The first (and hopefully the last) struggle any business has to face after deciding to get a mobile app is choosing the app development partner. The right development team can deliver an all-around product tailored to your business needs as well as make the collaboration process smooth, effective, and transparent.
But how do you know if a certain development team will suit your project? Apart from checking their portfolio and reviews, knowing which questions to ask app developers is a good practice too.
In this blog post, we will share which questions to ask mobile development agency to find out if it’s a perfect match.
Why Is It Important to Ask the Right Questions to Potential App Development Partners?
No matter how much time you spend exploring the app development company’s website and how many times you read over their clients’ reviews, there is only as much information you can gather. Most likely, not all the questions to ask mobile app developers you had in mind were answered on the website, so it’s a must to meet up with a company representative to get all the clarifications.
Plus, talking through all the work-related and organizational questions to ask a mobile app development company before kicking off the collaboration will save you from unpleasant surprises and unexpected turns.
11 Key Questions To Ask a Potential App Development Partner
So which questions to ask application developers to find out all the necessary details about their work style and experience? We at Perpetio have worked with more than 100 clients from various countries and industries. Some of them had long lists of questions to challenge mobile developers prepared for our demo calls, some preferred our sales manager to walk them through the process. Based on these calls, we collected 11 questions that most clients need answers to before signing up for a collaboration with a development team.
Question 1: How many projects have you completed in the past and how long do they usually last?
You should remember that not all the projects a development company worked on make it to the case studies on the website. Some clients do not want to go public, some projects are under an extensive NDA agreement. That’s why you might not know how many projects exactly a team has completed and whether they have experience in your domain.
Getting answers to questions to challenge mobile app developers about the previous projects and their duration will help you understand what experience a team has with projects similar to yours and how much time can your collaboration last depending on the task scope.
Question 2: What was your most successful project or the project you are the most proud of?
Let your potential development partner show themselves in the best light; their choice of the most successful project will tell you a lot about the team’s values, client relationships, and work attitude.
Will they talk about the project that brought the company the most income? Or will it be an app developed by the team that reached the top of the App Store? Maybe it’s an app that has millions of users?
What the team is proud of is an indication of which success metrics they use and how they evaluate the company’s input in the app development process apart from just writing the code.
Question 3: How do you evaluate the duration and scope of work for the project?
Before starting the journey of app development, you need to know what lies ahead of you to calculate your resources and company activities accordingly. Every project has a different number of tasks, team composition, service scope (e.g. only iOS development services or UI/UX design and development), complexity level, and feature set. That’s why it is hard to predict the project duration without looking into its details and preparing the pragmatic questions to ask mobile development partner.
You can inquire how a company approaches the project duration and cost prediction and which parameters they take into account. The answer will give an insight into how a team evaluates your project, which aspects they take into account, and how proficient they are in project management. Additionally, you, of course, will know what to expect in terms of your app delivery and budget.
Question 4: Do you provide tech and business consulting for your clients?
Many of our clients are small businesses and startups that are not so experienced when it comes to frameworks, APIs, libraries, and more. And they don’t have to be: it is the developer's responsibility zone to make the most appropriate tech stack choices. At the same time, many clients want to be actively involved in the decision-making and give their input to the app’s functionality scope.
That’s why we at Perpetio offer technical and business consulting to our app development clients. You can come up with just an idea and let us take care of the rest, like market research and product requirements drafting. We don’t keep our clients in the dark and always inform them about their options and possible paths to take in the form of free consultations with the team, be it about the tech stack or monetization possibilities.
Question 5: Do you help your clients with the app launch and maintenance?
Contrary to common belief, the app development process doesn’t finish when the last line of code is written; not even when all the quality assurance activities are done. Uploading the application to the Apple App Store or Google Play Market is also a task that requires some preparation and knowledge about the platforms’ requirements.
What’s more, sooner or later, any app needs updates to fix minor issues, modernize the tech stack, and expand the feature set. It’s best if your original app development team can help out with these quests and you don’t have to look for new partners.
Question 6: Should I go native or cross-platform?
With the introduction of a cross-platform app development approach and all the convenience it brings, whether to go native or cross-platform is among the top choices of what to ask mobile app development partner for most clients. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, so it’s hard to make the right decision without evaluating the business needs and potential app requirements.
