So… you know you’re ready to talk about custom software, apps, or AI. But you’re stuck. How do you begin that conversation? How do you commission technical work without a digital background?
Let’s put your mind at rest. In short, don’t let that put you off having the conversation. Generally speaking, if you’re considering outsourcing development work, you’re in the right mindset to progress your company and defer to the experts. That’s already a big first step completed.
Everyone we chat to is usually in the same situation. They know their company and its pain points inside out, but they have technical challenges to overcome.
And that’s what we’re here for.
To make life that little bit easier, we’ve put together some questions and prompts to get you thinking before our initial conversation. If you can’t answer them all, don’t worry; if you don’t have time to think about them all in advance, that’s absolutely fine. We’re used to having conversations with potential clients and exploring solutions together - it’s how we work on a day-to-day basis, in partnership and regular dialogue with our clients.
So, let’s get started - here’s the list of things we’ll most likely cover during our first conversations with you:
- What is your role and responsibility within your company?
- What other key stakeholders will have an interest in the software we produce?
- What is your business model, and who are your clients?
- How many employees do you have?
- Have you tried using software, custom or off-the-shelf, before and to what success?
- What technology do you currently use in the business (e.g. accounting software, etc)?
- What’s the biggest pain point in your business? i.e. if we could wave a magic wand and fix something, what would that be?
- What is the impact of that pain point on your business - in time, cost, or client satisfaction? What will it cost you if you don’t resolve it?
- Are there any other headaches in the business?
- How open are you and your team(s) to change, and getting involved with shaping the software?
- Do you have a budget in mind for software development? Does anyone else in the company need to sign that off, and would it be useful for them to meet us (now, or at a future meeting) to ask their own questions of us?
- Who manages your IT setup and/or website? What relationship do you have with them on a day-to-day basis?
- What expectations or preconceptions do you have about software development?
- Have you looked at how we work and who we work with to see if we’d be a good fit for one another?
And, just to help you out, what we don’t need is a full, detailed brief of exactly how you expect things to work or what things should look like.
Rough sketches of your existing workflows, or how/where things talk to one another, can be helpful if you’re a visual kind of person, but we find that it’s so hard to predict all of the different edge cases, exceptions, and “what if…” scenarios in advance, we wouldn’t advise trying to plan a whole software system upfront (and certainly not before we first meet). It’s one of the key reasons why we work Agile rather than Waterfall. You’ll give yourself a bigger headache than the pain point you started with.
Consider the questions above, and book in a chat with us. You don't have to be a tech whizz - we’ll take things step-by-step and work with you to create a product you and your company can be proud of.
We build custom software with your team, for your team. Our apps and web platforms bring about meaningful change for businesses across the UK.