8 questions to ask a development team before hiring them
To find the right development agency to work with, you might want to turn to the internet in the first round and carry out a series of searches to obtain detailed information about different agencies including several factors that you can find available on their website. This is a great way to shortlist which agencies to consider.
The next step is to get in touch with them and ask specific questions. We collected the most important ones.
1. What is your development process? What methodology do you use?
Why you should ask this question: One of the most important questions to ask a development team before hiring them is their development methodology. It’s really important to understand right from the beginning the way they work and what you can expect from them. It’s essential to see whether the partner agency is compatible with your business.
You should understand the team’s daily work processes, how often they provide you with feedback and status updates, how often you will meet them, and in which ways you can review the project and give them feedback or things to adjust. You also need to know what happens if requirements from your side might change and if also testing is part of their working process.
What answer to expect: Ideally, they will use the Agile, Scrum or Lean methodology or similar which is reliable and repeatable. It means that they work in iterations, deliver continuously and will ask for your feedback regularly. Using these methodologies also allows the team to ship your product faster because of the flexible task prioritization that these methods involve.
How we do it at Adroit: At Adroit Group, our team uses Agile methodology. We encourage transparency throughout the whole development process and we facilitate a high degree of input and collaboration between our team and the client. Also, by working in sprints it’s much easier for us to give our clients a more accurate estimation for both the cost and the timeline. This methodology allows us to easily change priorities if needed because we break down the development cycle into smaller – weekly/biweekly – pieces and focus only on those features during the sprint.
2. What is your development stack? Which programming languages do you work with?
Why you should ask this question: Especially if you need a development team to work on your existing product, it’s indispensable to ask them about the programming languages, frameworks and libraries they work and have experience with. I understand that it might sound techy, but making sure that they know the technology you need means saving a lot of time – and money!
But also, if you have something completely new in mind to develop from scratch, you must know that certain programming languages might fit better to your project idea. This decision has a big impact both on the success and on the future health of your product, so don’t underestimate it!
What answer to expect: The development team should guide you through the whole process of choice and explain why a certain framework is more recommended than another. By hearing them discuss the technologies in which they’re versed, you can get a sense of their abilities and experience.
What we use at Adroit: We own a wide range of front-end and back-end technologies. Our development stack consists of Angular, PHP, Ts, Js, Vue, NestJS, Flutter etc. Which one we use will only depend on our client’s needs.
3. What is the structure of the team you will provide me with?
Why you should ask this question: Depending on the lifecycle stage of your product (in which phase of the development or maintenance you are), you will need different team members on your side.
When you start a new project, and especially if you have less experience in the field, you might want to be guided by the team through the whole process, from the idea to the development, and even beyond. It means that you need strategic advice. You need an agency that not just provides development services, but one that shows real interest in what you and your customers need. Like if it was their product.
This question is also useful to understand if aside from developers, the agency has UX/UI designers, QA testers and project managers that will be available for your project.
What answer to expect: Well, the answer to this question will vary on your needs. Obviously, it’s a general rule that the more services they can offer you and the better is. At least you don’t have to worry about hiring multiple agencies for your product.
How it looks like at Adroit: It depends on the project we have to work on. We can provide our clients with a single developer, a team of developers to augment your team – whose size can be increased or decreased when needed – or with a whole project team, including developers, a project manager, a UX/UI designer and a QA tester.
4. Can you show me your portfolio and give me any client references?
Why you should ask this question: Another important question to ask when hiring a development team is their portfolio. It will give you a clear idea of what kind of projects the prospect team has already worked on and what solutions they provided to certain challenges. In other words, it can give you a clear picture of how they performed in the past.
Ask them to show you examples of their best work, especially the ones that are similar to what you have in mind. When looking at an agency’s customer and project portfolio, keep an eye out for projects with a well-developed user interface.
What answer to expect: When you ask this question, the only answer you can expect is YES. If an agency is not willing to show you a portfolio or share its past clients’ experience, it’s a huge red flag for you. A reliable development team should be proud of their work. If they are unwilling to give you evidence of their previous works and clients, it can mean only two things. They either lack experience or have had issues with clients in the past. In both cases, it should be a signal that they might not be the right development team for your project.
How we do it at Adroit: We worked with many clients including Radii, Infinox, Baoba, Cleango, CashbackCloud, Virtualjog and Flightrefund. On our website, we publish new case studies regularly to showcase our most recent projects and help you get an idea of how we work, how we resolve problems, and the outcomes we deliver. On request, we can also provide you with other examples of clients we worked with and projects we developed.