Asking about the suitable approach to your application will help you understand which direction to go. Plus, pay close attention to how the team justifies their advice and what they are basing the decision on.
Question 7: How can I monetize my app?
While getting a branded app for your business or bringing your idea to life is exciting by itself, it is even better when a new application also brings you some income. There are several monetization models to choose between, from freemium to in-app ads. The choice, as it always is, depends on the app type and your business goals.
Sometimes, a monetization model simply doesn’t match the app's audience or interrupts the user journey. For example, in one of our recent app redesign and Flutter development projects, all it took to motivate users to interact with the app and purchase the subscription was introducing a free trial. That’s why careful audience analysis is a must-have for implementing a monetization model.
Question 8: What are my collaboration model and payment system options?
Let’s now talk about pragmatic matters. Collaborating with an app development team comes in a variety of options, like a dedicated team, time and materials model, in-house team extension, and so on.
The choice depends on your project size, service type, and your personal preferences. For example, if you just need someone to test your application, time and materials can be a good idea, but for developing a mobile app from scratch, a dedicated team will be a better decision.
What’s more, you will need to organize the payment system according to your possibilities and preferences. You can pay for each hour of the specialist work or for the project all in all; get invoices once a month or after passing certain milestones. It’s best to prepare some questions to ask prospective app development partner about the collaboration model and payment possibilities and select the ones that fit you best.
Question 9: How can I get in touch with the team and track their progress?
Based on our experience, we know that while some clients wish to get frequent progress updates and have access to project management tools, others can’t dedicate much time to tracking the project and want to be involved only in the decision-making. While both of the options are perfectly viable, it is up to you how much to interact with the team and how much supervision to have over the project.
Remember to prepare questions to ask app developer before hiring about their reporting and communication methods. For example, at Perpetio, we create a Slack channel for each project, so the stakeholders can always get in touch with the team. We also send regular project reports with hours spent and results achieved as well as share access to project management tools like Jira.
Question 10: What documents will we sign?
If there is only one thing to remember when it comes to questions to ask potential app development partner it is to clarify about a contract! A contract that describes the responsibilities of each party, timeline expectations of collaboration, payment details, and expected outcomes is a must for a safe collaboration. You won’t be worried that you might spend more than expected or that the team won’t stick to their promises. The contract protects you from any unpredictable situations and simply gives you a good night's sleep.
You should also ask for an NDA so that your company’s data cannot be disclosed. You may or may not ask the team not to share the collaboration details and results on their social media, depending on your policies and preferences.
Question 11: How will you choose the team members for my project?
Needless to say that it matters a lot who joins your project’s team and what are their experience levels, specialization, and communication styles. Usually, an outsourcing company will assign the available specialists that match the project’s tech stack and work scope. You should ask to review their CVs and portfolios as well as arrange an interview to get to know the potential team members and learn more about their experience.
It’s difficult to get a good result from a collaboration with an app development partner if you don’t get all the answers about the work process out of the way before signing a contract. We collected the most common questions from clients based on our experience to help you navigate your first meeting with the potential development partner and clear up all the crucial questions.
Posing the right questions, such as inquiring about Android development services or Flutter development services, gives you valuable insights into a potential app development team's experience, work style, and ability to meet your project requirements.
By collaborating with Perpetio, you can benefit from our individual approach and free consulting services. We will work closely with you to understand your unique business needs and tailor our solutions accordingly, leveraging our expertise in full-cycle mobile app development.
What to ask app developers before hiring?
Before hiring a development team, you should clarify all the nuances about their work approach, possible collaboration and payment models, and experience levels.
How do I assess the technical expertise of a potential app developer?
To assess the technical skills of your potential development team, review their CV and portfolio and prepare some questions to ask mobile app developer before hiring, such as which payment API to choose or whether you should build a native or cross-platform app.
What are the red flags during a demo meeting with the development team to look out for?
If a team representative can’t justify their tech or business proposition for you, doesn’t inquire about your business goals and expectations, doesn’t provide a contract, and has no past projects they can tell you in detail about, chances are it’s not a reliable partner.