Whether you are a part of an aspiring start-up or an executive at a well-established company, there comes the point in time when you need to take your web/mobile app idea to a software professional and see what it’s worth.
You could look to employ someone with the right skills. This might involve interviewing some software engineers, for each part of the task. For example, Android app, iOS app, the web app, not to mention UI/UX design, marketing, testing. Moreover, you hope everyone you’ve hired will ‘click’ as a team to ensure your product is a success.
Also, you could speak to the many software development companies that can offer you all the right resources. A dedicated Project Manager and a team that already know each other and have had experience working together as a team. That will give you a proof of efficient collaboration in the app store.
If you decide to subcontract, you again face a question: do I trust one company to do it all, or do I engage with several agencies? For example, you could hire a reputed branding & design agency to create UI/UX design for your website and app. Then let a software development agency do the coding bit. You even can trust the web, iOS, and Android apps to different companies. The testing could be carried out by a third party altogether. And further marketing (if necessary) be done by someone else entirely.
There is no certain answer as to what the right choice is, but both options have their pros and cons. Some of them you can see in the table below.
|Case||Partnering with a full-cycle software development firm||Subcontracting different parts of your product to different parties|
|The comfort of not putting all your eggs in one basket||✓|
|Ease of communication and collaboration between all parties||✓|
|No need for you to micromanage and coordinate between teams||✓|
|Lowest possibility of miscommunication between teams||✓|
|Trusting your valuable product to professionals||✓||✓|
|Ease of placing responsibility for failure to deliver||Should such unfortunate event happen, your partner will take all responsibility and compensate your loss||None of the parties involved would be happy to take the blame and incur losses. As failure could most probably be a result of miscommunication and miscoordination. Each of the parties would go to great lengths to place the blame on each other.|
|Fastest time to market||Within a single company based in the same office building such processes usually take less time:|
· Discussion of design (designer can get instant feedback from coders to his work. Likewise, developers can get him to quickly alter something if HTML/CSS markup or programming need it)
· Coordination of design and development (they can run in parallel, coders can work on the non-design-related tasks while waiting for the next design batch)
· Testing, whether automated or physical can provide instant feedback to development
|If the parties are scattered across a large area, or even in different time zones it can be a problem. It can become increasingly difficult to put them around a single table.|
· In their typical grungy manner, software engineers would wait with weariness for the designer to submit the final design version. They would stubbornly refuse to start coding anything before they see it.
· Discussions and explanations why the current technological limits prevent developers from using the existing design as is and the realization by the designer what exactly needs changes can take time and nerves.
· Developers would need to wait for tester’s feedback before every sprint will be ready. There are so many ways in which one party’s being late can hinder the entire project.
What way to choose?
Apart from fully subcontracting all parts of your product development to the external supplier(s), you can always find what works for you. For example, if you have an in-house designer, or, say, a marketing specialist, you can have them collaborate with software partner(s) of your choice working towards the common goal.
Our company saw both types of projects (subcontracted to a single company vs. subcontracted in parts to a few organizations). We made a conclusion that partnering with a full-cycle software development agency offers much more benefits. For example, aiding you at the product concept/discovery stage, branding and design, the web & mobile app development, through testing all the way to launch, marketing and post-launch support.
Sourcing your product development to one or more companies is in many ways similar to getting a dinner. You may know a restaurant where they serve good wine, another one with a delicious soup. The third one may have a mouthwatering main course and yet another one where the dessert is pure bliss. I doubt one would want to go on a ‘restaurant crawl’. But, for sure, you can visit each of them in turn for their speciality. While that may be the case sometimes, most evenings, you would just opt for a peaceful dinner, all courses in one place.