5. Do you have experience with similar projects?
Why you should ask this question: When choosing the agency to develop your project, another thing I can recommend is to choose one that has a successful track record on projects at least somewhat similar to yours. It's particularly crucial in highly regulated verticals such as banking or healthcare.
In this way, you can make sure that the team understands your business and also your target audience. And as they have worked in your industry, it means that they have probably faced some of the same problems you intend to solve with your product or have dealt with related services. This can save on development time and budget, and it can also help to achieve a better result.
What answer to expect: Of course, you are looking for a positive answer from the development team, saying that they have experience in working with clients like you and on projects like yours. But to be honest, it’s unlikely that they will have expertise in every aspect of the project.
However, it’s still a good idea to ask a development team about their previous experience. And to tell the truth, a team of true professionals can adapt to your business model and create a successful project even without previous experience in a particular niche.
What about Adroit: We’ve already worked with clients from various industries. If you want to know if we worked on a project similar to yours, please feel free to reach out.
6. Do you offer post-launch / maintenance services?
Why you should ask this question: Technology and client need to change very quickly. Any great digital product made today may already be out of date in a short timeframe. New operating system, new feature request, bugs… just to name a few of the issues you might have to face soon after the development of your project.
Even what seems perfect now can develop problems. So, be sure to choose an agency that can guarantee post-launch support when you need to update or amend the product. Will they help you after the release? What is their policy on bug fixing? Do they offer any formal Service & Maintenance agreements?
What answer to expect: Ideally, they can provide you with post-release services to resolve any bugs and also to make any changes in your product if needed. They don’t necessarily have to offer SLA, but it’s important to clarify right from the beginning the cost of any activity beyond the development itself. And here comes another important question to ask the development team before hiring them.
How we do it at Adroit: As part of our development services, we also offer post-launch and maintenance. We not only maintain your own project’s code but we also help you to be aware of changes to the software and tech your product was built with and on. For Adroit maintenance isn’t only defensive though. Our services can also include things like adding new features or enhancements based on feedback from the client’s user base or competitive demands.
7. How much does the project cost that I have in mind?
Why you should ask this question: Actually, this is a question to ask only after making sure that the development agency has understood your exact requirements. You should know that in development also small changes and additions can mean a big increase in the cost.
So, to make sure you get an appropriate estimate of costs and don’t face surprises during the development process, provide the agency with an in-depth brief. Based on your brief they get a clear idea of the requirements and can calculate the costs accordingly.
What answer to expect: As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, you should be wary of agencies which give estimates that are too low compared to the prices of the market. It should give you a red flag immediately. But at the same time, you should also stay away from those who have exaggerated prices.
It's very important that you find the right balance between the cost and the services the agency can and will provide you with.
How we calculate costs at Adroit: Before we can give you a cost estimation, we ask you to provide us with a detailed brief. It will help us to understand your project better, see which features are required, how much time will it take to develop the projects and as a consequence how much it will cost. Feel free to reach out if you have a project in mind, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
8. What sets you apart from other development teams?
Why you should ask this question: This question might sound like a job interview question, but I assure you that it’s an important one also when you need to hire a development team to realise your project.
Given the fact that you probably have a shortlist of development agencies, knowing what each of them thinks makes them stand out of the crowd can be an important factor in your decision. Coupled with the other questions in this blog piece, it helps you decide why you should go with an agency over another one.
What answer to expect: You should look out for any positive thing that might be important to differentiate one agency from another and you should evaluate which factor is more important for you. So, what makes them apart from the competition? Maybe they only hire the top talent in the region? Or perhaps they specifically have extensive experience in your industry?
Whatever the answer is, it’s essential to know their particular strengths so you have all the information at your disposal.
What about Adroit: We believe in...
in the power of partnership. We understand that success is not just about delivering quality work, but also about being there for our clients through thick and thin. Whether it's celebrating a big win or working together to overcome a challenge, we are committed to being reliable and communicative partners. If something goes wrong, we take responsibility and work tirelessly to make it right. Our ultimate goal is to build long-lasting partnerships based on mutual trust and support, which has been the key to our continued growth and success.
I hope you found this blog useful and got some useful tips in case you’re looking for a development team to deliver your next project. In case you have any questions left or have a project in mind and need a consultation, the Adroit team is happy to help you.