How to choose a software house, part II: analyze the portfolio

How to choose a software house, part II: analyze the portfolio

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Last week we wrote about what you should take into consideration when visiting your potential future software house’s website. We specified four criteria you should take a closer look every time. Today we’ll use similar approach, but this time to analyze portfolios.

Portfolio is the essential part of any company’s website. Just looking at logos and case studies can give you a lot of information about the quality of your potential contractor. So, let’s see what you should check in the first place.

#1 Are there any case studies or only logos?

From our experience, whenever an software house has some big projects they can show off, they decide to do a case study about it and post it on their website. Nothing says you got the job done right like the case study.

Case studies let you be sure about the scale of the project your potential software house was involved in. Screens are not enough.

While reading a case study, you can really get to know a software house through it. Examine every step they took and their understanding of the process. Good case study not only shows the goal and the results, but also explains the journey to achieving them.

Through this, you can learn how software house operates and therefore decide whether their working style suit you.

#2 Search for clients from abroad

It doesn’t really matter if your contractor is from abroad as long as he worked with clients from different countries before. So, when analyzing portfolio, look not only for big brands, but for companies from various geographic regions.

If such companies are present in portfolio, then you can safely assume software house know how to cooperate with people that differ from them when it comes to culture, way of working, project managing styles or even such banal but important thing as time difference.

#3 Search for common ground

Impressive projects aren’t everything. Sometimes experience in working with industry similar to yours should be deciding factor. How so? There are at least three reasons.

Firstly, a company that knows the industry needs no introduction to it. That means they can get to work straight away, without the slow process of getting to know the do’s and don’ts, user’s expectations, typical formats, etc.

Secondly, working with such software house tend to be more smooth, because they have a know-how from projects at least somehow similar to yours. In IT, that means pretty much.

Thirdly, because of their experience, they can give you valuable feedback or input for your current project. Maybe they encountered some obstacles that you didn’t think of? And found solutions? It’s possible and may prove important or even crucial for the development process.

#4 There is no such thing as “Time wasted evaluating portfolios”

Sounds like a lot of work? Consider this: if spending an hour analyzing portfolio or even reaching out to companies mentioned in it with questions about this particular project seems time-consuming, then think about the consequences of choosing the wrong software house. Not to mention the costs. Spend an hour now to save hundred hours from the future!

Piotr Imbierowicz

The Master of an idea. Young and hungry programmer, who always wanted to optimize things, even when no one expect it from him ;-) It was difficult to do it under someone else wings, so he decided to go on his own. Tough challenge, but what can he do? He doesn’t have a choice.

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