7 signs of a reliable development agency that will bring your project into life

12.11.2020 | 08:20AM
Choosing the right supplier for your project is essential. It is a make it or break it situation. We at Jimmy's make every client and job a top priority, so you can rest assured that we won't try to fool you with unrealistic promises. Check out 7 principles that are embedded in everything we do.

Jimmy Technologies started as a concept where we wanted to do things differently because we were unhappy with many bad habits common in the IT industry. We recently wrote about 8 unfair practices used by development agencies, so you might want to read that as well to save your budget. Today's article is more on a positive note.

Honestly, we aren't any good samaritans or nonprofit. Running a dev house isn't easy, and it's certainly not cheap. Senior IT experts are costly, and you must pay for tools, office, and much more. The only way to cover all expenses is a steady flow of new projects in the pipeline. We all love new business opportunities and new collabs, right? But that shouldn't mean that we sacrifice quality and long term relationships in pursuit of one-off revenue. That is shortsighted. Of course, we want to make money. But responsibly with a focus on our clients.

At Jimmy Technologies, we approach every project as it would be our own. We focus on creating products people love, which is the best burnout prevention. No one wants to spend hundreds of hours developing an app nobody will ever use even when you get paid for it. Therefore "Don't waste" is our mantra, and it transitions into many areas of our work. Zero waste means doing things the right way from the beginning until the end, so you never have to throw out large chunks of code. Of course, no product is bug-free from its 1.0 version, but the vital point is that there is no technical debt nor architectural errors that would limit future scalability.

7 signs of a reliable development agency

It all comes down to one question – how do you identify a good development agency that can deliver quality products? Here are a few principles that we follow.

1. Being transparent and honest when trying to close a deal
Clients often ask for a strict deadline and price based on their expectations. They might be right, but usually, they are not. Our mission then is to explain the development process to the client, highlight potential pain points, and show what it takes to translate their idea into software. Sometimes the client thinks that the app is straightforward, and so is the development process, which might not be the case.

When we deal with both fixed and agile projects, we do one crucial thing before we start that every agency should do, but most don't. We properly analyze the project and requirements, design a high-level architecture and uncover costly edge cases and unknown variables. For free. This is the only way how we can provide a sharper estimation and not just a wild shot. Of course, it costs time and money, which is why many agencies try to skip this step, but things can get ugly when they do.

We never send out random offers that aren't backed by our analyses. We also consult the product and business of our potential client and give feedback. When we think that the potential is too small, we say it and try to convince the client to adopt MVP before spending millions on development to validate ideas that were false from the beginning. We advocate taking this approach:
2. Keeping in touch with the client and staying transparent
We promote the agile approach where a client is part of our team. We always familiarize clients with Jimmy's processes, which helps to reach mutual understanding. The client always knows where his money goes and what inputs we will need. We are open about risks and let clients cherry-pick our team members that suit them best.

Clients without exceptions have access to task tracking tools and repositories, and we hold regular sprint review sessions. Our approach gives clients a feeling of certainty and assurance about your investment. When a problem comes up, we don't hide it; we communicate and solve it together with the client's team.

3. Long-term thinking and partnership
Long-term and sustainable cooperation is our ultimate goal. We aim to have successful products and clients in our portfolio. Reputation is a key for a development house, and satisfied clients are our most valuable asset. That's why we carefully think about design, architecture, delivery, and precisely select a team. As we said before, we approach projects as if they were ours, and we were investors who we, in a way, are. Success means a long-term partnership that significantly benefits us, so we always do our best.

4. Senior and experienced people in key positions
Product and project managers are essential for the whole product development lifecycle and success. Badly managed venture always turns into a failure. PMO must run smoothly and effectively to keep the entire procedure on track. Therefore we pay great caution when choosing the right people for these critical roles. Our product team has proven results from various projects that include building startups from scratch or delivering solutions for large enterprises. Everyone product or a project manager working at Jimmy's must have the right mindset, be client-oriented, and have high communication skills so that they can pass the client's product vision to the development team. With exact and stable requirements, our dev team is able to perform at the highest level, and everything runs smoothly.

5. Fair rates and an outstanding price vs. performance ratio
We used to receive offers for mediocre developers priced at staggering levels when we were on the client's side. Right, everyone likes money, and developers are scarce, but nevertheless, charging unjustified amounts isn't sustainable for the client in a long-term relationship.

At Jimmy, we are able to deliver a whole team for your project for rates that are in line with the quality of the developers and the market. We focus on the best price vs. performance ratio and therefore are able to outperform many of our competitors.

6. Proposing better solutions instead of blindly following the client's brief
We said it many times – our team consists only of seniors who regularly give our clients feedback and don't merely follow briefs and specs. Not only are our developers very skillful engineers, but they always keep in mind the business and product perspective. That enables them to continually ask the right questions and come up with better and more effective solutions. The client benefits greatly from this ongoing dialogue, and in the end, seniors are always cheaper because they complete more tasks in a shorter time. The quality is also higher overall, and they are way less likely to make bad decisions that can be costly.

Experienced people are our biggest asset, and even though we are a young development house, we established a thorough process to find and hire them. This really pays us back because when they fit the project perfectly, we don't have to deal with any setbacks.

7. The right selection of the cooperation model
Before we seal the deal, the right cooperation model must be chosen. We start with a definition of expected quality, price, and deadline. When building a successful product, we generally don't believe that it is possible to set everything straight from the beginning using a waterfall model. Therefore we cheer for agile techniques, but that would be another discussion.

In either way, we never send out fixed offers without knowing the whole scope. At Jimmy, we believe that consistency and principles matter when it comes to software development. For this reason, if a client prefers a fixed price, and we don't have all the necessary details, we divide the project into phases.

  1. Analysis and design
  2. Prototyping and specification
  3. Development MVP, testing, production release
  4. Maintenance
  5. Development of MMR (minimum marketable release)

After each stage, we sit down to validate what we have already done and plan ahead. This gives us a clear overview from which we can improve our estimations. Moreover, we are also able to improve a product with things that we have learned along the way.

It's never easy to apply all these principles on every project, but we follow a strict quality assurance process. We even employ our own quality manager. This attitude results in the best outcome for our customers. As we said, we aren't good samaritans, but we believe in excellence, long-term relationships, and added value for our clients.

I hope I gave you at least a high-level overview of how we approach projects. If you want to consult with me or ask any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Reach out to get more information.
Martin, Co-founder
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