If you are working with an offshore developer, there’s a high chance of miscommunication. Miscommunication can happen because of a lot of factors, like unclear requirements, discrepancies in priorities or language barriers. Things like these can derail any software development project.
That’s why we’re offering this guide to prevent confusion and explain how to effectively clarify your business idea to your development team.
Depending on your introductory note, your future software development team creates the first impression of you – the prospective customer. It’s important to include brief information about you and your company in the introductory email. It helps the development team understand the business sphere you’re working in. You can also signify your role in the company (representative or decision-maker) which helps in understanding the lines of communication.
The development team uses all this information to determine your target audience and provide a reasonably accurate estimate.
Begin by telling your development team about the product you want to build, is it a marketplace, do you want to sell sneakers or create a website that lets customers stream music online or some other kind of service. There’s no need to mention the finer details at this point but instead, focus on the main use of the app and what problem it’s going to solve for your customers.
Deadlines should be one of the things to be specified in earlier stages. Make sure you set clear expectations from the start and specify deadlines, hard or soft. Given the complexity of the software development process, there’s a high probability a given task is not finished within the specified time.
With these aspects in mind, let’s take a look at what an ideal introductory email would look like.
My name is Michael. I’m the CEO of Sole Sneakers, a Finland-based start-up.
We would like to create a website and a mobile app that offers rental and purchase of sneakers we sell at our physical store in Finland. Our goal is to sell or rent sneakers from different brands online all over the country.
How much could it cost to develop a website and an app like this?
We would also like the project to be completed by the end of August 2020.
All the best,
After you send in an introductory email, you’re likely to receive a response from the software development company you’re looking to hire. If you were to hire us, our response email will include brief information about UnoiaTech and an invitation to set up a call. On our call, we will discuss your project in depth and gather as much information as possible about your future product. We would like to learn more about your company, your product’s functionality, technology preferences and a few other things. If you’re not very technical, our team will direct you through a different perspective. We can also sign an NDA beforehand if required.
What Else Can You Include?
There are endless elements to be discussed when the client and the development team are communicating. Explaining everything at once can lead to ambiguous requirements and eventually cause problems. With the addition of a small structure, you can easily break down your project idea into smaller portions and express your vision clearly.
Strip down your app or piece of software to only the core features. This is your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) plan. It’s a good idea to communicate only the essentials in the beginning.
Visualize your idea with sketches and storyboards. You would only need a pen and paper for this. Draw interfaces, menus and screens that you want to see in your website or app. If you prefer the digital route, Storyboarder is a great tool to use. It’s free to download and available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
It’s important to have every detail in writing. This is why we like to follow up every call with an email summarizing what was discussed during that call. It ensures that both parties are on the same page and eliminates any possibility of inaccuracy or miscommunication. You should include in your response letter all the existing documentation such as request for proposal, specifications, sketches, wireframes, etc.
Estimation and Proposal
With all the details and documentation in place, the development team is able to evaluate your idea and figure out how to implement it from a technical perspective. Depending on the size of the project, it can take us from less than a day to a few days to provide you with an estimate. Take a look at our timeline and estimation chart.
We begin preparing a proposal for you as soon as our team has completed an estimate. Our proposal will include the following information:
- Project summary
- List of technologies
- Team members included
- Project duration
- Cost estimate
It’s important to go through each and every detail in the proposal and make sure all aspects have been covered. Decide the final budget with the company beforehand so that the billing doesn’t come as a surprise or disappointment. In case there are any issues with the proposal or you want to add or remove some functionality, ask for a new estimate.
Now that every detail has been taken care of, you can move on to contract signing. By signing the document, you confirm your intention of executing the terms in the contract and allow the development team to schedule a start date for your project development.
Project aspects like planning, scheduling, resource allocation, progress tracking and risk control are handled through collaborative project management tools. There are hundreds of Project Management software available in the market, many of which are free to use. Most of the organizations trust Trello, JIRA and Asana. An open and effective communication channel can be maintained through tools such as Skype and Slack.