This simple canvas helps you find the right software development agency

Putting the Gear into Growth Using Remote Agencies

«We have doubled our development firepower without experiencing any pains at all», says Idan. «We're growing fast!»

Flashback two years ago: I remember meeting him and his co-founder Yam in their tiny office in a WeWork on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel. Today, things are changing - they have just moved.

Countless startups like Zest are scaling using outsourced developers. But how can one understand which company is a fit?

➡️Download the Canvas here for free!

Step by Step: Understand What Kind of Vendor You Need

Use the Software Development Outsourcing Canvas to become an outsourcing professional: it will help you understand which companies to talk to, and brief them about your project.

I have created it from describing over 200 projects to remote agencies and managing over 100 RFPs.

The key to finding the right team isn't just in making sure they're technically sound. They also need to fit your working style, project, budget, timelines and other criteria.

This is what the canvas will help you clarify. Download it, and read how to fill it out.

Software Type

Check which type of software you are developing:

  • SaaS platform
  • e-commerce store
  • mobile app
  • plugin / extension
  • internal tool

Choosing a specialized agency will bring in their experience and process from their insight into many similar applications - an incredbile asset.

Devices

Pick which devices your software will be developed for:

  • browsers
  • native mobile apps
  • desktop apps

Most agencies only develop for certain platforms, so it's best to clarify this upfront.

Value Proposition

Help your agency candidates understand your business. Write a quick value proposition in the following format:

PRODUCT helps CUSTOMERS solve PROBLEMS.

For example, Shopify helps e-commerce vendors sell products without complex software setups.

Product Level

Quality is actually a variable: decide how your product will be used:

  • prototype: only intended for beta users
  • production: intended for actual users and the public
  • enterprise: must be extra secure and extra fault-tolerant

This is probably the biggest cost factor of your entire project.

➡️Download the Canvas here for free!

Skill Sets & Roles

This is a list of roles normally present on most software projects.

Strike the ones that aren't needed, mark those in-house which either you or a team member fulfill and mark those as required which you need within your agency.

Important: this does not mean you need one person for every role.

If you're only looking for one person but you're lacking the frontend, backend and devops role, you know you must be looking for a very experienced full-stack developer.

Deadlines

To understand which companies are potentially available, note your earliest start date as well as the desired finish date.

If there are hard deadlines due to certain events, do note those as well.

Budget

Note the monthly or total budget you have available for this project.

You may be hesitant to reveal your funding state, but it's just a time saver for you.

In the end, it also wastes your time if you reveal all your intimate project details and discuss estimates, just to realize the agency quotes you a much higher number.

Management Scheme

Check how you would like to work with your developers:

  • hire: pay for full-time developers you manage
  • project-bases: receive a fixed quote for a milestone
  • SCRUM: work as a product manager in sprints

This is another big deciding factor in choosing the right agency since most of them only work well in one preferred mode.

Volume

If you know, note how many positions you need to make the progress you want:

  • part-time
  • full-time
  • multiple positions (entire team)

Tech Preferences

Do you have existing software? Note all technologies being used. Developing from scratch? If you have any technology preferences, note them here as well.

It's yet another important decision factor since most agencies only specialize in a few technologies.

➡️Download the Canvas here for free!

Canvas filled out - now what?

Congratulations! You now understand exactly what kind of partner you need to be working with.

Now, how do you find agencies which match your criteria?

That's where I step in. At Trustshoring, I will connect you with a tried and trusted tech team that is a perfect fit with your project for free.

Hint: that's how Idan found his developer as well.

About the author

Victor Purolnik is a German programmer and entrepreneur. He has been working with Eastern European developers and agencies for almost a decade.

Through his companies and for his clients, he has hired around 100 developers within the past 5 years.

➡️Download the Canvas here for free!

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