staff, needs to be present at a release.
    • The company will perform their own checks if everything is correct, but it’s always better when you double check too.

Question 8: Is the company available after my project is completed?

Answer: Professional software development companies offer help after your project is complete and up and running. You should be able to:

  • Contact the company whenever necessary, even if they are not actively working on a project for you.
  • Receive calls from the company every couple of weeks so they can verify if everything is working according to your expectations.
  • Contact the company regarding any bug fixes or adjustments needed.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect when you work with a software development company.

Rails Agency uses the above process to help clients expand their business and solve problems using technology. To work with our experts, drop us a message and let’s discuss how your idea can become a reality.